When I think “photographer”, I picture some guy with a khaki, pocket-riddled vest, two or three camera bags slung around shoulders and back and a camera with a lens like an elephant trunk. It’s funny, because I’m a photographer and that certainly doesn’t describe me. I shoot with a Canon SD700, a simple but powerful point and shoot. I like it because its image stabilization technology lets me take pictures without a flash (so I get nice, warm colors) in low-light conditions (e.g., late-night events), but, more importantly, because it’s small enough to drop it in my pocket and forget about it. Anything bulkier would be too awkward to carry around and I’d use it less.
Another common image of the “photographer” is of a darkroom purist, carefully editing each picture to maximize its artistic and aesthetic qualities, the end result destined for black and white matting or a personally-hosted web album. Obvously, there are a lot of people like that (and, honestly, I share a hallway with many of them here on the PIX team), but again, that ain’t me.
I like to have FUN with photos. Sure, I crop them, remove the red-eye and tweak the colors, but I also muck with them. Sometimes I’ll throw a cartoon or neon filter over them to add a bit of drama or scrawl a word balloon or a mustache. When I share my photos, sure I put them on-line, but as often as not, when my friends actually see them, I’m sitting at the computer, narrating the stories, jumping around between pictures and providing color commentary (if you’ll excuse the pun).
That’s why I love services and apps like fd’s flickr toys. It lets you do fun things like make it look like your photo is a roadside billboard, add comic book style caption and put your face on the cover of a magazine. Zingfu is another one for making “your photoz dumber”. Here’s me on the side of a milk carton, courtesy of Zingfu.
So here’s my question to you all: what are other fun sites like these that I’d enjoy? Not just sites that let me add a template to my photo, but sites that let me play and build things with photos? Send in your suggestions through this blog’s comment feature, and I’ll post a follow-up with a round-up of the best (IMHO).
– Jordan Schwartz, Senior Program Manager