08.11.2011

Seychelles: wonderful beaches

This year I had the chance to travel to the Seychelles Islands and get a bag full of pictures of the really wonderful beaches there. Have a look. More will be coming soon.

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

Seychelles - Copyright Kristian Peetz / www.latin-point.com 

All pictures available at print size and for commercial uses through my Stock Agency Alamy:

Stock photography by Kristian+Peetz at Alamy

Google+ Pages - Introduction


Yesterday Google+ rolled out the brand new Google+ Pages. This new feature allows G+ members to create a new "profile page", but there are some slight differences:

- Pages can´t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned
- Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people
- The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public
- Pages have the +Button
- Pages can´t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web
- Pages can´t play games
- Pages don´t have the option to share to 'Extended circles'
- Pages don´t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar
- Pages can´t hangout on mobile device
- Local Pages have special fields that help people find the business' physical location

Pages are extremly easy to build up and most of the Big Business (Pepsi, H&M, The Muppet Show, ABC News, etc.) have already done so. Seems like they were just waiting for it :-)

So, what are Pages then? Well, in my opinion, they are focused business profiles. The advantage for them are obvious:

1) For the Big Businesses (Industry, Media, Services, etc.) the Pages are a no-brain. No better way to get in touch with the G+ users. They can extend their network and interact with customers easily. Actually very similar to the Facebook Fan-Pages...
2) For Little Businesses (Individuals, Small Services, Individual Sellers, etc.) Pages offer the chance to build up a reputation, create a network and do Marketing at little cost. Communication with customers will be easy.
3) For One Time Shots (Campaigns, Happenings, Parties, Events, Social Moves, etc.) Pages are great: easy and fast to build up, easy and fast to delete. If the Manager has built up a big community (Circle) it will be possible to reach many people with just a click.
4) For Photographers (individual ones) Pages offer a interesting opportunity on G+: many (actually the most I´ve ever seen on a Social Platform) are very active on G+ and have build up extremely big Circles. This Circles are almost to 100% full of fellow Photographers or People who like images. But... are this Circles the right target for a Photographer making business? I guess NOT. Photographers make their business selling Rights, selling the Use of an Image. Will this fellow photographers in their Circles buy these? Probably not...



So, for interacting and communicationg about the Photography Topic this Circles they have build up since the beginning of G+ (which is only some months old) are really great and cool. No better place to talk about it and get useful information. But sales are not going to happen within them.

Pages now offer the (professional) Photographers the chance to create a new Profile focusing on Business. This does not mean that they will have to share their posts twice (Private Profile and Business Page), it means they will have the possibility of focusing their Posts to the right target audience, which in this case would be Editorials, Designers, Stock Images Agencies and so on. The one who will probably PAY for the images.

Pages are still only some hours old, so there is much to explore right now. But it could actually become the next Big Thing on G+ for business oriented Photographers.


For the time beeing this one is my Page:




The Page is not ready now, but you gotta begin somehow!
If you´re interested in Photography, specially Stock Photography... add me :-)

04.11.2011

Find my pictures online - Chrome Extension

So, Google has realeased some months ago the possibility of tracking pictures online in their serach engine. You would just drag and drop a picture into the search box and it would show you the results.
Allthough a cool way to find uses of your images online, I found it a bit tedious having to have two separate windows open in order to drag the images from the one (original) to the other one (search window)...
Chrome Extension: search by Image for Google
Now, if your are using Chrome as your internet browser you can just add this tiny Extension from the Chrome Web Store and just right click on the picture and it will automate the search. NO more dragging... just clicking!

I have Tineye installed, too. So this one is just another alternative for tracking your images online. Funny: searching for one image with both searching tools gives you different results... so, it´s not a bad idea to try them both.

I think both tools are great for photographers, specially stock photographers, to track their images online and check the uses. You never know.... as you can see in my Blog Post before.

The Chrome Extension can be found here.

Cocktail: Pisco Sour - Recipe

If you ever have been to Peru then you will hopefully have tasted the cocktail called Pisco Sour! It is actually very easy to prepare and tastes extremly good :-)

Here is how you prepare it:

you need to have

* 8 parts of Pisco
* 4 parts of lime juice
* 3 parts of syrup
* 1 egg white
* 1 dash Bitter
* ice

Put the Pisco, the lime juice, the syrup and the egg white into the blender. Put ice into it, too. Bleeeend, bleeeend till it gets creamy. Then strain it into a glass and garnish it with some drops of bitter on the top.

Enjoy! :-)

Here is a good video shoing a bit more of background info about Pisco:

03.11.2011

Your picture on a block of wood

This one is a great idea for putting your picture on something else than paper oder your monitor. It´s actually very easy to do and the result is very handy. Will try it myself in the next days!



Best things in life are simple :-)

Visualization of the Credit Crisis

Allthough it has nothing to do (at least not directly) with photography, I found this video visualizing the Credit Crisis in very simple infographics. Worth a look!



May you live in interesting times...

02.11.2011

To Watermark or not... continued

Some time ago I wrote my opinion about watermarking or not your pictures when putting them online (see my blog). This has been a very discussed topic in almost any of the online platforms I visit, where people put pictures online. And, as always... there are diverging opinions.
Allthough he wrote it some time ago, I found today a very interesting post from photographer Jim Goldstein in his blog about it. Give it a read... it´s good!

here

*UPDATE*

Just to give you an example of what can happen to a picture if you just let it loose:

Click on the image to make it large
I took this picture long ago with my first digital cam, Canon G2, back in 2005. I was at the beach and thought "Hey, just write down miss you on the sand!" and took a picture.

At that time I was not really aware of the dynamic ways a picture can go through the web, so I posted it without a watermark. So, what happened during this short time lapse (after some months I began to watermark every single file) where it could be copied without having probs? You guess it... it was copied! Allthough it was strictly stated that this is my intelectual property, my copyright and "thou shall not copy" yaddayadda... some people came by, took it and posted it on their stream as if it was THEIRS.
You know, if somebody likes a picture and he/she asks politely I would really think about letting him/her use it. But blatantly stealing it and marking it as their own (which means: not marking it as mine) is what is really annoying.
So, what to do? As almost all of them (at least at Flickr) are kiddies, I wont do nothing and get over it. But there are some pro accounts there where I suppose some smart dudes behind. This one will get a shotdown notice from Flickr/Yahoo. And if I get to know that they made money with it... they wil get a bill. As simple as that.

I'm watch: the next cool thingie?

I have to admit that I am always checking new devices and stuff. This one came to my eyes today and seems pretty handsome. As far as I understand it, it just connects your mobile to a pretty designed (hey, it´s italian!) watch. So, instead of always havong to pull out your cell to check what's up this watch informs you on its display. Seems quite cool :-)

Watch the preview:


And here is the homepage where you can find it: http://live.imwatch.it/

I wonder if it will become popular :-)

*UPDATE*
I found another Youtube-Video showing the watch itself:

Lightroom: Automating things

This is a very good Adobe Video about Automating Processes and avoiding double tasks while using Lightroom. If you work with Lightroom this one is for you :-)



There are a lot more of Video-Tutorials on Adobes Pages, check them out!
Enjoy!

Lightroom: controlled editing of the Histogram

Adobe Lightroom is an extremly powerfull tool when it comes to quickly editing/managing your pictures. Allthough his big brother Photoshop has much more editing possibilities, sometimes you just need some quick editing and retouches which can be done in Lightroom very easy and fast. No need to open Photoshop and creating layers and so on.
One thing I discovered while working with Lightroom is the possibility of editing the Histogram of the picture right out of the Histogram itself! If you don´t know what the Histogram is... well, in a few words it´s the graphical overview of the tonal distribution of the image. Actually, it´s a very important tool for checking if your image has its range of colour/light optimally set. If you don´t know about it and you want to get your images to an upper level of quality you should get in touch with this topic.
So, back to Lightroom: when you open your picture in the Develop Module you will find the Histogram on the upper right side:

Lightroom Histogram
Normally you would now begin to move the sliders Exposure, Recovery, Fill Lights and Blacks in order to rearrange the tonal distribution of your image and check the Histogram to see what happens.

Well, there is another way. Actually it´s the other way around:

instead of moving the sliders and checking the Histogram you can rearrange the Histogram out of the Histogram itself! Just move your mouse over the Histogram and you will see that depending on which part of the Histogram you are on (which cassually are exactly the four regions Exposure, Recovery, Fill Lights and Blacks) you´ll be able to edit the region by just pressing your mouse-button and sliding to left or right:

This is a good tip for quickly rearranging your tonal distribution and optimize it. Of course you can still do it with the sliders underneath but this method is more intuitive. Have fun!



01.11.2011

Google+ introduces "Ripples"

Few days ago the team of Google+ introduced a new feature called RIPPLES. So, what are ripples? Well, it´s a graphical overview of the spreading directions and ways that the posts on Google+ do follow. You can check the way your post is following while beeing reshared all over the network. The GUI is easy to understand and you can gather important information out of it, specially when tracking the way and multiplicators your post goes through while hopefully getting many readers. Check it out here:



Cool, isn´t it? :-)

Newspapers of the world

Ever wondered what the newspapers of Madagascar or Uzbekistan have to say? Well, here´s an easy way to check it out... and even understand it in your own language :-)

newspapers of the world
http://newspapermap.com

Very handy!

Inspiring Photo-Albums on Google+

As you may have noticed my blog hasn't been updated for a long time... the reason is actually very simple: since the launch of Google+ (of which I got to be one of the first generation users during the Beta-Phase) I´ve spent much of my online time on that network. It has became a great source of inspiration and information, specially for photographers! If you´re not already into Google+ and you´re a photographer: you should! I´ve never experienced a more genuine and pleasant place for sharing and contribuiting about photography before. If you want a starting point for getting contacts, just add me and you´ll find many, many great togs in my profile.

My Photo-Album at Google+ 
But now to the point of this post: if you´re looking for some great photography-albums whit truly inspiring and amazing photography, take a look at this site!

More info about Google+ here.


Google-Maps: Helicopter View enabled!

I am a huge fan of Google-Maps! It makes life much more easier when dealing with adresses, locations and even for just surfing through the surface of our wonderful planet. Gotta try it... just turn it on and walk through the world :-)
Now Google-Maps has enabled the "Helicopter View" on it. Using it you can track the tour as if you would be flying with an helicopter along it. Really cool :-)

Watch it here:



More info here!

Have fun driving around the world... without having to drive :-)

Amazing: be in the middle of the movie!

There has been a lot of development in the 3D-Area of cinematography. Google was one of the first to implement it into their Google-Maps, Streetview-Option. When using it you can scroll around and get a 360° view of the area you´re in. Looks great, but it´s still kind of clumsy and will surely get better in the next years. So, what they did was to stitch different still pictures, taken from different angles to give the viewer a sense of 360° feeling.
Today while scrolling through Google+ posts I found this amazing development of this idea... but it goes further: it does not only stitch still images... nope... it stitches VIDEO in an amazing way! You can watch the video and turn around while the movie is running. Kind of beeing in the middle of the happening.

Watch it here: http://www.yellowbirdsdonthavewingsbuttheyflytomakeyouexperiencea3dreality.com/showreels/

I believe this technique will take us into another big step of videography! Next time you watch a movie... you could be in the middle of the action... watch out for the zombies! :-)

 *UPDATE* Talking about 360° views, here´s a pretty toy for making it with still images:
 

More info here! Quite nice :-)

Lightroom: did you know about the ALT-key trick?

One of the most challenging tasks while working with digital photography is applying the sharpness. Because of the nature of the digital sensors and the procedure used most of the pictures need to be sharpen afterwards. While there is option of USM or Smart Sharpen in Photoshop, you can also use the sharpen tool in Lightroom. One thing I did not know was the possibility of using the ALT-key while applying the sharpness. It gives you a very good control of the areas of the picture which will be altered and those which will not be touched by the sharpness tool. Try it out!

This is the place where I found it: http://mansurovs.com/how-to-properly-sharpen-images-in-lightroom

Great tip!