Sharing photos by sending them as e-mail attachments is so 2003. Nowadays, the place to store and share digital photos is on the Web. Here are some ways to share, tag, and otherwise explore a world of photos in your Web browser.
Upgrade Your Flickr Experience With Free Tools
These tools and tips take the popular Flickr photo-sharing site to a new level.
Spell it out: One of the most entertaining Flickr mashups is Spell With Flickr, which scours Flickr for pictures that show letters of the alphabet and uses them to spell out the message of your choice. After the site renders your ransom-note-style collage, you can change individual letters to taste by clicking on the individual letter you wish to change (see the screen above right). When you’re happy with the result, copy and paste the resulting HTML into a blog, a page on your site, or elsewhere.
You’re it: At moments when I need to unwind, I browse Flickr for interesting photos. Tagnautica offers a new way to explore what’s on the site. Type a tag name, and at once a ring of popular, related tags will surround the term. Click a tag in the ring, and it will move to the center, its own related tags encircling it. At any time, you can click the middle tag to go to a Flickr page displaying all photos tagged with that term.
Everyday people, everywhere: Flickr and other photo sharing sites cover the world, but Flickr-Vision introduces you to the people who live in those places through either a 2D map or a 3D globe. As you watch, freshly uploaded photos pop onto the map in balloons, indicating their point of origin. If you see something you’d like to take a closer look at, hover your mouse over it and a larger view will pop up in the center of the window. There’s something mesmerizing about watching snapshot slices of life from people in just about every nook and cranny of the planet appear in near real time.
Tag the Photo Locale
Geotagging brings a new dimension to your photo collection by adding latitude and longitude or other location-based data to your images. Many photo-sharing sites support geotags, which allow friends and family to go on walking tours of your last vacation, for example. You don’t have to use a GPS receiver to add position data to your photos; Flickr, Fotki.com, Zooomr.com, and other photo sites let you pinpoint the location for your images by clicking the appropriate spot on Google Maps.
Another option for geotagging your photos is jpgEarth.com, whose ambitious goal is “collecting a picture for every point on earth.” Simply select your position on a map of the earth, enter a description of the image, and upload the photo. There’s no way to log in or create a user account, so you won’t get any credit for the shots you submit. The site also lets you view and click pushpins for each point on the earth that already has a submitted photo.
Sell Your Photos Online
There’s something alluring about the idea of being a professional photographer, and the Web is making it easier to break into the business. In the old days, photographers had to negotiate with stock-photo agencies and send negatives through the mail. But now you can just upload your digital files to online agencies, some of which are friendly toward casual photographers looking to make a few pennies from their hobby.
IStockphoto.com offers royalty rates of 20 percent for most photos. You can set a price for your pictures, from a buck to $40. Sign up, upload your photos, and wait for the money to roll in. Not just any photos will do, however; you must upload some example shots for the site’s approval first.
Another site that requires you to upload test photos for approval is Shutterstock, see the screen shot at left). Once you’re in, you receive 25 cents per sale. That doesn’t sound like much–and it’s not–but Shutterstock boasts that if you score 2000 downloads in a month, you rake in $500. Most of us Ansel Adams wannabes will see only a fraction of that amount, but the key is to keep your portfolio fresh by uploading new stuff (and to take great shots, of course).
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