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Selecting foregrounds in the GIMP (video)

This video is a quick demonstration of the foreground selection tool in the GIMP, a powerful and free image editing application. The foreground selection tool gives photographers a quick and easy way to isolate portions of a photograph for masking or other effects.

Music by sunbyrn.

Flickr for Good—A Joint Project

flickrtechsoup.jpgFlickr has caught on not only with individuals, but also with certain organizations. They have discovered that flickr can bring attention to their causes, their members, their goals, and their achievements. Recently, flickr and TechSoup, which helps nonprofits share and learn about technology, began a new program called Flickr for Good.

Flickr for Good will provide 10,000 almost-free pro memberships to registered nonprofit organizations and certain libraries in the United States and Canada. I say “almost-free” because while the memberships themselves are free, there is a small administrative fee of $3 per account.

Many groups have already taken advantage of this offer. For example, The Nature Conservancy has a flickr site that ran a digital photography contest that received more than 11,000 entries. Interplast, a group that provides free reconstructive surgery to children in underdeveloped areas, shows before and after photos of patients, as well as images of their own workers. Oxfam sponsored a Starbucks photo petition showing images of people holding signs that said “I support Ethiopian Coffee Farmers.”

Organizations can use flickr to publicize themselves and their work, and also to share information internally. Some groups have posted online photo tutorials, while others have shared photos of potential venues, building materials, or meetings.

To see if your organization qualifies for one of these accounts, check out TechSoup’s NonProfit Eligibility Requirements and Donor Partner Restrictions.

Feeling Adventurous?

I have long been an outdoor sports enthusiast. I love to hike, bike, kayak, and climb. My camera sometimes comes with me, but often not. There are two reasons I usually leave the camera at home, firstly it’s relatively heavy which, especially for hiking and climbing, is a big deal. And secondly I fear I will either fall and crush the camera, roll over in a kayak and submerge it in a river, drop it off a cliff face, or destroy it beyond repair in some other manner.

But I recently came across an article in the August 2007 issue of National Geographic Magazine showcasing an adventure photography gallery and it has inspired me to be brave and try combining my love of outdoor adventure with my love of photography more often. National Geographic describes adventure photography as “probably the only field of photography that is exclusively shot by participants.” Below are some tips to balance your participation with good photography: Read more…

Nice work if you can get it

Nice work if you can get it. Getty has awarded two $20,000 grants to Ian Martin and Lorena Ros.

Reuters has some great photo galleries. Pictures of the month, Pictures of the year, Award winning

Print your own fine-art canvases at home. Hahnemühle offers a selection of fine art papers including canvases made for pro and semi-pro inkjet printers meeting gallery and museum standards.

Flickr is turning 4. Join the fun and your photo could be on display for thousands at a pin-up photo event in San Francisco.

Photo Dropper, a New Tool for Bloggers

Those of you who write blogs using WordPress now have a new tool to help you find quality photos to illustrate your words: the Photo Dropper. The Photo Dropper allows you to find Creative Commons-licensed photos on flickr and add them to your blog. You find images by doing keyword searches, and after you have selected the shots, the Photo Dropper even adds proper attribution links. It’s easy, it’s free, and you never have to leave the WordPress dashboard while you are working.

photodropper.jpgThat said, we should add a few caveats. First, be sure you understand the various types of licensing before you begin. Some images cannot legally be altered. Others can be used only for noncommercial sites. The various types of licensing are clearly explained in an article on skelliewag.org.

Read more…

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