Myron Kassaraba's weblog about digital photography on the web

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Photo RSS

Photo Extensions to RSS from Pheed.Com: Syndicated Photography Feeds. [Scripting News]

Here's a site that Dave Winer found that is experimenting with using extensions to RSS 2.0 to better describe the attributes of photos, called "pheeds", and to aggregate pheeds from different sites/photographers. I'm no RSS jockey but it looks like they have taken some of the useful elements used to categorize images and added them to RSS. I wonder how this lines up to either metadata standards being adopted by the camera vendors or tagging and categorization schemes used by stock agencies or photo-desk/news wire applications? It would be nice if they made it so libraries of images that were already catalogued could be easily and automatically represented as pheeds. It looks like the person behind is a talented commercial photographer, Mark Meyer, so I'd assume that he's familiar with those formats.
This kind of use of RSS could be used to create a dynamic master catalog of photos from different sources. Is this a threat to stock agencies or maybe an opportunity.................

Monday, September 29, 2003

Photo Integration

Example of Photoblog/Moblog & Online Photo Service Integration in 1imc. I attended First International Moblogging Conferences in Jul/5. You can get my presentataion. There are large potential in Weblog and Photo,
Moblogging. TypePad has already all that feature.... [
Daiji Hirata Weblog]

In July, Sony & Neoteny (a Japanese venture capital firm run by blog enthusiast Joi Ito and investor in Six Apart, developers of MovableType) showed a demonstration of how a blogging application (MovableType) and an online photo service (Sony ImageStation) could talk to each other using an XML RPC metaWeblog API. This is an interesting example of how images from an online photo service can be automatically "purposed" and sent to a blogging service while retaining the link to the original image for printing. Granted, this was an experiment, but it is very much along the lines of where some of the opportunities lie for creating a more dynamic digital photo ecosystem.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

LifeScape tests P2P photo sharing service

Lifescape, the makers of Picasa, are testing their P2P photo sharing service called Hello. They announced their intentions to offer a networked sharing service back at the DEMO 2003 conference in February. Hello consists of a client application that looks like it works stand-alone or in concert with Picasa. Since I have Picasa, it uses that interface for selecting images to share. You just put them in your picture tray and select Send Hello. Looks like the idea is to use Hello to make connections with Friends that you invite to share photos with through the hello application which includes an integrated IM/chat client. This is not exactly what I had in mind when it was described as "P2P photo sharing"; but I suspect there will be a variety of approaches (I'm still thinking RSS & syndication) for establishing direct channels between people/groups wanting to share photos.

The Hello application downloaded and installed seamlessly and did not require any reconfiguration of ports, firewalls, routers, etc. I just sent email invites to a few friends to see how it works in practice. If you try it and want to share with me, my Hello username is MJKBOSTON.

Friday, September 26, 2003


I was just talking about geocoding and look what Anil came across............

microsoft's geotagged image database. an experimental research project run by the Interactive Visual Media Group at Microsoft Research [anil dash's daily links]

I just tried the web interface which was a little pokey - need to download the client, but these guys are obviously pushing the edge of the envelope. Very cool. Check out the list of links on the site including this one to a Kodak Travel Photologue of a woman's hike of the Appalachian Trail.

It looks like Microsoft has built "MediaLab West" in Redmond - oh to have 8 billion dollars in the bank! The resumes of the people in the Interactive Visual Media Group are impressive, Cambridge, Carnagie Mellon, RPI, Yale, MIT Media Lab........

Great links to some amazing pictures

A Gallery of Panoramic Images From Around the Web [New York Times: Technology]

Panoramic photography has been around for a while. There was a lot of hype in the mid-90's with various capture and stitching approches and products. I remeber a Canon digital camera I bought even came with a panorama software-maker product. Will group photoblogs create a new opportunity for generating panoramic photos? What if you were able to take lots of pictures from different people of the same event from different perspectives and stitch them together? I know, neat idea - what's the business? There's some VC & DOD money flowing into imaging analysis technologies for both still images and video being used for forensics and national security applications.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Photo Feeds

I smiled when this showed up in my news reader......Ellen Veazey - taken from
our house on Kal Shore ..[
Lake, Maine

This is a TextAmerica photoblog I subscribe to with a beautiful shot of an evening sky from a lake in Maine. I am really hooked on this idea of photo feeds......... What if someone like, that has all kinds of near real-time photos from events all over the world, were to offer a "fashion photo feed" or a "Manchester United" photo feed? This is a very interesting area that folks like EyeTide Media are already trying with a desktop screen saver. Things like authentication, security and billing for feeds need some work - anyone know of people working in this area?

Lost & Found Photoblog
I was reading a Boxcar Children book by
Gertrude Chandler Warner with my daughter - Mystery at the Beach. The story has to do with their meeting Mr. Lee, an old man using a metal detector finding treasures on the beach. He was talking about how he walked the beach every morning with his metal detector and sometimes he found junk; bottlecaps, tin cans, etc. and sometimes he found valuable things like rings and bracelets and watches. He was asked by one of the Boxcar Children if he made his living selling the things he found, he said no, he was retired and he always tried to find the owner of the lost item but it was hard since often people came to the beach and only stayed a few days.............
This is one indication that I've been spending way to much time on this Photoblogging Report, but the idea flashed into my head - what if Mr. Lee had a digital camera and a photoblog? He could post when and where he found the item (wait until we have geocoding built into cameras!) and it could be browsed on the web. OK, I already know the flaw with this idea - ownership of anything good would be claimed by everyone. But think of the other interesting applications. Bird watchers, rock hounds, a photoblog of the landmarks from the hike you are on - in case you get lost (too bad the White Mountains only have analog network coverage)- OK, the air is getting thin up here - but it is fun to think about the things you can do with instant & mobile digital capture & publish capabilities!

SMaL: 1.3 mpix credit-card cam with color LCD. SMaL Camera Technologies has today announced a rapid development kit is available that will let manufacturers quickly bring to market a 1.3 megapixel credit-card camera with a 1.5" or 1.8" color LCD display. [The Imaging Resource News Page]

I'll be very interested to see how well this camera does in indoor situations. The original SMaL camera sold by Radio Shack and others had very impressive image quality for a VGA sensor and you could really see the benefits of the expanded dynamic range - it however did not have a flash which makes indoor shots difficult. As I said perviously, I might be willing to scrap my CoolPix in favor of a new SLR-like digital camera (I'm anxiously awaiting the KODAK EASYSHARE DX6490) for family photography (birthdays, holidays, major vacations) and use something like a new SMaL camera as a pocketable camera. The one thing I still have to figure out is how to get the pictures from the SMaL camera to my mobile phone or wireless PDA for moblogging. I had talked about the SD card and the Kyocera Smart Phone as one option, I guess bluetooth could be the other.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

MSN Chatrooms

MSN shuts down its chatrooms. Microsoft's internet service, MSN, is closing all
chatrooms on its global sites due to concerns about child safety. [
BBC News News Front Page UK Edition]

This is something that we will see more and more service providers doing - limiting posting and publishing to users that they can identify with a validated credit card billing relationship. This is no guarantee but it goes a long way to making these communities safer places. Some will call this a limit of fee speech - these services are not like a street corner in cyberspace. If somebody wants to set up a soapbox in the lobby of a building you own, you have the right to know who they are, approve or deny them permission at your discretion and ask them to leave if they disturb your tennants. Two big issues that we will be wrestling with for a while: identity and rights management.

Candidate Camera. Not quite moblogging. Though basically a publicity ploy by the cowbox folks, Candidate Camera is still worth a browse. A digital camera has been offered to every single one of the candidates in the California recall election from Adam to Zellhoefer and they're sending in shots from the campaign trail. Clearly some are having fun with the project, from the
to the infamous. And while others are going for the mom and apple pie constituency, at least a couple are aiming at the Maxim mindset. Having David Hume Kennerly at the helm adds some credibility, and while his featured photo
picks are always good, you can always in true blogger style just jump to
the latest entries. [MetaFilter]

Intersting photoblog from the campaign trail (sponsored by Gateway Digital Cameras!). Imagine if you went to an event and you and others were given a digital camera to capture pictures. The camera was pre-configured to take every picture that you reviewed on the LCD and pressed OK and published it to a group photoblog over a Wi-Fi network. Wouldn't that be a great promotion for a digital camera vendor!

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Coming up next.... is a
collaborative event calendar that looks like it's going to be interesting.
here by some guy.) [MetaFilter]

Upcoming looks interesting. I signed up. One idea would be for the photoblog/moblog services to connect with service providers like or or even other organizations that hold frequent events to offer event photoblogs that get promoted to through the calendar. We did a moblog at the Future Image/Seybold conference but did not get many submissions beyond a core group of attendees. If people know in advance that there was a central place to post their photos, more people might bring their cameras.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

The Perfect Event Camera?

Just posted! Fujifilm FinePix S5000 Zoom review. Just posted! Our full in-depth
review of Fujifilm's ten times optical zoom 'SLR like' S5000 digital camera. The
S5000 features a three megapixel SuperCCD HR sensor, a fast F2.8 - F3.2 10x
optical zoom lens, manual control and an electronic viewfinder. The camera
design is compact but SLR like with a deep hand grip and well designed control
layout. It's a camera which appeals to film SLR owners who want a lightweight
'all in one' digital camera. See how the S5000 performed in our tests.
Digital Photography Review (
So in the past two weeks I've been to several events/conferences where I wanted to take digital pictures to post to the web (both to a web site and to a photoblog). The camera phone I used was pretty much useless for this purpose, shooting pictures from the audience was too far away to get any kind of focus and the glare from the screen completely wiped out the slides (so at least for now you are safe from having your presentation moblogged). My Nikon CoolPix 775, which I love because it fits in a jeans or sportcoat pocket, was not up to the task either. The flash is just too wimpy and the lens is not fast enough to perform well in low light. I may be taking a lot closer look at these next generation digital SLR or pro-sumer cameras like this Fuji.

Here's the thing. Yes, I want instant imaging and instant publishing but darn it, I want the pictures to look good too. If I'm taking these photos of a conference I'm speaking at or a panel that is part of a group I belong to (this morning E2 New England hosted Doug Foy, the Secretary of the Commonwealth here in MA on a Smart Growth Panel), I want the visitor viewing those photos on the web to see the event through a clear lens.
Like it or not, the pictures you take and then publish on the web or share with others are a reflection of you. Someone needs to find a way to marry portability and wireless capabilities into a camera that takes great pictures (and BTW is able to do scaling/reduction and some image enhancement in the camera so the online versions of the pictures can look beautiful).

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Seybold 2003

I finally have an RSS feed. After years of lame explanations why I don't have one for my weblog, I've finally added an RSS feed. So, to all of you who have been
asking, I finally listened. [
Dan Bricklin's Log]10:11:55 PM

This is great news since Dan's posting goes in spurts but I like to stay current. He also recently re-published the contents of a site that he built back in 1999 on Web Photo Journals. When I was at Trellix we went out and met with some of the camera companies like Kodak and to Alexis at Future Image to evangelize personal web sites as great places to post the images from your digital camera

Pito found a great link to Sam Ruby's RSS presentation from Seybold.

The world of RSS, explained...Here's a presentation with many
great little tidbits about the various RSS dialects.
Pito's Weblog]10:02:22 PM

The Photoblogs panel at the Seybold/Future Image Conference on Friday, Sept 12th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco was well attended (this is a relative ranking since it was from 2:15-3:15 on a Friday afternoon and the exhibit hall had already closed!). I think we made a big step down the road of getting the digital imaging community and the blogging community to be aware of eachother.

Photoblogs Panel. John Panzer of AOL, Matt Haughey of Creative Commons, Jason Shellen of Blogger and Chris Hoar of Textamerica, thanks to Marc Brown of BuzzNet for taking these photos! 9:27:25 PM

I heard about this camera from Ben LaMarca, President of Kyocera Optics, at the Seybold/Future Image Conference last week in San Francisco.

Kyocera announces swivel-body digicam. Kyocera Japan has today announced a new digital camera that, as seems to be the vogue lately, emphasises the body design as a fashion accessory. [The Imaging Resource News Page]

It looks like a beauty. After using a Sprint camera phone (VGA1000) last week to moblog to the Future Image Moblog, I can say that I really liked the convenience and immediacy of having a wireless and always (in digital network range) connected camera, however I really do not like the compromise in image quality and in not being able to have a print or archive quality image. Ben was saying that the new Kyocera digital cameras use an SD memory card and the new Kyocera Smart Phone has an SD slot. This may be the solution since I'm looking for the combination of immediacy, and ability to post via email to a photoblog with good picture quality.