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Patches for Pictures

Recently I read an article about two new tools that are being developed to help digital photographers remove items from their images. Suppose you had taken picture of a great small town main street, but when saw the image you realized that three parked cars obscured the view and just looked messy. If only you could remove them! However, if you did, you would be left with a void.

street scene
Apparently, you are not alone. At least two teams are trying to solve this problem. One is developing a scene-completion algorithm that searches for a patch for your picture. It quickly scans thought a database of millions of images on Flickr, looking for images of the same subject, taken from the same position, with the light falling from the same direction. The algorithm narrows down all the choices first to 200 and finally to 20 or so. Ultimately, user are given a choice and select the one that looks best to them.

Another team is trying to create a library of clip art, taken from the Label Me library of images. This library could supply patches for missing picture parts. When these tools get perfected, they may allow photographers to save pictures that otherwise would have to be scrapped.

8 Online Lens Rental Stores Compared

Rentglass packageWhile big chains like Calumet have a great selection including lighting, bodies, and accessories, they don’t deliver and their rates are high. If you just want to try a lens out before you buy a copy, if you are looking for a bargain rental and don’t mind waiting a little while to get it, or if you just can’t rent anywhere locally, then one of these online lens rental shops could be the perfect fit.

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“World in Focus” Photography Contest

Ever dream of becoming a photographer for National Geographic? Well, here’s your chance–sort of. National Geographic Traveler and Photo District News are co-sponsoring a photography contest called World in Focus. You can enter as an amateur or as a professional in any of six categories: Wilderness Photography, The Human Condition, Extreme Exploration, Urban Landscapes, Snapshots, or Open Series (photo essay). The deadline is August 21 of this year, although you can actually enter until September 7 if you’re willing to pay an extended entry fee. Although the prizes are nifty, one of the best reasons to visit this site is to see the entries that have already been received.

Photos Help You Sell

Many photographers started using digital photography only when they needed pictures for online auctions and sales. In fact, sales pictures are still a major reason why people use digital cameras. Luckily, shooting pictures to help you sell items is not difficult, but you should keep a few things in mind.

First, your picture should clearly show the item. Although this sounds too obvious to mention, it’s not. Many people upload blurry, dark images that make viewers squint at their screens and scratch their heads. Maybe the photographer thought, “Close enough!” However, potential buyers are likely to move on to something that they can see and don’t have to imagine.

sugarbowl
For example, if a bookshelf has drawers, open one slightly so people will realize that they are not mere decorations. If you’re shooting a porcelain sugar bowl, be sure that the shape, pattern, and lid are clearly visible. If you’re selling a cup, show the handle and shape; if your product is a book, slant it so that buyers can see both spine and cover.

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Convert any photo into an illustration

Here’s something we’ve never tried before here at Photodoto.com: a tutorial screencast. This screencast shows a fast, fun, and easy way to convert any photo into an illustration. Please let us know if you had any problems viewing it. Also, leave a comment if you like the screencast format and would like to see more posts like this one. Thanks for watching!

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click To Play

Links in this screencast:

  • Inkscape – free vector graphics application similar to Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw
  • Click here to view a higher quality Quicktime version of this screencast.

Here are the before and after photos shown in this screencast:

Before

After

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