July 4th is just around the corner and with that comes another opportunity to get that classic fireworks shot you've always dreamed of. We've already covered the techniques you need to know and equipment necessary to shoot fireworks well. The methods are the same as last year. But an important point to keep in mind is that vantage point and location (especially secret locations like the one in the photo at right) are just as important as technique.
I've just watched an amazing video demonstration of two new digital media technologies codenamed Photosynth and Seadragon (both recently acquired by Microsoft). Seadragon is a slick and and powerful viewing system for what the presenter calls "multi-scale mediums". That is, viewing media with both large and small details like a newspaper (headlines vs. fine print) or photographs (entire galleries vs. details of a single photo).
Photosynth is much more compelling as it can aggregate images of a single subject from various sources (all photos on Flickr tagged "Notre Dame" in the example) and combine them into a new, richer view of the environment that is more valuable than the sum of the individual photos separately. The description doesn't do it justice. You really need to watch the video to understand what is going on here.
The presenter concludes by talking about how we now have the technology to create "immensely rich virtual models of every interesting part of the earth collected not just from overhead flights and from satellite images and so on but from the collective memory." Simply amazing.
I don't know if I hate cutting mats because I only do it a few times a year or if I only do it a few times a year because I hate it. If I did it more often I'd certainly be better at it which theoretically would mean it was easier for me. I mostly stick with standard, easy to find sizes. But once in a while I go off my rocker and want to do some goofy size and convince myself that it'll be great to save a bunch of money doing it myself. I just finished cutting a bunch of mats tonight and probably saved about $100. But now I'm all grumpy. If you've likewise taken leave of your senses, here are some tips (to supplement the instructions that come with your mat cutter) that may help you keep your sanity:
On Wednesday (June 13th), Yahoo! Photos began encouraging its users to switch to Flickr.com and other online photo sharing sites in preparation for their September 20th closing. However, the service is effectively closed now if you do not already have an account or have never uploaded photos there as they are not accepting new accounts.
Meanwhile, uploads on Flickr.com are going through the roof. From June 1 to June 12, Flickr averaged about 1.5 million uploads per day. From June 13 to June 18, Flickr averaged 4.1 million uploads, a 173% increase.
Click the chart below to see it larger:
Those of you who are interested in stock photography might want to read more about Lise Gagne, a freelancer who recently set a new record for stock photography sales. Lise has sold more than half a million photos to iStockPhoto.com. To learn some of the secrets of her phenomenal success, read this interview with her. Although she credits much of her success to a background in Web/multimedia design, most readers will also be impressed by her strong work ethic, her analytical abilities, and her sense of fun. Perhaps it is this latter skill that makes her scenes appear so happy, natural, and relaxed, attributes mentioned by several of her clients.