April 8, 2010

PicApp: Free quality images for your blog

PicApp: Quality images for your blog from JD Lasica on Vimeo.


JD LasicaHave you noticed that blogging has been getting more professional lately? Part of it is the wealth of classy-looking templates and widgets available for users of WordPress, TypePad and other blog platforms. But it’s also due to plug-ins like Zemanta (which I now use for many of my posts) and PicApp.

I first heard of PicApp last year at WordCamp when I ran into Niran Amir, PicApp’s director of business development. What surprised me is that this service, which offers high-quality, world-class photography to anyone with a blog, is available not for a subscription but for free.


[picappgallerysingle id=”8457816″]

For bloggers who write about topical subjects, like sports, celebrities, music, theater or the like, PicApp is a must-have. The above image of Katie Holmes, for instance, appears simply by inserting picappgallerysingle id=”8457816″ in brackets, pulled from the PicApp image gallery.

Partnerships with Getty Images, Jupiter and Corbis

PicApp enables bloggers and online publishers to easily embed images into their posts by partnering with top-flight image catalogues like Getty Images, Jupiter Images and Corbis. The service offers access to more than 20 million images, with new images added nearly every minute.

Newbie bloggers are sometimes surprised to learn that you’re not allowed to just grab an image off the Web — or even from Google Image Search — and republish it on your blog. That’s usually a copyright violation, unless the image is in the public domain or comes with a Creative Commons license. But few high-quality CC images are taken at timely events like the Oscars, the NBA playoffs, the Olympics, the front row of a rock concert or a Broadway play.

“As a technology company, we want to provide you, the blogger, with tools that make the usage of images as easy as possible,” Niran. That means bloggers don’t have to deal with licensing or copyrights or any of that legal stuff. PicApp handles it for them as the go-between with the major photo agencies. They make money by driving users to their image galleries and running ads there.

Watch, embed or download the interview on Vimeo (9 minutes, high definition) Continue reading

March 24, 2009

Photo Finder will find you wherever you are

Ayelet NoffThe Facebook photos application has been by far Facebook’s biggest success: The easy to use interface for uploading pics from your computer and then brilliant point-and-click tagging of friends has proved intensely viral. There are now more than 15 billion photos on Facebook, making it the largest collection of pictures in human history. More than 850 million new photos are uploaded a month with no signs of slowing down, and Facebook’s servers display 20 billion photos every month.

The question is: How many of those pictures are of you? Well, you know how many of them you’ve been tagged in but how many photos are out there that you have no idea about? A new application launched today aims to answer that question.

Photo Finder will go through all the albums in Facebook that your account has access to — their fast, powerful and accurate facial recognition technology will scan Facebook to find untagged photos and let you browse through the results. There’s no need to train Photo Finder, it does it all automatically. Photo Finder shows you all of the results sorted by accuracy or date, letting you review its findings so that future searches become more accurate. With Photo Finder you also get notified whenever a photo of you gets posted, even if no one tagged it. Photo Finder lets you know first and gives you the chance to hide potentially embarrassing photos from other Photo Finder users.

Photo Finder also has the ability to push information on newly discovered photos to your FB news feed, giving this app a real chance to go viral as more and more people discover pics they never knew about.

Continue reading

January 22, 2009

The four personas when shooting a portrait

I loved this wise passage — from the Sunday New York Times Magazine in Behind 'Obama's People' — about the nature of portrait photography, which I've been slowly getting into:

In "Camera Lucida: [Reflections on Photography]," his searching reflection on how photographs convey their meaning and emotional power, Roland Barthes suggests that any time a subject steps in front of a camera to have his portrait taken, four people show up: who that individual thinks he is, who he wants others to think he is, who the photographer thinks the subject is and whom the photographer will try to make use of to bring about his art.