If you’re a professional photographer wanting more than you can find on the standard photo-sharing sites, PhotoSwarm is aimed at you. It’s also a neat way for amateurs to share their photos, with albums and full-screen displays to bring out the best in photos. The entry-level membership is free for up to 300 photos so it’s a site that could be used by anyone.
The other advantages of PhotoSwarm over sites like Flickr are that it will let you have a domain name with a www.yourname.com style so that it looks as if you have a professionally created website of your own. This domain name also lets you have a matching email address, so it would be impressive if you want to work as a professional photographer for clients, or if you want to sell your photos.
Once you register with PhotoSwarm you get your own pages and can customise them to create your own website. Upload photos and share them on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Building your own website on PhotoSwarm is simple and is done by following clear step-by-step instructions. The website has been created by photographers and website designers and provides the type of clean, simple and effective design artists and photographers prefer.
CutMyPic came to my attention just as I needed a quick way to cut a portrait from a photo for a poster I was designing. It’s a site I’ll be using many times as it’s such a handy way of working with photos and also enhancing them and saving them to use with another application, or to email to friends. The designers jokingly say it could be used to ‘cut out that guy who shouldn’t have been in the picture’, and in fact it really is a convenient way to take out anything you don’t want from the background or to focus in on a particular subject. This is just as useful for personal albums as it is for work, education and sharing photos. For social networks and other places where you need to post a profile it helps by letting you cut out a good head and shoulders shot.
The programmers are in Japan and the site can be read in English or Japanese. It’s a simple site with no adverts, just a step-by-step method of working with your photos. No membership is required and the site is used as a tool where you upload a photo, use the cursor to drag a frame around the part you want to cut and keep, choose a photo shape (square/rectangular, round, or with rounded edges), plus it has a quick method of adding or removing drop shadow. Drop shadow adds realistic shadow around your image. The photo can then be saved on your computer or emailed via CutMyPic. Photos in jpg, jpeg, png and gif image files can be handled by CutMyPic, but not others. Highly recommended for those who don’t have great photoshopping skills but need to do the basics easily.
Nuzart is a visually attractive website, full of art in various forms created by artists and easy to find for buyers. Artists, including those using various media and photography, are invited to set up a gallery to display their work. Menu options take them through the steps to upload images, set a price, promote and sell. Buyers can search through these galleries to choose a piece of art, select the printing materials and size, and then buy. For those who create artwork on computer it’s also possible to upload the image, select the printing material and size, and purchase a copy.
Purchasers are helped in their selection by choosing the colour they like to predominate, as well as the type of subject, genre, technique, and the shape of the artwork. This will be a particularly useful service for businesses looking to brighten up their offices, restaurants or other premises with art. It will also help headhunters looking for artists and provides a good way for artists to be spotted and hired. As a service to let computer artists produce printed copies of their work it could also prove popular.
The one suggestion I would make is that this is a professional site, beautifully produced visually, and yet the text isn’t quite in perfect English. It’s almost fluent, but for a site of this quality buyers and artists alike will want to see no errors in order to trust the service, so a proofreader is needed to polish it.
All the funny, startling or intriguing images you find online can be posted on ImageRaters for others to enjoy and vote on. Members add photos which go onto a ‘Queue’ page where they remain unless they get at least two votes, then they move to the main pages. Voting is by a thumbs up or down, the negative responses taking points away. The highest rated photos go into a top 10 and there’s a definite satisfaction in getting positive feedback from other members.
Photos need to be added by giving a link to a website, and ImageRaters helps users by telling them clearly how to right click on images they want to post in order to find the URL. Members could also post their own photos (recommended sites are given where photos can be uploaded) and photoshopped images are invited along with unaltered ones. A snappy caption to attract attention helps appeal to voters, and it’s almost impossible to look at some of the comical images without voting for them. Comments lead to discussion between members, and it’s possible to post links to websites for more information on the images. No doubt this will appeal to those who work with art and photography and want to provide links to their own websites.