Friday, September 21, 2007

Thing 7: Technology is our future

Everyone a Professional
Wow, I've seen some amazing "amateur" photos on Flickr, Kodak EasyShare, Shutterfly, Picasa, and Smugmug! It used to be that only professional photographers with really good cameras and expensive attachments could take great pictures. And those of us who appreciated them had to pay a lot to own a copy. Now the regular person can take artsy, dramatic, beautiful, or memorable pictures and share them with the world. Not only is it making our world smaller by bringing us closer together, albeit not physically, but we can learn so much by exploring the unfamiliar scenes now available at the click of a finger.

I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I've been involved with computers, both hardware and software, for over 20 years and I've seen a lot of technology come and go. It's great when it works, providing accessibility, reliability, and productivity, When it doesn't work, there's frustration, but some comfort in realizing that it can usually be made to work, if you only have patience, are systematic, and have a toolbox of tricks or resources to help you figure out the problem.

I don't attempt to keep up with all the new innovations; if only I had more time to explore more of what's out there. But I'm intrigued by all of it, amazed at the knowledge of fellow users, the fearlessness of younger generations, and loving the capabilities (for free!) offered on the Internet. I've read some futuristic writings, but I think we can't even begin to envision what we'll be able to do next year or 5 years from now. The possibilities are endless and it's going to be a great ride!

Orchid trading card

My creation
My creation,
originally uploaded by netzahual.
I created this trading cards using Trading Card Maker, one of fd's Flickr Toys. Easy as anything to do, although once you've saved you can't go back and edit. A key to the icons would have been helpful for the uninitiated among us; I was loathe to use any of them for fear I would send the wrong message.

During the process I learned how to add to my blog from Flickr. There's so much interconnectivity, not only between me and the site I'm in, and between me and other users of that site, but also between web sites.

I'm not quite sure what I would use trading cards for, but it's one of those things that, now I know it exists, I might think of an occasion where it would be fun to make them. I also created a librarian trading card.

Thing 6: Flickr mashups

It was fun playing with some of mashups and web apps, although I couldn't get to Mappr at all and Montager took a very long time to load images. I tried Color Pickr in hopes that I could find a new picture for my blog that would combine the right shades of green and lilac and, although interesting, many of the photos that came up were chunks of sky or indistinguishable objects. With Retrievr it's just not possible to create a detailed picture with thick lines and a small drawing space. When I drew a cat's head I got photos of eyes and all sorts of things that sometimes weren't even close to the shape or color I used.

On the other hand, Flickr Slide Show Generator seems like a cool tool. I was unsuccessful at putting a slide show in my blog, but I plan to try again another day. FlickrFly is great and has good documentation. I placed my photos on a Google map of Mt. Rainier within Flickr. Now I'd like to experiment with being able to "fly" to a map from the photo on my blog.