All posts tagged ‘photos’

File Under: Multimedia, Web Services

Easily Upload Photos With Flickr’s New Drag-and-Drop Tools

Flickr's slick new HTML5 uploader.

Photo sharing service Flickr has announced a new HTML5-based photo uploader with drag-and-drop support and a better interface for adding captions, titles and other annotations to your uploaded images.

The new HTML5 photo uploading tool comes on the heels of Flickr’s recent move away from the Flash-based Picnik photo editor to a new HTML5-based image editor. Not only is the new uploader faster and better, it adds further foundation to the hope of Flickr fans everywhere — that, despite some recent personnel changes at Yahoo, the company still believes in and will continue to develop Flickr.

Despite the advances the web has made over the years, uploading files remains a clunky, confusing process for many users who always want to know why they can’t just drag and drop files like they do everywhere else. Like Gmail’s similar drag-and-drop file uploader, that’s exactly what Flickr users can now do, provided of course they’re using a supported web browser. Flickr’s new uploading tool will work in the latest versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

The switch to an HTML5-based photo uploading tool means that you can now simply select a group of images on your hard drive, drag them over to your browser and drop them on the Flickr page. From there the uploader offers a revamped photo organizer page that now sports a darker look reminiscent of the interface in Adobe’s Lightroom editor. Click on an image and the left-hand sidebar will show fields for adding a title, description and tags to your image. You can also add the image to a set, tag any people that appear in the photo, as well as control privacy settings or change the license.

The new Flickr uploader's large image previews

To go along with the new uploader Flickr has also bumped the file size limits for both pro and ordinary users to 50MB and 30MB, respectively. For Flickr pros that’s enough space to handle photos taken with the latest DSLRs, though it’s worth noting that Flickr still doesn’t support storing RAW images.

Still, Flickr remains one of the web’s most popular photo sharing sites and while the new uploader and larger file size limits may not win it any converts from elsewhere, it should make current users happy. Note that, as with previous upgrades, Flickr will be rolling out the new uploader over the next week or so, if you don’t see it just yet, fear not, it’s coming.

File Under: Multimedia, Web Apps

New Flickr Is Bigger, Wider and Uncut

The new Flickr photo page

The grandfather of online photo-sharing sites is rolling out a revamped design. Photo pages on Flickr have been redone to feature larger images, maps, and a much cleaner, more intuitive interface.

For now, the new look is opt-in, but Flickr plans to make the new page design the default some time next month. To see the new photo page in action, log in to your Flickr account and visit any photo page. You’ll see an option to test the new look. You can also use links provided by Flickr to switch between the two experiences.

Flickr's old look: Click for larger.

It’s been a long time since Flickr did anything major to its main photo pages. Flickr started with a limited set of features and has been bolting new features onto the old design ever since. The result has been a slightly cluttered collection of buttons, tools and bits of data that can distract from the main point of the site — your photos.

The new look changes that, streamlining the navigation and tools while “embiggening” your photos (as Flickr refers to it).

The first thing you’ll notice is that the primary image is much larger. The long edge of your image is now 640 pixels across, a 30 percent increase. If that’s not big enough for you, just hover your mouse over any image and you’ll notice the icon changes to a magnifying glass. Click the image (or the new button between the Newer and Older buttons) and you’ll enter what Flickr calls the Lightbox view.

Similar to popular JavaScript slideshow tools, Flickr’s Lightbox view enlarges the image and overlays your screen with a slightly transparent black background. The nice thing about the new Lightbox view is that you can browse through photos without closing it, as well as leave comments and favorite photos.

Perhaps the single most-useful enhancement to casual viewing found in Flickr’s redesign is the addition of new keyboard shortcuts — yes, left and right arrow will now flip through photos just the way you’d expect. The keyboard navigation works in Lightbox mode as well.

The new look consolidates all the tools previously scattered around the page — adding notes, viewing EXIF data, editing images and a dozen more — into a single Actions dropdown menu. The result is a far less-cluttered page that still offers easy access to anything you’d like to do with your photos.

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File Under: Social, Web Services

Flickr Hooks Up With Facebook for Photo-Sharing Love

Photo-sharing website Flickr has announced a new Facebook integration tool that syncs your Flickr photos to your Facebook account. Flickr’s sync tools are built on top of parent company Yahoo’s Updates platform, and will push photo thumbnails, titles and descriptions to your Facebook feed.

Of course, Facebook also offers way to pull in your Flickr images with RSS, as well as about a dozen third-party photo syncing apps that let you post to both services at once. If you use any of those tools, make sure you disable them before turning on Flickr’s new features, otherwise you’ll end up with duplicate photos in your new feed.

The integration of the two services is the result of a new partnership between Yahoo and Facebook announced this week. Yahoo will continue to let its visitors consume Facebook feeds on various Yahoo properties and post to the social network from its pages. Once users link their Yahoo and Facebook accounts, they’ll see news feeds from their Facebook friends on the Yahoo homepage, the web’s most popular news page, and in their inboxes in Yahoo Mail, the web’s most popular webmail service. Flickr, a powerful social network in its own right, is the next testing ground for this integration. Yahoo plans to integrate other social networks, like Twitter, this summer.

To enable the new Flickr-Facebook integration, head over to Flickr and turn on the Facebook Updates feature. Once that’s done, any new photos you post will be pushed to Facebook. By default, only photos marked public will be sent, though you can tweak the privacy settings on your Yahoo Pulse page (bet you didn’t know you had one of those, did you?).

The new Facebook support certainly makes it easy for fans of both sites to get the best of both worlds, but we’re hoping this doesn’t signal a mad rush to add dozens of sharing tools to Flickr.

Flickr, which helped popularize social photo sharing when it launched in 2004, has long been something of a lone wolf on the social web — the Share This tool on its photo pages is admirably spartan. But it’s also a great reminder that, before the isolated model of Facebook gained popularity, there was just the open web. To that end, anyone clamoring for more sharing tools on Flickr are missing the obvious — all your photos and photo collections have a unique URL attached, and you can share that anywhere you like.

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File Under: Multimedia, Social

Flickr Adds People-Tagging for Finding Friends in Photos

Popular photo sharing service Flickr added a new feature Wednesday that lets users tag each other in photos. In addition, Flickr has updated its privacy controls, so users can opt out of being personally identified in individual photos.

The new feature lets you tag particular people in pictures by drawing bounding boxes around their faces. Flickr then asks you to ID each person, and if the person is a Flickr member, the system suggests the member’s name to you as you type the tag.

Once people are tagged, it makes finding them in searches much easier. Instead of searching for somebody’s name and only seeing photos blindly tagged with your search term, Flickr now shows you where that person is located inside the photo — especially helpful if you’re looking at a group shot.

Flickr has over 40 million members according to Yahoo, which owns the service.

People-tagging features have long been available to users of other photo-sharing web services like Facebook and Google’s Picasa. And Flickr’s new feature doesn’t go as far as Picasa, which will actually find the person’s face in the picture and take a guess at who it is. Google debuted this technology in 2008 and enhanced its capabilities just last month.

But while Flickr’s new people tags are close to what you’ll find elsewhere, Flickr’s implementation offers more user controls for privacy by letting you opt out of being ID’d.

As Facebook users know, you often get tagged in a photo that you didn’t approve of, isn’t particular flattering or shows you in a, shall we say, “compromising position.” But once you’re tagged in a picture on Facebook, that photo with you in it gets tied to your profile. It shows up in image searches, whether you want it to appear or not.

Flickr’s new face-tagging system lets users opt out of being tagged in individual photos. So, you can pretend that’s not really you holding that bong or shotgunning that can of PBR. You can also set your preferences so you can never be tagged in a photo, or you can determine which users are allowed to tag you and which users aren’t. You can also opt out of the whole face-tagging system in general.

Non-Flickr members can be identified in photos as well, but they’ll need to approve the ID before it appears within the system.

That won’t stop users from adding your name as a tag on the photo. Users can also draw a box around your face and add your name as a note. But neither of those options physically connect the tag to your Flickr account the way the people-tagging feature does. Instead, it’s just another piece of metadata attached to the photo.

For those who want to play along, just watch your Recent Activity page. Every time you’re tagged in a picture, you’ll see a little notifier in your Recent Activity stream telling you who tagged you, and offering a link to the picture.

Once a photo is tagged up with people, the photo page displays a list of all the people identified within the picture, along with links to their Flickr profiles.

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Seam Carving GUI: a Free Way to Intelligently Resize Your Photos

seam carving gui

Seam carving, or intelligent resizing as it’s also known, is one of the more jaw dropping features available in the latest version of Photoshop. But seam carving isn’t something Adobe invented so, if the stock market crash vaporized your Photoshop CS4 upgrade fund, there are other options.

In fact, there are several options for seam carving tools that don’t involve Photoshop. The online editor Fotoflexer has long offered seam carving tools and there’s also a free cross-platform app Seam Carving GUI that offers the most of what you’ll find in the new Photoshop CS4.

Seam Carving GUI is a little utility app that allows to you to intelligently resize an image without distorting the main element. You can also remove elements that you don’t want in the cropped version.

To give it a try download the code from the Google code page and then open up an image. Just paint in green over the parts you want to keep and mark anything you want to get rid of with red. Then resize your image to your desired dimensions and be amazed. The photo above shows just how extreme seam carving tools can be.

We’re big fans of seam carving and it doesn’t take a genius to see that these tools are going to change the way we look at photographs. Fortunately, thanks to Seam Carving GUI and Fotoflexer even those of us on a tight budget can get in on the fun.

[via Download Squad, photo from the Seam Carving GUI site]

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