Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Flickr's Dirty Little Secret

The secret is...you suck at taking photos.

And flickr knows it. That's why when you upload a photo to flickr it undergoes a cosmetic lift via a sharpening filter (and perhaps a saturation filter as well). See below.


This is a capture of the exact same photo. On the top is a thumbnail of my photo rendered on Zoto (3.0 beta) . It's blurry and the detail is lost. On the bottom is the same photo thumbnail rendered on Flickr. Notice how sharp the detail and color appear. Unlike Flickr, Zoto is rendering an 'accurate' thumbnail of my photo.

The result? On Flickr I am fabulous, wonderful taker of photos. On Zoto, I am just a loser who can't get a photo in focus.

Does this subtle cosmetic lift, on a subliminal level, factor into a user's decision making process when it comes to choosing a photo hosting service? The advantage to the mainstream user is obvious, but if I was a pro photographer, wouldn't I resent someone taking liberty with my photos? We've had a bit of a debate on this issue in our office (at Zoto). I'm for passing a filter on photos to make them look better. I think it improves the user's experience. On some level, even if they aren't aware of it, they are enjoying their photos more because of this little white lie. Some of our "purists" in the office disagree. In the end the best solution may be to make this an option in the upload settings that users can control for themselves. And user control is what it's all about, right?

New word: flickrality
Definition: The version of reality where you rock at taking photos.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Patterny Goodness


So, having survived hectic holidays, a breakup, a move to a new house, and the Ice Storm of 2007, I think it's time for a bit of blogging.

Today's menu? Patterny goodness. To be served with a piping hot, fresh side of links (hyper, that is).

I find patterns very inspiring. Here are some of my favorite resources.

Pattern Books:

Vintage Fabric from the States
Put this one on my wish list, please.

You Work For Them - Patterns
Peruse their entire pattern section. Where else can you pick up book of camo patterns that's been secretly haunting your dreams? That camo book comes with it's own CD-Rom, by the way.

Celtic Design
All the celtic motifs and designs your little heart could ever want. Cd-Rom included.


Print Pattern
Self described "designer and trend forecaster with a passion for pattern in all its forms." A Yummy, yummy pattern blog.

Naked & Angry
Submit pattern designs to be scored and manufactured into "blow-your-mind" products. When you get done with that wander over to the blog. If you have a hole burning through your pocket stick around and buy some wallpaper.

Misc Resources:

Create perfect photoshop pixel patterns
I don't care what anyone says, tiled web patterns are HOT.

Free patterns
Nice little collection of free web patterns you can use on your own site.

Online electronic swatchbook
Facinating. Samples of fashionable fabric designs from the 1830's to the 1920's. You can zoom in very close. (Nice use of the zoomr app with flash)

Symmetry and Pattern
Sound smart the next time someone asks. Applies to more than just oriental carpets, too.


Symbolism in Asian Motifs and Patterns
Ever wondered what the recurring patterns in Asian textiles and dishware mean?

Africa's Painted Patterns
A little insight into those bold geometric patterns.

Traditional Patterns In Korea
Finally, someone explains what's up with all of those dragon patterns.


Dan Funderburgh
I'm losing my mind because these pattern designs are that cool.

Josef Frank - Textiles
These are amazing textiles. I'm personally in love with "Loops".

Funkis - Fabrics
Lots of fun and funky patterns.

Flickr photo - Thursday love
Love this little photo and all the great notes describing the origins and history of these fun patterns. Why don't more people do this? Start taking pictures of your patterns. It looks like fun. Do it. Do it now.

Flickr photoset - Patterns
Luv it.

Whew. That's more than enough patterny goodness for one day.