Picture a Year Since 1976

This page shows  a great deal of foresight, persistence and patience. Things like this are hard to stick to and if you miss but one the whole project is ruined. The Goldburg family from Argentina have photographed themselves every year on the 17th of June since 1976.

The timeline and pictures are presented in an unusual way. Only so much as you would think that time is linear and therefore a straight line. But when you have a closer look it makes sense. Diego and Susy started off as a couple, then as they had children they were added to the yearly photo shoot. Being a vertical representation means that each individual is in the same spot each year. You can scroll down the page to see how they have changed.

While simple this project provides some great information for the family and those that view it. Such as the ages of their children and how many years apart they are. Sure you have to work that out but the site is really for themselves and I am sure they know. I wonder what the children think of this wonderful legacy that their parents have created for them. It reminded me of the people that have taken a photo of themselves every day for a year or for six years in this example and made a video of it.

These type of projects inspire us and we appreciate them greatly. Usually because with the best intentions we would probably start one and fail. The main reason I have not started mine. Top effort and deserves recognition. I enjoyed the site.

Now if those pictures could talk, imagine the stories they could tell.

The Arrow of Time Screenshot

Search and Explore Flickr with a Sketch

retrievr LogoSearching the Internet for anything with a simple sketch is a technology that is in it’s infancy. Actually getting something useful from the results is difficult if not impossible. The current offerings of searching with drawings or sketches are suited to searching visual databases and today I found a site called retrievr.

retrievr uses the Flickr API and is implemented well. It is a search of Flickr from a sketch that you have made in a small square box. Before I go further I have to say that the quality of tools that are being developed with the Flickr API are getting better and there are some people out there creating very useful applications that are very well done. retrievr is well done in that it’s presentation is great and the interface is easy enough to use.

You have a selection of four brush sizes to choose from and a small box to draw your sketch. Good to see that there is an undo button. Using a colour pallet you have the choice of every conceivable colour you could possibly want to use. Draw your masterpiece. After a few seconds of inactivity the search starts and the results are displayed. You can also search by uploading a picture (no sketching) or entering the URL of the image. If you can’t draw with a mouse (who can?) then you can use the database of images to base a search on. Don’t worry if your sketch looks like a five year old did it, have a look below.

Once the search results are displayed you can then either click the photo and view it at Flickr or you can click a magnifing glass that uses that image as the basis for a new search. The ability to drill down your results is a a good idea and makes the experience more fun and you end up somewhere that you did not think you would.

The results are average as far as form goes. I found that the shape of the image that I was after came up rarely in the results. However the results for colour are better and seem to be weighted more heavily in the search. Although I was impressed with the result below in that it does have an image of a face. This service is new and the technology experimental. The very technology is but a baby and has not yet become a powerful tool for searching. But these are the building blocks that will lead to some exciting tools and services in the future and that is what is exciting!

That said I do not think that is what retrievr is all about, developing the technology might be. However, at the moment it is a great site to search and explore Flickr in a fun way which results in those wonderful serendipity discoveries which are always fun and what we love about the Internet. Sure going to Flickr and searching using tags would probably yeild the results that you were looking for but that would not be as much fun.

retrievr screenshot

Free Photoshop Plugins

I personally don’t use Photoshop, but it seems to be the most popular. I have been thinking that I would like to try it at some stage. Yup, I’ll just slot that in… Anyway for those of you that do have Photoshop and use it a lot and are always looking for plugins and custom effects, borders, filters and manipulations then you will be interested in what is on offer.

The Plugin Site offers plugins for Photoshop under three main categories. There are ones for both Mac and Windows. All of the offerings are rated as to their usefullness and free. There are 111 in total. The descriptions are good and make it easy to see if it is what you are after. The good descriptions make using the “find on this page” feature of your browser a useful tool if you are in a hurry.

The homepage also has other offerings of tools and some links to tutorials. Simple site but looks very useful. Who said you have to pay for everything, free is good. I can not speak as to the quality of these plugins, but if you happen to use them drop a comment on the post.

I’ll have to get a copy of Photoshop someday and see what I might be missing out on. But I must admit that these days the main things that I use my photo editing software for is optimising images for the web. Such as converting them to .png and resizing/scaling etc. Maybe there is a market for a photo and image editing client that is specifically made to accommodate such a user? I know I would appreciate a small footprint program that did the things that I have just mentioned, it would be very useful. Perhaps one that uploaded it to your hosting server as well, now that would be cool! Does anyone know of such an application?

Project

I am thinking of taking on a personal project. I say thinking because it is a one year commitment to something and I won’t take it on unless I will complete it.

I have read a bit about people that do a photo a day for a year of themselves, or something over a specific time-line. So I was thinking what about a photo a day for a year of anything. I have enjoyed taking photo’s generally as long as I have had a camera. I would not call myself a “photographer” or anything like that because I don’t think I am. But a photo a day for a year would definitely tell a story.

So I was thinking a photo every day then post it on Flickr, it would roll through the RSS feed in the side bar over that time but would be on Flickr for all to see. If I get really adventurous I could paste them altogether into a video and post it on YouTube. But that would be getting ahead of myself and assume that I would finish it.

The biggest challenge for me would not be taking the photo but doing it every day and something a bit different each day. I was thinking of all the ways I could do that. For example have headings such as; friends, love, family, nature, hate, loss, travel etc. But limit “topics” so that I would cover different aspects of my life. Similar to what Yahoo! is doing with their time capsule at present (worth checking out by the way) in regards to categories. I think it would then definitely tell a story and would be interesting to look back on. So I am more for it as a test for myself than anything and the sense of accomplishment that it will give me.

But I will flesh out the idea and come to some conclusions before I decide but I have almost convinced myself that I can do it. I never start something and don’t finish it. Total commitment or none at all.

I know it has been done before but hey, not by me. So has anyone else done it or in the process of doing it? Anyone want to join me?

POPURLS dot com: What a Great Site

POPURLS BannerI was cruising the RSS today and although I had heard of POPURLS in passing I had not visited it until today. I was pleasantly surprised.

This site is a sort of a aggregator for sites that are updated frequently or have RSS feeds associated with them, or some other kind of community contribution on a regular basis. POPURLS summarizes this data into a “all-in-a-view” style. I don’t think that it is everything that comes out of these sites but it is a nice summary. The site has a very nice single page design and you can swap the default white on black to black on white. You can also make the text larger for those of you who are blind. The other cool option is that you can expand the headings to include more feeds or data. Lastly you can hover over a title of an article you get a summary of the article, click on it and a new tab opens with the full text from the site, cool.

POPURLS covers a huge range of sites: digg.com, del.icio.us, furl.net, flickr, reddit.com, tailrank.com, fark.com, youtube.com, news.google.com, news.yahoo.com, newsvine.com, video.google.com, shoutwire.com, slashdot.org, wired.com, odeo.com, nowpuplic.com, metafilter.com.

You will notice that not all the “feeds” are text based. There are video feeds as well and that’s something that average newsreaders don’t do. I think that is a nice addition, so is the fact that there are Flickr photo’s as well. I am not sure what the relationship between POPURLS and the contributing sites is but it makes you wonder how others might get on the list. Just something to think about.

That aside I think this is a great idea and one that finally puts RSS feeds into the hands of “regular” users. While it does not unleash the true power of RSS and aggregation it is a taste and might spark some interest for some people, it also connects you with the information that may enable you to better utilize RSS fully. In addition to these points, even if you were a super geek; it is just a fun site and a great way to have a quick catch up with what is going on in cyberspace and beyond, a cool distraction from whatever it is you are meant to be doing. Have a look you will end up staying a while.

My Work Is Now Protected

I have been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since I posted that great picture of the frog. I was concerned about the fact that my work had no copyright protection.

Today I fixed that problem. I have obtained and placed on the blog page the details of the Creative Commons Licence for Rooster’s Rail. The license covers the whole blog, so I feel a little better now that the content on this blog has some form of protection.

Mind you having said that I am not with my head in the sand. This does not stop people from stealing content or images from the blog. But what it does do is give me some recourse if someone does.

Additionally on this topic Lorelle on WordPress wrote an excellent blog that talks about what to do if someone does steal your content. This is a fairly large topic but it is well covered and give a step by step guide and how-to. She also has links to other copyright articles that I highly recommend. A long read but a good read.

To sum up my license: anyone can copy, distribute and display my content as long as they acknowledge the author (Me!). The work may not be used for commercial purposes, that is to make money from it. Lastly, the work may not be altered in any way from how it was originally published.

You will now see at the bottom of the side bar the following information:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivs 2.1 Australia License. Rooster’s Rail 2006 David Gray

Creative Commons - Get your own licence here

Click on the image to get your own license and protect your content and your ideas!