Photos are best presented with captions or cutlines. The caption adds context to photographs and provides readers such information as the identity of the people in it, where it was taken and any other data not obvious in the photograph.
I used to publish photos with captions by creating an HTML table to contain the image and caption and then floating this within the text by giving the table a left or right alignment. Not only is the process cumbersome but many experts in web design advice against using tables for anything but tabular data.
There is a simpler way to do it.
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Adobe Lightroom, the software “built from the ground up by photographers, for photographers,” now has a Windows version of its beta. I tried it and I was blown away with the way it allows you to edit your photographs.
The Windows version is labeled Beta 3 but Adobe’s announcement says the program is slightly behind the Mac version.
Lightroom, according to Adobe, “is an efficient, powerful way to import, select, develop and showcase large volumes of digital images. It allows you to spend less time sorting and organizing images, so you have more time to actually shoot and perfect them.” Here’s a comprehensive post on the capabilities of Lightroom.
To run Lightroom in Windows, you need to have Windows XP with Service Pack 2, a Pentium 4 processor with at least 768MB of RAM (albeit they recommend 1GB), 1 GB of hard disk space and 1024 x 768 resolution screen. I tested Lightroom with less than the required RAM and it was slow. Even then, I was still blown away.
Flickr competitor Zooomr was set to launch version 2.0 of its service last week and it created such a loud buzz with its free pro account offer for bloggers. That launch has been delayed by a denial of service attack.
Zooomr said in its blog that the attack has been dealt with and they’re just fine-tuning the system to make sure such an attack will not happen again. Zooomr also says that when the new version finally launches, users will “see a huge speed increase along with the new design and new features.”
You might say it is still premature to describe Zooomr as a Flickr “competitor” because of the disparity in their user base but I really like what Zooomr is offering, especially with its free accounts. Both sites offer unlimited storage but Flickr restricts the display of your photos to the last 200 images. Zooomr also offers a bigger upload quota for free accounts at 50MB monthly, more than double Flickr’s 20MB quota for free accounts.
Flickr competitor Zooomr is offering a free professional account for bloggers. All you have to do is open an account with their site, upload a photo to your account, use it in your blog post and then notify them.
Zooomr is an interesting Flickr alternative. I’ve just registered for it and after going through its features, it looks to me to be a better photo host for bloggers. Its free beta account gives you unlimited storage and a 50MB monthly uploading limit. Flickr, on the other hand, limits its free accounts to 20MB of monthly uploads and its photo streams to 200 images.
Zooomr also resizes photos and gives you the links to the different image sizes. Zooomr’s pro account, which gives you a 2GB monthly upload limit, is $5 cheaper than Flickr’s at $20. TechCrunch describes Zooomr as “Flickr on steroids” in a blog article last March.
If you want to get a free pro account, here’s the instruction from the Zooomr blog:
“All we ask is that you host at least one of your images from Zooomr at your blog. This is easy. Sign up for an account. Upload an image. And then simply cut and paste the html code with the magnifying glass above your image and you’re all set. Once you’ve blogged one of your images paste the url into the comment section of this post and we’ll upgrade you to Pro.”
Yesterday I did two things I’ve never done for a long time: play around with a WordPress plugin and prepare pork kilawin. I’ve long wanted to incorporate Lightbox in the WordPress theme I’m making and in a project I’m setting up. I decided to use the WP Lightbox 2 plug-in instead of the original package as the plugin incorporates a quicktag in the post editing field.
Lightbox allows you to load linked images without having to open a new page. It works really great with Flickr because the photo-sharing service automatically generates different sizes of your photographs.
Update: I had to disable, however, the fancy tooltip package I’m using (Sweet Titles by Dustin Diaz) in order for the captions to appear under the photos. The WP Lightbox 2 plugin author had said this was fixed but the caption still wouldn’t appear if you’re using Sweet Titles. For Lightbox to work, the entire page must finish loading. So if you click on photo and you are sent to another page, that means the plugin isn’t working because the entire blog page hasn’t finished loading.
Check my photo series when I prepared kilawin yesterday. Kilawin, my favorite pulutan (I’ve given up drinking but not eating pulutan), is typically prepared with roasted goat meat but I prefer roasted pork. Just click on the photos below:
Sinulog is Cebu City’s biggest street party and gathering. People take over Cebu City streets in the annual street parade, held every third Sunday of January. Although there were fewer contingents last Sunday, the crowd that watched the parade appeared to be bigger.
Here are some photos Marlen and I took of the celebration honoring Cebu’s patron saint, the Holy Infant.
BEST FLOAT. This contraption by the Cebu Contractors’ Association was picked as the best float.
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I found this interesting link, via del.icio.us, to a photoset in Flickr purported to be reproductions of a Central Intelligence Agency booklet distributed as part of a campaign to destabilize the Nicaraguan government and economic system.
I don’t know if the booklet is authentic or one of those hoaxes that get passed around but it makes for an interesting read. Among the items in the booklet, which was said to have been printed in Spanish and English, are: Obstruct roads with trees, rocks or ditches; threaten the boss by phone, phone in false fire alarms and bomb threats; put nails under car tires or on roads, cut the cables of telephones and alarm systems.
Here’s a reproduction of one of the pages:
Why limit yourself to a badge to display your latest photos in Flickr when you can integrate the photos into an image gallery in your blog? If you use WordPress, you can use the FAlbum plugin to do this. Download the plugin from the Random Byte site and upload the files into your WordPress plugins directory.
Follow the instructions listed here, log into your WordPress site using the level-10 account (admin, if you haven’t changed it) and then activate the plugin. An FAlbum options tab will appear in your plugins page where you can specify the options.
What’s good about the plugin is that it caches data so that your gallery will still be available even if Flickr is down. If you want to check the plugin’s capabilities, visit my site’s photo gallery by clicking on the Photos link in the header.