Thursday, June 26, 2008

TinEye coolness- AGAIN!

Heather Williams over at Ide'e just sent me another cool demonstration of how TinEye not only locates an image across the internet but also variations (from mild to wild). I've posted the link below which will show you what I mean. Cool, very cool.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Got Airplanes?

Check out the images I captured yesterday of the RAF practicing their formation flight for the Queen's birthday celebration over at my Aviation Blog!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Humor from the War Zone

My darling wife sent me this in a card I received from her today. Apparently English translates just as horribly into Afghani as it does into Chinese, we saw loads of this type of thing on our two trips there.

Friday, June 06, 2008

TinEye: Coolest Thing on the Planet

Yes, that's how I really feel about TinEye. But what is it?

TinEye is a search engine. For images. Based on their unique pixel "fingerprint" and not metadata or watermarks or any of the usual means of tracking a photo. Oh, did I mention that it takes into account crops, changes in size, stuff like that? ARE YOU WHOOPING AND HOLLERING YET?!?!?!?!?!?

Well, maybe not at first. Lots of us are and let me give you a couple of reasons why.

Currently in the US there is something called the Orphan Works legislation (OWL) that, simply stated, will allow someone to use an image without the creator's permission if the creator can't be found by a "diligent search". What THAT is currently isn't clear. But TinEye's image identification technology could link up the prospective user and creator, allowing a legal and properly credited (better yet paid) useage of that image.

Another use would be that of a stock image company looking for images they represent being used after being obtained by a publication. A current use for TinEye's technology scans numerous publications and compares those images (some even placed into collages or greatly altered) to those listed in a database. Monthly reports can show you where your client's images are, allowing more efficient invoicing on their behalf.

Here's an image of a very famous A-1 Skyraider photographed by my father Frank O'Rear that was part of the first Air Force Medal of Honor mission flown in the Vietnam conflict. TinEye found it and with great joy, it is exactly where it is supposed to be and nowhere else.

Multiple upon multiple other uses but these are, for obvious reasons, the ones that excite me the most. There's even a cool Firefox plug-in that will let you right-click an image and search the TinEye database. For more information on TinEye jump on over to their website here. Watch the short video and prepare to go "cool".

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wedding Season is Upon Us

One of the most assured signs of spring is seeing a church or chapel filled to the brim with well-dressed folks on a Saturday: sure sign of a wedding! I was greatly blessed to be able to photograph a wedding recently in the coastal village of Burnham Deepdale here in the UK. Now being from the States we think we know what old is when we visit places like Colonial Williamsburg or Jamestown. But really, that's nothing.

St. Mary's church was built somewhere around 1066 some 400 years before "the colonies" were just that. Sporting a massive round tower it sits just off of the main coastal road in north Norfolk county. As usual, the bridal party was full of charming children and stunningly beautiful women. Handsomly-dressed men also abounded and the occasion was one filled with joy and gaeity. The Vicar was most helpful even to the point of showing me where the really good locations were and exactly when I should be there. What a joy.

I was simply overcome by the thought that for nearly a thousand years this very site has been the focus of song, prayer and tradition. To stand next to the organist as he played and hear, no, feel the hymns reverberate throughout the structure made one feel quite small. Small, but not insignificant. It was a great event and one location I would be quite happy to visit again.