Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thursday's Thoughts: Cool New Photo Panorama Software, and Yet Another Way to Explore Flickr

It's Thursday: time to think about the photos you'll be shooting this weekend. Me, I think I'll go wide.

Picture a panorama. I've always loved panoramic photography, and I might just have a new favorite program for doing quick, simple stitches. It's called DoubleTake, it costs $12US, and it just reached version 1.5.

And it couldn't be easier to use. Drag some photos into DoubleTake's window, and the program lines them up and blends the seams between them. Some controls enable you to adjust the blends between shots to get better results and apply some lens-distortion effects. Save the result and bring it back into iPhoto to apply a dramatic Ken Burns effect—or order a print.

It couldn't be easier, and its results are great—in the quick tests I've done so far, as good as those produced by Photoshop Elements.

If you aren't experimenting with panoramas, you're missing out on one of the most fun aspects of digital imaging. Download the trial version DoubleTake and start thinking wide.

Another way to explore Flickr. Back in February, I wrote about Flickr Graph, a Flash-based tool that lets you explore the connections between members of the Flickr photo sharing service.

I recently learned of a new Flickr tool, one that lets you explore the connections between Flickr tags—those text keywords that you can assign to images when you upload them to Flickr.

The tool is called Flickr Related Tag Browser, and it's a blast to use. Type a tag (I recommend "poodle," but that's just me) and press Return, then start exploring.

Don't expect to get any work done for a while.

Think wide in print. Did I mention the new edition of my book includes a new section on panoramic photography? Complete with instructions on how to order panoramic prints through iPhoto and print a panoramic photo across a two-page spread in an iPhoto book? Yes, it's all there, in 354 full-color pages and a two-hour, 43-minute instructional DVD. The book is done—I got a 45-pound box of author's copies on Tuesday—and is winding its way into the distribution channels now. Order your copy from Amazon before they realize they're selling it $23.09—34 percent off.