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Category Archives: Photographs
The DC Public Library is using Flickr to run an interesting photography contest. Photographers choose any of the historic photographs from the DCPL Flickr Commons collection, take a new photograph of the same location, and upload it to the DC Then and Now group which the library set up for the contest. Participants can just upload the new picture and add a link to the old, stitch the old and new together, or remix the images in any way they want, encouraging creativity.
The new images must be given a Creative Commons license, which means that the library (or anyone else) will be able to use them within the generous conditions of the license. (There are four versions of the Creative Commons license on Flickr — all require attribution to the photographer, and differ in whether they restrict commercial use and allow for derivative works.)
Participants differ in how they interpret the idea of then-and-now pictures. Some entries are a totally different view of the building or object shown in the original picture, while others try to capture exactly the same view as the original.
My favorite photographs here are the ones by Flickr user tvol,Timothy Vollmer. In addition to adding his matching images to the group, he also adds a three-part image showing his process, and explains his process:
“These three-photo sets show the process I used in taking photographs for the DCPL Labs DC Then & Now group. The top photo is the original from the DCPL Commons set, which I loaded onto my iPhone so I’d know which perspective to shoot. The middle photo is the location of the original represented through Google Street View (also from iPhone). The final photo is the updated photograph I took, captured with a Nikon d90. “
Any library could do a contest like this with their historical images, whether those images are on Flickr, your website or an online digital archive. Using a Flickr group to collect the entries makes it easy for both the participants and the library, and it means that all images will be public and free for others to enjoy. Participants would only need to sign up for a free Flickr account to participate, and any Flickr user can start a group. This is a great way to engage the community in your local history collection!
Teacher Karen Bosch has an interesting post about how her students made their own National Park Trading Cards using the online Trading Card Maker. Looks like a nice project, a good way to teach the kids to gather and organize information into a concise, defined structure. The trading card format makes it easy to use them as flash cards to study and use to test each other, and they could also look good pinned up on a map or bulletin board.
This trading card toy could also work well for library projects. Students, staff or volunteers could make trading cards with photographs of various landmarks and historic places in the community. They could go out and take photographs of each site, or they could search online on Flickr and other sites for photographs. (Be sure to respect the photographers’ copyright and only use photographs with an appropriate license.) These trading cards could be printed out, or used on websites. The trading card at the left is an example of a card using a photograph of a historic house.
[See the Full Size Trading Card | See the Photograph on Flickr]
The New York Public Library has joined the The Commons, the special Flickr program for libraries and museums, who share their collections on Flickr and encourage members of the community to add comments and tags to help describe the images. The New York sets shared here include photographs of dance legend Ruth St. Denis, production photographs from early cinema, travel photographs from Egypt, Syria, Japan and other places, Civil War photographs, a large selection of Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York photographs from the 1930s, and more.
Animoto is a service that makes it simple to turn a group of photographs into a music video. You can upload your pictures from your computer or pull them in from another photo site like Flickr, choose some music from Animoto’s collection or upload your own, and then let Animoto create your video. It takes about ten minutes for your video to be ready, and if you don’t like the results, you can run it through again and get a remix. It’s free to make 30 second videos, and you can make longer ones for $3.00 each or $30.00 a year.
Animoto just added a new feature which will be great for libraries — the ability to superimpose text across your pictures. This makes it easy to take a group of pictures from the Children’s Room and have words like “Come to story hour” and “Get help with homework” float across the screen. It’s really easy to use, and the video you make can be uploaded to YouTube or posted to your blog or website.
Here’s a quick example, just a remix of one of my first test videos I made several months ago, remixed with a few words added. It’s really easy to make these, and just another way to show off your library pictures!
And you also might want to use this as a library program. Kids and teens (or anyone, actually) will also enjoy playing around with this their own photographs with Animoto.
Two collections are of particular interest for local interest to NOBLE libraries. The Tichnor Brothers postcards of New England includes over 1,800 Massachusetts images, including many from our area. These postcards are a good source of images of parks, bridges, statues, libraries, churches and other local landmarks.
The Leon Abdalian collection includes historic sites photographed in 1930 during the Massachusetts Tercentenary celebration, when the Boston Daily Record hired Abdalian as the “Photographer of Historic Shrines,” and it includes some sites in our area, like the Balch House in Beverly.