Blurry Reflections – WP JSON API, Angular, & Images

I had a conversation with a professor from the School of Art yesterday that ended up someplace fun for me. The focus was on how technology might help art educators reflect on their work in a visual way. It took me a while to get that she really wanted something outside the norm but we got there eventually. One of the ideas that came up was taking the featured image from the last 30 posts and applying a blur to it (I had this DS106 assignment in mind). With bit of CSS and a new plugin (Better Rest API Featured Images Plugin1) I was able to repurpose the Angular template I used for counting links in about 5 minutes. I also made another version that tries to overlay all the images in one spot. Both need some tender loving CSS care and some additional focus to make sure they’re really capturing the right data but they’re examples that start to open the door to really different ways we can start to look at work in the digital realm. These abstractions can lead to reflection that wouldn’t necessarily be apparent from viewing the images in non-abstract form. You can see I tend towards black and white images. A number of my posts don’t seem to have featured images. (I’ll have to […]

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Map a Folder Full of Images to Google Spreadsheet

Imagine you have a large folder of images in Google Drive. I don’t have to imagine this as I do thanks to an IFTTT recipe.1 Google tends to be kind of stingy with the kinds of filtering/interactions you can have with files in their folders and we know that if you get stuff in Google Sheets then a world of other possibilities opens up. I’ve been thinking about what options there are with Google file storage because VCU is a GAFE school and we have unlimited Drive storage. That might open some media storage options with heavy load projects like our Field Botany site or our more recent work with the East End Cemetery. So . . . I wrote a quick script to take a large G Drive folder full of images and write the content to a spreadsheet while embedding an image preview. The script is below. I ended up revamping both enough that I felt it was worth reposting. For the record, the script ran through about 4,500 images but it may have timed out so keep that in mind if you’re dealing with lots of images. 1 I figure if I have enough backups to my online backups then I can pretend I’m safe.

VCU Photo Safari

10:00 -10:50 am | Tom Woodward will be your guide on this photo safari as we look at the world through different lenses. This shift in both perspective and attention has the potential to change how you think about many things. After a brief exploration of a few different types of photography, we’ll take our new considerations into the world we walk through every day. On our return we’ll share what we’ve captured and look at opportunities to extend these conversations beyond today’s excursion. I’ve been wanting to take a group of faculty out to take pictures since hearing about Abilene Christian doing it. Seems like it’s a good idea in a few ways. We look at our regular location in a new way. People get a chance to see how many interesting possibilities are right in front of us every day. In general the process opens up the chance to talk about lots of things that apply outside of photography – like the ability to tighten up action/feedback loops to make progress, framing things conceptually and then doing, trying to imitate styles, etc. etc. I made a quick website that morning to hold photos we took so we could have discussions around the photos after the fact. Participants could submit via the Jetpack post by email option or through […]

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Jetpack Tiled Gallery Example

I turned on the Tiled Galleries (directions on that link) in the WordPress Jetpack Plugin. This is an example of what it looks like. It’s easy to do and has some decent options. You do have to accept what you’re given but such is the price of convenience . . .

Life Photos on Google

I’m sure this one will get blogged to death but . . . it does fit in with my earlier post so I’ll add to the noise. Google is hosting 10 million or so photos from Life magazine in a very nice searchable way. They are really nice photos that’d work well in any number of subject areas. Oddly, I don’t see any stated copyright information (although the largest images are watermarked with LIFE in the lower left hand corner). via Lifehacker

Transparent History PNGs

I’ve taken a fair number of public domain photos and dropped the backgrounds so I could use them in various projects. I figured they might be of use to some other people out there. If you click through to the largest image size you’ll find they are decently done (not perfect by any means) but the smaller versions auto generated by Flickr look like COMPLETE garbage. I’m not sure why. But they are PNG files so you can clean them up some more pretty easily if you’d like. The flickr set is here. Most of the ones up there right now are history related and it’ll likely stay that way for the immediate future.

Bestiary Images & Copyright

I’m going to be doing a presentation before too long where I look at blogging and web 2.0 through the lens of a Medieval bestiary. I thought this was a solid concept in part because I figured none of the images would be under copyright since they’d have long since passed into public domain. What I found on a number of different sites did not reflect that. Many of the .edu sites that had quality bestiary images also had pretty restrictive copyright claims as well. This didn’t make sense to me and so I started digging around and found a number of well referenced claims that said, essentially, that scans of public domain works are not derivatives and so are not under separate copyright. The case repeatedly cited was Bridgeman v. Corel. I’m not a lawyer and am not giving you legal advice but you can read one lawyer’s take on all this at the Library Law Blog (Mary Minow, J.D., A.M.L.S.). She’s got a lot more nuance in her post so if you’re nervous I’d read it and make your own decision but I feel good about what I’m doing. I’m cleaning up the images and posting them to Flickr if you think they’d be of use to you. The majority are pngs with transparent backgrounds (some of which […]