This Photoshop Expert Hilariously Skewers our Social Media Madness

Plenty has been written about the slippery slope side of Photoshop — how its use in fashion and advertising promotes unrealistic body images, how it messes with truth curves along with tonal curves. We’ve even contributed a few lines to the canon. But Photoshop (Wizard? Troll? Gadfly? Artist?) James Fridman has done us all one better with his ongoing social media series, run from his site, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Followers send in pictures with requests for Photoshop enhancements, and Fridman responds in careful-what-you-wish-for fairy tale fashion: granting the wish, but with unexpected – and usually hilarious – results. But as lowbrow as the humor can get (‘make my boobs really big’, for instance, yields something with steel cables and a construction crane, you get the picture), Fridman’s work has the hold-up-a-mirror-to-society edge of legit satire. The underlying theme: this currency of digital imagery we all trade in now has created some serious narcissism, and it needs some gentle mocking to keep it in perspective. Emphasis on gentle, though: Fridman’s series implicitly undermines the dishonesty of Photoshopped images, but it’s never mean, and includes the occasional dose of almost parental reality checking. A woman who asks that her Vitiligo… Continue reading This Photoshop Expert Hilariously Skewers our Social Media Madness

How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

I post a lot of pictures to Facebook because it’s the quickest way to share with my friends and family. But now that I am getting older, I’m realizing a few things. First, Facebook changes things up all the time, and I’m starting to get a sinking feeling that I have no idea what that means for the future of all the photos I’ve entrusted them. And second, now that I’m a new father I’m realizing just how important those photos are to me. I want access to them on my own devices so I can tell my personal story to friends, family and baby boy as he grows up. So I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t trust Facebook to preserve these memories for me — I need to back them up for myself. And I bet I’m not the only person who wants to backup Facebook photos. In the past, I’d grab photos from Facebook by browsing through my albums, then downloading each one individually. But those days are over. A cross-platform app called Mylio can import and backup Facebook photos, maintaining the same album structure and tagging, and do it all in minutes. And best of all, Mylio is FREE! What is Mylio? Mylio… Continue reading How to Download and Backup Facebook Photos

Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

How many digital photos will be taken in 2017?  It’s predicted there will be 7.5 billion people in the world in 2017, and about 5 billion of them will have a mobile phone. Let’s say roughly 80% of those phones have a built-in camera: around 4 billion people. And let’s say they take 10 photos per day – that’s 3,650 photos per year, per person. That adds up to more than 14 trillion photos annually (14,600,000,000,000). Much more conservatively, if only one billion people have cameras or phones, and take less than 3 photos per day/1,000 pictures per year, that’s still 1 trillion photos captured every year. How many digital photos will be taken in 2017: InfoTrends’ most recent worldwide image capture forecast takes this conservative route, estimating consumers will take 1.1 trillion photos worldwide in 2016. This number will grow to 1.2 trillion photos in 2017. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 to 2017 will be 9%. These hard-to-wrap-your-head-around numbers are illustrated below, with the ever-upwards trend for more picture capture and storage projected, of course, to continue, with digits we wish could be narrated by Carl Sagan or Dr. Evil. Now what? (Have you reached too… Continue reading Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

24 Juicy Mobile Photo Apps You May Never Have Heard Of (Part 2)

Ready for more smart phone photo app deliciousness? We know you are, so let’s get right to it. (And if you haven’t checked out Part 1 of this series with apps 1-12, you can see it here). 13. Snapseed Platform: iOS, Android Price: Free What it is: Snapseed by Google simply is a robust, professional photo editor with features like a healing tool, brushes, filters, frames, HDR effects, structural and perspective edits, vignette, lens blur, “glamour glow,” and focus enhancement. What’s cool about Snapseed is it opens both JPG and RAW files for editing. 14. Photo Editor by Aviary  Platform: iOS, Android Price: Free, with in-app purchases What it offers, what’s special: This app allows you to enhance and stylize your smartphone photos using filters, stickers, overlays, vignettes, a sharpening tool, a focus tool, a blemish removal tool and a teeth whitening tool, as well as apply editing tools like crop, rotate, straighten, contrast, brightness, and shadows. Aviary tells us that some of these effects are even “made by artists around the world.” The app also lets you draw your own photo captions and doodles. One differentiator here: you can sync your photos to Adobe Creative Cloud (requires Adobe ID) to access filters and tool packs… Continue reading 24 Juicy Mobile Photo Apps You May Never Have Heard Of (Part 2)

Q&A with Ana V. Ramirez, Winner of the 2016 Mylio Grant

Our relationship with The Luminous Endowment for Photographers is one of the ways in which Mylio works to support the preservation of digital memories. The $2,500 grant is awarded twice annually to artists dedicated to preserving images and memories important to a life, or to telling the true stories of that life in pictures. “Mylio is proud to support developing photographers preserving important memories.” David Vaskevitch, Founder and CEO of Mylio Today, we’re excited to announce and congratulate our most recent grant winner, Ana V. Ramirez. Her body of work, pictured below, is entitled The Things We Leave Behind, a series of still-life photographs of items left to Ana by her mother when she died. I spoke with Ana about her work and her process. Click to enlarge. What can you tell us about yourself? I can’t put myself in one category… I am a photographer, artist, and writer, but not always in that order. I’ve  been an entrepreneur since I was a kid — I see the business possibilities in what I love to do. I’m also a dogaholic, specifically for  the Siberian Huskies I’ve had in my life. What does a typical working day look like for you? I have a lot of projects going at the same time. Besides being an photographer and… Continue reading Q&A with Ana V. Ramirez, Winner of the 2016 Mylio Grant

Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

Announcing the 2017 World Digital Photo Forecast Remember the foggy past of 2015? That was the year it was projected we humans would take more than 1 trillion pictures globally, thanks mostly to mobile phone proliferation. Developing countries helped lead the way; according to the Pew Research Center, sub-Saharan African nations are among those bypassing land lines in favor of mobile technology, with all those new phones used first for texting, next for taking pictures or videos. A review of the data since showed the projection was pretty close* — almost exactly 1 trillion photos are thought to have been captured in 2015. That was then. And today? Today it’s predicted there will be 7.5 billion people in the world in 2017, and about 5 billion of them will have a mobile phone. Let’s say roughly 80% of those phones have a built-in camera: around 4 billion people. And let’s say they take 10 photos per day – that’s 3,650 photos per year, per person. That adds up to more than 14 trillion photos annually (14,600,000,000,000). Much more conservatively, if only one billion people have cameras or phones, and take less than 3 photos per day/1,000 pictures per year, that’s… Continue reading Here’s How Many Digital Photos Will Be Taken in 2017

Instagram’s newest iOS update is not as great as it seems. (In fact, it’s an avocado.)

Do you regularly check all your apps, ensuring they’re all up-to-date? Are  you, maybe, borderline obsessive about it (like me)? If so, you may have noticed Monday that Instagram made an update. And not just any update, but an update wrapped in super cool paper made to look like it had the best present ever inside — only it turned out to be an avocado. Not that I don’t like avocados; it’s just I’d rather not receive one as a gift (or in this case a seemingly awesome app update). The latest update, in theory, resolved a long existing issue between iOS users and Instagram: sharing directly to the application. This wasn’t possible even in the camera roll; you had to go to Instagram directly, then continuously scroll through said roll until you found your desired image. The new update solves this clunkiness — again, in theory. But not really. I’m sorry to break your socially-savvy heart, but it’s not a fun fix. Sure, you can share your photos from camera roll to Instagram, but all you really get to do with this ‘sharing’ is add a measly caption. You can’t edit with filters, you can’t crop, you can’t even hashtag your photo! There’s so much more to a quality… Continue reading Instagram’s newest iOS update is not as great as it seems. (In fact, it’s an avocado.)

5 Ways to Reclaim Wasted Travel Time: Create Picture Perfect Images with Editing Tools

You know it, you dread it: the Travel Day. Even when everything goes according to schedule, it’s a day you pretty much write off as lost time. But since Mylio works offline, even the most jaded Road Warrior can be productive – even creative – during those idle hours. Here’s how. Previous: Life Calendar Next: Sync and Protect 4. Create Picture Perfect Images with Editing Tools You’ve chosen your hero shot, and now you want to make it just so. Mylio includes a suite of editing tools, including Black and White conversion, Red-Eye Removal, and Sharpening (premium versions include more tools, like brushes, a histogram, and a compare-before-and-after option). First, maximize your image by double clicking it. You can do some basic edits like cropping or rotating  by clicking the icons on the bottom bar, but to access the full set of tools, make sure the right panel is open to reveal the icons at the upper right hand corner. Clicking the pencil icon there will open the edit tools. In this example, we’ve converted the picture to black and white, and sharpened it up a bit. Edit and experiment as much as you want — with Mylio, nothing is lost. Not only are… Continue reading 5 Ways to Reclaim Wasted Travel Time: Create Picture Perfect Images with Editing Tools

Some Pictures are Anchors

Some pictures are anchors, linking people or places forever. My dad was one of twelve children. All twelve married, and had an average of three children each; this adds up to twenty-four aunts and uncles, and thirty-six cousins. This also adds up to rather crowded family reunions at my grandparents’ house —  lots of fun though, with a large pool of family to be really close with. So there are a lot of us. And for every one of us, the canonical family memory is held in one photograph, taken in 1981 at my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Today, it sits on my mantelpiece: More than thirty years have passed since I joined the others for this portrait, and as you might guess, the family tree has kept growing new branches and leaves. But it’s also grown apart. My grandfather died the year we took the picture, and without him the big family reunions slowly withered. So a new generation of more than seventy grand cousins have grown up with only the photo as constant reminder that we’re all part a something bigger. It’s like our flag. Or coat of arms. Last year a grand-niece I didn’t even know existed got tired of wondering who those distant loved ones… Continue reading Some Pictures are Anchors

One Trillion Photos in 2015

Editor’s note: This has turned out to be a really popular post — but it’s two years out of date! If you’ve arrived here looking for how many digital pictures we do (and will) take, projected through 2017, click here for our updated infographic and discussion.  How many photos will be taken in 2015? Answer: One Trillion Photos You read that headline correctly – across the globe, all of us will take just over one trillion photos in 2015. And before this year is over, we’ll have taken 810 billion photos – a mind-boggling number.* So how did we get to such huge numbers? In the early days of consumer photography, taking a picture was simple enough – but it was expensive. You had to pay for every roll of film you put in your camera, for processing that roll of film and for each and every print. So all of us picture takers were a bit more careful about pressing the shutter, because it cost us. Digital photography changed all that. Suddenly we could take endless images without added expense, and see the results easily and immediately. We all started taking more photos. A lot more photos. Today, of course, many of… Continue reading One Trillion Photos in 2015