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Animoto for Photography

I created the above sample video in about 5 minutes using my photos and music from their commercially licensed stock library. Dead simple, nice results. Animoto is so easy because it allows you to exchange control over the video for incredible production speed. Although Animoto does most of the work, you can use the “Spotlight” feature to highlight certain photos and adjust the speed of the video. Animoto could be just the ticket for photographers looking for a secret weapon to help promote their business or as an add-on to sell to customers. It’s also a lot of fun.

Animoto says:

Created by TV & film producers, Animoto for Photography lets you turn your breathtaking photos into stunning video in minutes. Fast, award-winning production value plus a library of 175+ free, commercially licensed songs, gives photographers the most powerful video creation tool available.

Founded by MTV and VH1 alumni, Animoto for Photography automatically produces professional video from the photos and music that a photographer selects. Each video is stunning, completely unique, and takes only minutes to produce.

Animoto: Photography For Business

D90 “ERR” mystery solved

I was having intermittent trouble with my new D90 recently. The dreaded blinking “ERR” in the LCD. My symptoms included: wouldn’t focus, shutter would trip but no image recorded, ERR light. The only way to clear it was to remove the battery. The thing is that it would only happen once in a while so, at first, I didn’t think too much about it. It got bad enough though that I decided I had a bad copy and was about to send it back for a replacement when… I noticed that the LCD would flickr when I wiggled the lens.

The solution? I removed the lens, wiped down the contacts and the mounting ring, and reattached it. Problem solved. I feel a little sheepish admitting how lame/lazy I am for not checking that in the first place. Lessons learned? I’m an idiot. Plus, check the lens mount if you’re getting weird intermittent mechanical problems with your DSLR.

Photosynth

I’ve recently come across Photosynth, I had heard of it about a year ago when it was still in its tech preview phase and then I’d forgotten about it. Which I shouldn’t have done because it really is cool. Microsoft Live Labs, who own Photosynth, call it “an entirely new visual medium.” And they’re pretty much right, it’s a very cool new way of viewing photographs. Basically it works by analyzing a set of photos and using the data to build a model of the subject, then it re-creates the environment and uses it as a canvas for the photo. Which doesn’t sound as awesome as it is so head over to Photosynth where you can play about with creating and viewing synths yourself.

National Geographic is creating synths of global landmarks like Macchu Pichu, Stonehenge, and the Pantheon which you can view on the National Geographic Magazine webiste. The BBC also has a gallery called “The Future of Photography” on their website which has collections of synths built on locations from the BBC One series “How We Built Britain”, including Trafalgar Square, Ely Cathedral, and the Scottish Parliament Building.

Oh, but there is a downside; this being a Microsoft project you’ll need Windows XP or Vista for Photosyth to work…(sigh)

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