Revisiting iPhoto

For all of my heavy duty photography needs I use Apple’s Aperture. I don’t necessarily use it to adjust photos, I use it as a giant digital shoebox. I made the switch earlier this year when my photo count went up over 30,000 digital pictures … iPhoto just seemed to slow to a crawl. I’ve been happy, but have missed the ease and simplicity of iPhoto.

Then about a month or so ago I started to tinker with my pictures, looking to get more out of them. Honestly inspired by some of the things I was seeing Brad Kozlek doing on the post-production side has gotten me really interested in trying (and I stress trying) to make my pictures a bit more visually interesting. With this in mind I have been tweaking things in Aperture and then working to achieve some Lomo like effects using Photoshop. Its been fun and I’ve learned a little bit about the tools.

effectsLast weekend I was in Chautauqua, NY and found myself without Photoshop or Aperture and only had iPhoto. I took a little down time to experiment with a couple of my shots and really was impressed with what could be done without even touching a slider and instead just layering the built in effects. I had no idea I could apply multiple levels of the effects to make pictures more interesting … I sort of figured all I could do was change a picture to black and white and move on. Not that the simple effects will do it for seasoned professionals, but I think they do a fair job for the newbies out there.

I thought I’d share this given how simple it is and that iPhoto is a very nice free alternative to much more expensive (and complex) tools available for the Mac. Below you can take a look at the iPhoto version with the simple settings in the screen cap above. Granted I don’t like it as much as the fake lomo version I did in Photoshop, but with some practice I am guessing I could get close right out of iPhoto … Also, I bet if I went back through my 10 year digital photo collection and actually paid attention to what I kept I could still be living in iPhoto. I doubt I’ll go back, but I also know I won’t need to install Aperture on my new laptop … iPhoto should be a solid mobile solution.

Not Bad for Free

Not Bad for Free

About Open

Lots of chatter across the edu-blogger web the last week or so about the notion of open — what does it mean, why bother to discuss it, and why should we care. The idea that we (as Institutions) would take the time to debate the value or the process by which we arrive at the notion of openness is complex to say the least. If we value the ideals of the Land Grant Institution (or education in general), then why argue when we can just be open? These are questions we deal with when we talk about the notion of open and they are difficult at best to answer. Tonight I think I found an example that may make sense of some of the conversation.

Most of you already realize Google is hosting images from the Life archive. They are brilliant and it speaks to the amazing power of not only Google, but the Internet in general. I spent only a few minutes today using the special, “source:life” search addition and the results were at once moving and inspirational. The power to see and access such historically significant works of art is nothing short of stunning. I was, for some reason, compelled to look at old Life photos of JFK … I think it is because I watched an excellent, American Experience episode on PBS last night about the his assassination. The image that struck me can be found here.

Did you look at the link? Did you notice something about the way that I referneced that beautiful and powerful image? I linked to it. I didn’t embed it. I linked to it. Maybe I am missing something with the Google/Time archive, but I didn’t see anything that asked me to use that photo in my context. I like that the images are accessible but to me, this is an example of what closed now means.

Now, when I do the same thing at Flickr in relation to Barack Obama’s campaign photos something very different emerges. You’ll notice something significant — You can see the image below in my context. Powerful imagery with unreal historical significance, within my space telling my story. Where do you see it? Right here from Barack Obama’s Flickr page, shared via a Creative Commons license. That to me is openness. Any thoughts?