Flickr to better identify each picture’s source camera

flickr icons

Photo sharing site Flickr will add a new display icon to each image: a drawing of the camera that took the picture.

Yahoo’s service will use minimalist line drawings of the camera models, taken from the EXIF data, reports Mashable. Flickr has completed drawings of 40 top cameras are complete, from SLRs to iPhones.

The site has long provided the capturing camera information, but as text revealed with a click, not automatically alongside the pictures themselves.

“Dreamlike” 3D in new Photosynth


microsoft photosynth

It’s been quite a few years since I was first wowed by Microsoft’s demonstration of Photosynth — and the company keeps improving its tool for making 3D experiences directly from photos.

The Photosynth team posted “a major update” on Tuesday, and says its new synthesized locations and flyovers “are as smooth as a Steadicam video, but they’re ultra-resolution and completely interactive.”

For example, a high-altitude “flight” to Mount Everest takes one minute to play, and “every frame contains a whopping 60 megapixels,” the developers say. It was shot from a high-altitude helicopter with an array of full-frame cameras. “You can stop anywhere and zoom in on every last pixel.”

If you can’t fly a chopper, you can walk around a big rock on the beach taking still shots — and Photosynth will create a photorealistic 3D model from them, as also demonstrated on the site. How are they made? “40 photos were uploaded to our servers on Microsoft Azure,” the developers note. “The Photosynth pipeline analyzed the photos for overlap, and created a point cloud of the stable features. Each photo was then fitted to this point cloud, and a location was estimated for the camera in every photo. Finally, a smooth path through or near each of these locations was calculated, and the result was stored on for viewing. You view the synth using WebGL, which is supported by Internet Explorer 11 and all the other leading browsers.”

The first preview results are here.

Photosynth lets you “capture amazing places and objects, share them with friends, and embed them in blogs and websites,” the team adds.


Make your own photo gallery — on Google

google gallery

Getting your pictures posted on the precious wall space in a traditional gallery can be tough. Soon it will be simple to start your own space — online.

Google is launching an Internet art gallery on which emerging artists can display their work to a larger audience.

There are of course plenty of online image sharing and viewing sites, some free for basic features, some paid and allowing storage and print sales, among other functions. Why turn to Google? For widespread exposure, perhaps.

The Open Gallery will be part of the larger Cultural Institute, which connects to famous museums worldwide. It will let museums, galleries, and individuals create a virtual exhibition for artworks of all kinds.

“We’ve built the technology so you can focus on your content,” the company says. “Powerful free tools for artists, museums, archives and galleries. Easily upload your content. Create collections, exhibitions or tours. Publish a new site or enhance your existing one.”

You can request an invite here.

Google Europe has more on the new project here.


Facebook shares photo albums


facebook shared albums

Shared photo albums aren’t exactly new on the Web — quite a few online services and apps have offered them — but they are new to the leading social service. Facebook launched its shared albums last week.

A shared album is an album that multiple people can upload photos to, the company says. “When you make an album shared, you can add your friends as contributors. This allows them to add, view and edit photos in the album. You can choose who can see the shared albums you create. If you’re a contributor, you can add photos but you won’t be able to adjust the privacy of the album.”

The album initiator can add 50 contributors, each of whom can post 200 pictures to the album.

The new feature will roll out gradually across Facebook’s user base.

Shutterfly acquires photo printer R&R Images


r and r images

While most of us were relaxing in the last days of summer, online photo service Shutterfly showed no sign of slowing down and acquired yet another company.

This time it was no young start-up: boutique printer R&R Images launched in 1986. The privately-held Phoenix, Arizona-based business’ “product innovation and expertise in premium, flexible printing will enhance Shutterfly’s enterprise and consumer product innovation, design and printing capabilities,” the company says. “As Shutterfly continues to grow, we are making additional strategic investments in our manufacturing footprint focused on providing our customers with innovative, high quality personalized products while efficiently scaling and managing our costs.”