Posts Tagged ‘PicApp’

Picapp Pictures of King Chulalongkorn

October 14, 2009

I was happily surprised that Picapp has some good pictures of Thailand’s King Chulalongkorn – Rama V. Here is a selection:

[picapp src=”6/3/6/e/Rama_V_Of_e9da.jpg?adImageId=5489098&imageId=5879493″ width=”234″ height=”310″ /]

circa 1890: Rama V (1853 – 1910), King of Siam from 1868. Known as Chulalongkorn, he abolished slavery and feudal claims, reformed secular society and government on European models, introduced telegraph and railways.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

[picapp src=”7/4/0/f/The_Male_Line_f8c3.jpg?adImageId=5489596&imageId=3695878″ width=”234″ height=”107″ /]

King Chulalongkorn of Siam (1859 – 1910) , with eleven of his sons. He is said to have had seventy children and eighty wives in all. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Thai Supermodel

October 14, 2009

I did find one Thai supermodel on Picapp. Her name is Matinee Kingpayom. Thai parents sometimes give their children strange (to us) sounding names.

Here’s Picapp’s full-size photo of Matinee – 398 x 594.

[picapp src=”4/b/b/b/MTV_Asia_Awards_09e9.jpg?adImageId=5443913&imageId=1853966″ width=”398″ height=”594″ /]

and a resize to 150 px wide to eliminate the filmstrip.

[picapp src=”4/b/b/b/MTV_Asia_Awards_09e9.jpg?adImageId=5443913&imageId=1853966″ width=”150″ height=”223″ /]

On my screen the colour looks bad for this picture. It has a grey cast. How does it look to you?

Picapp Picture Sizes

October 14, 2009

A kind commenter alerted me to the possibility of eliminating the distracting filmstrip at the bottom of pictures from Picapp by resizing the picture.

Note: I don’t object to the filmstrip as such. Picapp deserves to make money from their integration with WordPress and the benefits it gives me. I believe they need to come up with a way to link to their site without obscuring the bottom of the picture I am posting. I’ll happily “give” them more vertical space if they want to put the filmstrip below the picture.

I thought I’d use some appealing photos for the test so I searched Picapp for “Thai fashion model”. Thailand has a big modeling industry and many of the models are gorgeous.

Sadly Picapp only returns twelve pictures and several of them are nothing to do with Thailand.

I thought this picture was the nicest:

NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 9: Model Thais Oliveira reads The Daily backstage at the Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2006 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week at Bryant Park September 9, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

But she’s not Thai!

Size 396 x 594

[picapp src=”9/b/d/5/Tommy_Hilfiger_2006_ea48.jpg?adImageId=5443929&imageId=6353556″ width=”396″ height=”594″ /]

380 x 570

[picapp src=”9/b/d/5/Tommy_Hilfiger_2006_ea48.jpg?adImageId=5443929&imageId=6353556″ width=”380″ height=”570″ /]

234 x 351

[picapp src=”9/b/d/5/Tommy_Hilfiger_2006_ea48.jpg?adImageId=5443929&imageId=6353556″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]

All three of the offered sizes show the filmstrip at the bottom. Fortunately it isn’t distracting in this picture. There must be a minimum width below which Picapp does not show the filmstrip.

I tried my own resize by editing the Picapp tag manually. I used to be a programmer – I know how to do this!

152 x 228

[picapp src=”9/b/d/5/Tommy_Hilfiger_2006_ea48.jpg?adImageId=5443929&imageId=6353556″ width=”152″ height=”228″ /]

150 x 225

[picapp src=”9/b/d/5/Tommy_Hilfiger_2006_ea48.jpg?adImageId=5443929&imageId=6353556″ width=”150″ height=”225″ /]

It looks like if the width is less than or equal to 150 then Picapp will show the less distracting button.

I don’t see this as a proper solution. I like bigger pictures, but it is good to know where a small picture will work.

Auto Rickshaws?

October 10, 2009

[picapp src=”0297/b794171c-2005-4bc6-9572-7e8cfec320fd.jpg?adImageId=4928823&imageId=300850″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

This picture from Picapp has the title “Auto Rickshaws” and is tagged:

day, outdoors, horizontal, Western Script, travel, commuter, in a row, capital cities, text, medium group of objects, transportation, No People, mode of transport, taxi, bangkok, Thailand, Jinrikisha, Thai Culture

But it does not include the term that’s normally used in Thailand for this type of vehicle: tuk-tuk. In fact the “creative” section of Picapp has nothing keyworded “tuk-tuk” or “tuk tuk”.

I think “Jinrikisha” is a term used in Hong Kong, not Thailand.

The Picapp keywording model differs significantly from mine. Picapp includes keywords about general content, orientation and composition with less emphasis on the “what, who and where” that I use for my Lightroom keywording model. That’s a good lesson if I ever decide to submit my photos to a stock agency again. Editors want to find a photo that fits a space.

I did learn something during my search for tuk-tuks on Picapp. In the “editorial” section it shows some pictures from 2006. A company called Tuctuc Limited introduced an Indian tuk-tuk variant in Brighton, England.

[picapp src=”2/d/e/e/Indian_TukTuks_Arrive_8b17.jpg?adImageId=4930734&imageId=2987362″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

Rating Blog Posts

October 9, 2009

Every picture on Picapp has a small control at the bottom of its screen that lets the view assign a star rating – 1 to 5 stars.

Picapp Rating

Picapp Rating

It’s a good idea and I want to have something similar on this blog. Actually – there’s a problem but I’ll talk about that later.

I clicked on the question mark and found out that the rating service is provided by a third party – Outbrain.com.

Picapp Uses Outbrain

Picapp Uses Outbrain

Oh no, it’s a platform!

It looked like I could sign up with them and add a similar control to all my blog posts. Then readers can tell me what they think of the post with minimal effort.

BUT I found that …

NOTE: The widget is only available for the installed version, and not for blogs hosted on WordPress.com (yet). If your blog is on WordPress.com, you can help us get approved there by giving your voice.

I went to the link indicated and found out that people have been asking Outbrain to support WordPress hosted blogs for over a year and nothing’s happened.

I added my request to the long list and soon got a reply from an Outbrain employee:

Yaron Galai, (Official Rep), commented 8 hours ago
Hey bangkok photographer – thanks for your comment! I agree with you that this situation is borderline ridiculous. The guys at WP are indeed very nice and we’re very friendly with them, but for some reason it is nearly impossible to get approved by them as a widget for WordPress.com hosted blogs.Our performance is outstanding and we have rarely had any complaints from our tens of thousands of bloggers, so any technical reason would be nothing more than an excuse. I am as mystified as you are by the reason for Outbrain not being approved for WP hosted blogs.

A direct nudge with them would be greatly appreciated. I will try to find out what’s the best way to do that.

Thanks again for your comment here!

My guess is that WordPress are reluctant to support them because they have a plan to do it themselves. But it has been over a year and there’s been no progress.

The Problem With Star Ratings

The problem is that people don’t agree what they mean. In my use of Lightroom I have a policy that pictures get three stars by default.

Five stars are for the best photos I have ever taken.

Four stars are for better than average pictures that I would want to show to others or post on Flickr. I have made Lightroom Smart Collections of family photos, for example, that are four or five star rated.

Two stars are below average but contain something interesting or useful. A one star image is a candidate for deletion unless it contains something unique like the Loch Ness Monster.

I rate every picture and strive for a normal distribution of star ratings with three stars as the mean.

But there are no standards. In Chris Orwig’s Lightroom training he implies that he does not rate all his pictures and only gives them a single star if they are better than average.

So a Chris Orwig one-star might be equivalent to a Bangkok Photographer’s four-star.

Neither of us are right or wrong – it’s our private convention.

So Chris might decline to rate the majority of Picapp pictures he uses and give a star to the ones he likes. Whereas I probably would not use a picture that I think is lower than my three-star rating.

Michael Willems describes his Lightroom rating process here. It has some similarities to mine but he starts at 2-stars.

How hard is it to photograph a wedding?

October 8, 2009

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | How hard is it to photograph a wedding?.

I read the BBC web site for the news and the UK sport. They do not have many photography articles but this one is the magazine is very good. The readers’ comments were the best bit – the full range from “I could have done it better myself if I wasn’t the groom” to “the standards are dropping since everybody who has a DSLR think’s he is a pro”.

I have only photographed a few Western weddings for friends and both with a film camera. My friends were very polite about my work but I don’t think I did anything special.

The Thai people tend to be more informal – at least the families who don’t aspire to a Western style wedding with all the trimmings. They are much easier on the photographer and as long as you have lots of informal shots and jokes I have found they are happy.

I like that about Thailand – people tend to be (choosing my words carefully here) – less pretentious about occasions like weddings.

I just read about a site called PicApp that lets me embed stock images in my posts for no charge. PicApp makes money when you click on the image and look at more pictures.

This is an experiment. Let me know what you think of PicApp.

[picapp src=”5/0/3/6/Chris_Carmack_and_1b80.jpg?adImageId=4647553&imageId=6675672″ width=”380″ height=”570″ /]

Picapp Annoyances

October 8, 2009

I searched Picapp for a picture of a Canon camera for a blog entry I was writing.

This is all I got under the “creative” category:

[picapp src=”0138/fe5a612e-1118-44af-80c1-ed7cde04b280.jpg?adImageId=4764774&imageId=141711″ width=”500″ height=”276″ /]

That’s a cannon – not a Canon!

Searching “editorial” got me lots of pictures of Maria Carey. I don’t know why.

There were also pictures of the Calder Cannons Australian Football team.

[picapp src=”2/f/8/f/TAC_Cup_Final_1e30.jpg?adImageId=4765234&imageId=6616144″ width=”500″ height=”380″ /]

Searching for “Canon camera” wasn’t much better. At least Daveigh Chase has a Canon camera round her neck. (Not that you can tell, but the caption says so.)

[picapp src=”0/b/c/7/Daveigh_Chase_HBOs_b08f.jpg?adImageId=4765354&imageId=6089211″ width=”500″ height=”750″ /]

There was nothing under “creative” for “Canon camera”.

It all goes to prove my point – keywords are pretty useless for searching. Partly because people can’t spell, and partly (my pet peeve) because they are typeless.

My second beef is that the “related pictures” strip under the picture when Picapp displays the picture on the blog often obscures part of the picture. Can’t it appear below the picture?

Picapp

October 7, 2009

I like to add pictures to my blog posts. Many times I’m discussing a picture I have taken so it is easy to link to a picture I have uploaded to Flickr. But sometimes I want to write about something else. For example, I have written about the Amazon Kindle. For example here.

I don’t have a Kindle so for this post I “borrowed” an image from the web. I justify it legally as “fair use” under US Copyright Law.

But now I have another option – using stock photographs from the Picapp service. WordPress has made it easy to link to any of their images with a snippet of code I paste into my message.

Their marketing message is

Jazz up your blog, at no cost, with millions of premium, relevant, fresh and legal images to choose from.

(That’s a great example of a message designed by a committee.)

For example, I searched Picapp for pictures of Bangkok. I got two pages of good quality but rather boring pictures. (They look similar to the ones I saw when I searched Shutterstock some time ago.) I guess good quality but boring / uncontroversial is also “marketable” in the stock photography world.

Picapp Bangkok Search Creative

Picapp Bangkok Search Creative

I picked one of a long-tail boat on a khlong (canal) and got a larger picture plus the code snippet to place in the blog.

Picapp Bangkok Picture

Here is the result:

[picapp src=”0283/a9beda97-7591-4777-a040-27344401ef2c.jpg?adImageId=4711731&imageId=286716″ width=”472″ height=”480″ /]

Readers can click on the picture to go to the Picapp web site to see other pictures. Somehow Picapp or the photographer makes money this way. (I don’t get it).

Picapp has “creative” and “editorial” pictures. When I searched for Bangkok using the editorial option I got over 7,000 pictures to choose from. The first page was pictures of a professional tennis tournament.

Picapp Search Editorial

When I narrowed the creative search to “news” I got 2,277 pictures to choose from. Prominent amongst them were pictures from the “Miss Tiffany” katoey (trans-sexual) beauty pagent. For example:

[picapp src=”7/3/b/d/Miss_Tiffany_Transexual_1ed5.jpg?adImageId=4713982&imageId=4802949″ width=”396″ height=”594″ /]

I love the tear!

All the editorial pictures I have seen come from either Corbis or Getty Images.

I am going to use Picapp a lot unless readers tell me that it is irritating. Please don’t hesitate to comment!

Jazz up your blog, at no cost, with
millions of premium, relevant, fresh
and legal images to choose from.