Sunday, December 23, 2007

Flickr Stats

Flickr have scored gold again and last week launched one of their most requested features, Flickr Stats. If you are a pro member you can now activate the stats tool to give you all sorts of insights into how people arrive at your photos on Flickr, either through Flickr itself or through other webistes. I've been hunting for a replacement for the flickrinspector tool which disappeared earlier this year for a while now and Flickr Stats have filled this needed gap. As well as showing you how many hits you've had on your photos and your photostream on an all time, monthly, and daily basis, one of the most useful components is that the stats show you how people have arrived at a particular photo through a referer (a link on another website) - this is often because someone has used one of your photos on their website (and credited you with a link to the original upload). This makes some interesting reading...for instance through the stats I found that Sundance had recently been used in a digital photography school tutorial, creating a whopping 576 visits to my account on the 13th December, something I wouldn't have twigged otherwise. My account in general (individual photos and photostream) has had over 52,400 hits, nice! Thanks Flickr, it gives me a bit more momentum to keep uploading my photos.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Big Smile

Well, you know you are doing summit right when you find one of your photos used as an example of good prcatice in a digital photography tutorial. Check out the Digital Photography School Tutorial on using a tight frame to create a sense of infinity.

Additionally, it looks like A cupcake, cupcake? has been snatched by a gaming company (flashbang studios) who are using it as one of their user profile icons.

How do I know all this? Thanks to Flickr Stats which has just been released....but I'll write a proper blog on that later.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Through the viewfinder

Recently my mate dan (aka smoothfoote) has inspired me to have a go at creating some fake TTV photographs. In a nutshell TTV technique is a type of digital photography that emulates film photography in 'box' cameras, creating a vintage look complete with the dust and grain and scratches. If you are a "proper" photographer you will create a contraption that will allow you to use your digital camera to take pictures "through the viewfinder" of an older camera. However I don't really have enough photography "properness" or the patience to make, let alone lug around said contraption so I thought I'd turn to good old photoshop and the wonderful free-download resources on flickr to create the technique, and why the hell not!

It took me a while to trawl the internet for a decent tutorial and ended up just mashing various tips together so I thought that I'd be useful and post what I did here.

First of all you need (suprise) a photograph you want to overlay the effect on. Then what you need is a photograph someone has taken of a white background who has the proper TTV set up. There are two great places on Flickr you can get these from: The Noise and Dust Through the Viewfinder group and Nadistock .

Armed with these two photos launch both in the almighty photoshop. Drag the TTV image onto you photo and draag the corners to fit the size of your photograph. Then click on the lower righthand layers tab in CS2 called 'Normal' change this to 'Multiply', this turns it into a transparent layer, you then have to play with it, fiddle with the opacity, colour levels, contrast ect. Also use the eraser tool (lower the opacity and make sure it has a feathery edge to reduce the border or make the center of the photograph stand out a bit more).

You may also want to fiddle with you photograph too. I used the 'pinch' tool to distort it a bit, the saturation and hues and added a bit of extra "noise".

"Save as" and hey presto, one fake is my first effort: