I’ve been using Photophlow a fair amount over the last few days – It’s been pretty fun, although the real value will come if we manage to use it for shoot planning or review, which hasn’t happened yet.One thing that I’ve noticed is that having Photophlow open in a browser while I’ve got other webapps running tends to make the overall experience a bit less nicer. So taking a page from Travis Vachon, I created a Prism (Webrunner) application for Photophlow. This lets you run Photophlow as a standalone application, in a container which is essentially a custom version of Firefox. You can get the webapp here. You will also need a copy of Prism to make this work.
Archive for the 'flickr' Category
Last night, Scoble mentioned Photophlow on Twitter. I went over to see the site and then begged and pleaded for an invite – and got it. Photophlow is kind of like an IRC customized for dealing with Flickr photos. There is a global chat room, each user has his or her own chat room, and there is a chat room for every Flickr group. Within a chatroom, people can search Flickr photos and the room can follow along to see what they are searching. You can select photo out of the search, which will be transmitted to the room. There are some other features, like turning off the following of other people’s searches and turning off people’s ability to see what you searched for.
The Photo 2.0 angle
People like David Hobby and Chase Jarvis have been talking about (and living out) “Photography 2.0″, where there is massive sharing of photographs and photographic information. One of the things that I’ve often wished for is the ability to talk (in real time) to someone to get/do a critique of a photo. I think that this is something that happens best in real time. You could do that via IM and hyperlinks. You might even be able to do that via IM group chats, if all the people in the critique were using the same IM system. (It’s 2008, IM vendors). The value that I see in Photophlow is having a realtime way of talking about photos in a group. It would be even better if there was a way to annotate the photo being broadcast at the moment, so that you could focus attention on particular parts of a photograph. We’ve been doing some interesting group photo stuff here in Seattle lately, and I definitely think that Photophlow is something that could really help with some of the things we have done, as well as some of the things we are thinking of doing. Besides annotation tools, I would also like an easy way to log/archive a whole chat session or parts of a chat session.
The Web 2.0 angle
Photophlow is also pushing the limits of how some people think of using a web application. It’s designed to be used a lot and in a highly interactive fashion. I know that I would probably keep chat rooms for my personal group, the Seattle Flickr Meetups group, and the Strobist group open all at once if I could. The designers have also built in bridges to IM notification and to allow you to Twitter from within Photophlow. Too bad their isn’t a way to get a Twitter stream instead of an IM notification – but that’s more a limitation of Twitter than of Photophlow.
I bet that you could do some of what Photophlow does with a custom IRC bot. But I also bet that it would be substantially less accessible to people who are photographers first and computer users second (or third, or what have you). Then again, maybe here’s another opportunity for VOIP…
If you haven’t gotten into the beta yet, there’s a short tutorial video.
I’ve finally dug out a bit from several really busy weeks at work, so I thought I’d celebrate by sharing my candidates for Flickr’s “24 Hours of Flickr” event. I need to pick one of these to submit, so comments are very welcome.
This afternoon my Flickr stream hit 100,000 views. In honor of that occasion, here’s the photo that was at the end of the stream:
My trip to OSAF last week was “bingo” kind of week. Not only did the week overlap with Macworld, but it also overlapped with the San Francisco Flickr (SFlickr) meeting. Of all the Web 2.0/social networking sites, Flickr seems to have done the best job of actually extending the network into the real world. There are a bunch of these local gatherings all around the country. We have one in Seattle, which I’ve gotten to once and almost gotten to a bunch of times.
This was the second time that I’ve made it to the SFlickr meetup, and I got to see/participate in the community a bit more this time. During the scheduled meeting there was the usual mad meta photographing, as well as discussion of people’s work, and equipment. Many of the people that I met last May were not around, but I did add a bunch of new people to my contacts list, and I found it just as easy to meet people as I did last time.
I was particularly interested in the ST-E2′s that Maximum Mitch and John Curley were using. I’ve been considering getting one of these to trigger my 580EX remotely. I’ve got my Strobist SB-24 and sync cord, but something is broken with that setup at the moment, and I need to sort that all out. But the corded setup is unwieldy for some of the situtations that I’d like to be in. After watching Mitch goofing around with it during the meeting, I am pretty sure that I am going to get one of these.
After the meeting ended, a group of us went to Skylark to hang out and keep on talking. Oh, and to shoot. The patrons at Skylark must have thought that they were the subject of some kind of magazine shoot. Flashes were going off all over, and a number of us were asked what magazine all of this was going to be in. There was also a scary kind of moment when an unhappy patron warned us not to take his picture, but the owner of the bar and the bouncers seemed to be totally into our presence, so we didn’t end up in any trouble. Mitch let me borrow his ST-E2 so that I could see for myself how it worked — which is to say very well. I didn’t have any flash failures except for the times when I covered the sensor on the 580 with my hand, and I forgot that the ST-E2 acts as an autofocus assist even if you don’t have a flash. John was using his mostly for this purpose and got some beautiful low light shots.
To top it all off, after we left Skylark and were heading back to the car, we encountered a band that was walking the street, on their way somewhere. We convinced them to stop and do some posing for us. Beware the SF Flickrazzi! Special thanks thanks to ms_trouble, tshane, maidelba (for the ST-E2 time), picsfromj (for the ride to Skylark) and jay_que (John Curley) (for making sure I got home)
My set from the night is here.