Tag Archives: photo

100 ways to use a VLE -#50 Showing a photo album

A photo album is merely a collection of photographs (or images). They may be connected they may not. A series of photographs is a useful way of displaying how to undertake a particular activity or as a way of showing instructions.

For example showing learners the techniques for a recipe can be enhanced with a series of photographs that shows the different stages within the process.

The learner can then click an image to see an enlarged version.

This example made use of the Lightbox Gallery plugin.

By placing a photo album on the VLE it makes it very easy for the learners to find and see them, but also unlike an online photo service such as (the free version of) Flickr won’t have restrictions on the number of albums (sets) you can have and therefore could potentially confuse the learners about which images they should be looking at.

Having said that if you have a Pro Flickr account or are using another service such as Picasa then embedding a collection of images into the VLE can be done easily using the provided embed codes that these services provide. This is a set of images I have on Flickr that makes use of the iPhone Paper Camera App.

The disadvantage is that, of course clicking the images takes the learner away from the VLE, but they could probably find their way back.

PhotoForge – iPhone App of the Week

PhotoForge – iPhone App of the Week

This is a regular feature of the blog looking at the various iPhone Apps available. Some of the apps will be useful for those involved in learning technologies, others will be useful in improving the way in which you work, whilst a few will be just plain fun! Some will be free, others will cost a little and one or two will be what some will think is quite expensive. Though called iPhone App of the Week, most of these apps will also work on the iPod touch.

This week’s App is PhotoForge.

PhotoForge is a highly optimized editing and painting application designed for the iPhone and iPod touch. It can be used for image manipulation, retouching, effects, and color correction, as well as a painter’s tool. It is indispensable for creating original artwork, or editing photos on your mobile device.

PhotoForge is a superb photographer’s tool, providing digital darkroom capabilities that are second to none. It is also a tool for creating incredible works of art and illustrations. PhotoForge allows you to put together an image, combining filters, brushes, and effects. They may be hand-painted, or a composite of photographic images mixed with painting. The filters and effects can be layered to produce even more dynamic results.


There are numerous art and photographic Apps in the iTunes Store, and I have bought a fair few of them. I like to edit photographs and though I will more often then not use my Mac, when I am out in the field, to be able to edit photographs taken with the iPhone ON the iPhone then these Apps make life really easy.

PhotoForge is one of the more complicated and advanced photo manipulation Apps on the iTunes Store, with lots of features and functionality. Sometimes you want a simple App and sometimes you want something with a bit more oomph.

Take this photograph that I took in Bristol recently. It has to be said that the camera on the iPhone (even on the iPhone 3GS) is not the best cameraphone I have used, the Nokia N95 took nice photographs, whilst the Google Nexus One takes really nice photographs. Anyhow so I took this image with the iPhone and as you can see the result was not brilliant, the sun was shining into the camera by the looks of it.

So using Photoforge, doing some cropping, changing levels and adding a few FX I got to this.

Now this is something I could use to illustrate a blog article or discussion forum on the VLE. It is the ability to create content, edit photographs on the iPhone that make the iPhone such an interesting and useful device for learning. It becomes more than just a phone, it becomes a tool that enables learning to happen, as well as lots of other things too.

There are numerous adjustments, tools and filters in the App. The main constraint will be how you can use the tools expertly enough with just your finger.

I am awaiting to see how I can use similar Apps on the iPad, though of course you will need to use the iPad Camera Connection Kit to get your photographs onto the iPad, though this does mean you can use a DSLR or other digital camera instead of the iPhone camera!

There are simpler Apps in the App Store and there are free Apps that do one thing (such as the B&W filter), however I do like PhotoForge, it is a powerful image editing tool and or what it can do on such a small device as the iPhone, it is well worth the £1.79 that it costs.

Three Billion Photographs

Would you believe that three billion photographs have been uploaded to Flickr? And not all by me!

Three Billion Photographs


Then you hear that Facebook has had ten billion photographs uploaded.

For me this shows the huge potential of these online sites for finding out about places and stuff.

Look at the search results for Gloucester for example. Want to find out what a place looks like? Need to know about a piece of technology? With three billion photographs you will probably find it. As photographs are tagged, it is possible to find images very quickly as unlike putting photographs into a single category, tagging allows it to be placed in multiple categories. These images have been tagged with Gloucester.

Flickr also has the potential to be faster than news sites for images.

I saw pictures of a gas explosion in Bath on Flickr, before the news had even made the BBC. The pier fire in Weston-super-Mare was also captured on Flickr.

Also what is nice with Flickr is that a lot of people (including me) licence our photographs under Creative Commons which means that you and your learners can use them (legally) in presentations and teaching and learning. Now unlike Google Image Search which (though indexes Flickr) most of the images found there, are either copyrighted or too small. A lot of images on Flickr are at full resolution, which work well not just in PowerPoint but also for printing.

Another feature of Flickr is the community and social networking side. You can comment on people’s photographs and in some cases add notes.

If you haven’t checked Flickr out, have a look.

Embedded Flickr Slideshow

From Twitter, via AJ Cann’s Blog it is now possible to embed a Flickr slideshow into a webpage or a blog entry.

Alas you can not use it on a WordPress.com blog (like this is) as WordPress.com strip out something from the HTML code. Ah well.

Simply start the slideshow of your choice on Flickr, click share, and copy the relevant HTML into your webpage or blog entry, vle or similar.

You can customise the HTML so it fits the space you want better.

So you want to know about Flickr…

I have been meaning to write a blog post on Flickr for some time now.

So you want to know about Flickr...

Well now I don’t need to as TASI have done an excellent guide on Flickr.

This document looks at the ways you can use Flickr and some of its associated tools and services to help organise a collection of images.

Whether you have a small number of photographs you would like to share privately with a few colleagues, or a larger collection you need to make more widely available, Flickr offers a possible alternative to setting up an in-house image database.

I found it very interesting and learnt a lot from it. One interesting fact was the way in which other institutions and museums are now using Flickr to host digital collections.

You can view my Flickr images here.

Photoshop Express

Adobe have released an online photo editing app which they have called Photoshop Express.

You shot it — now do something to it. Make it pop. Make it impossible to ignore. Upload, sort, polish, and store up to 2GB of photos. All for free. Resize, tint, distort, and more — add your mark to all your images. Then show them off on Adobe® Photoshop® Express or your Facebook page.

A bit of a warning, this is not an online version of Photoshop. This is an online photo editing application which Adobe have called Photoshop Express.

It reminds me a lot of iPhoto and many Mac users will find it pretty simple and easy to use and very familiar, but obviously Photoshop Express also works on Windows PCs.

Unlike (the real) Photoshop which has a pretty steep learning curve this has a pretty simple interface which works quite well.

Photoshop Express

Certainly worth a look as both an online photo editor but also as an online photo storage tool.

PhotoStory 3 for Windows

At a recent MoLeNET podasting event, my colleague John Whalley spoke about PhotoStory 3 for Windows.

Create slideshows using your digital photos. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures. Add stunning special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions. Small file sizes make it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail. Watch them on your TV, a computer, or a Windows Mobile–based portable device.

You can download the software from Microsoft (follow the link above).

A quick demo of how it works.

Windows Media Version

iPod Version 

Photo Sharing Guide

If you have read this blog before you will have noticed that I have embedded my Flickr photostream into the blog (look further down the page). You may have even visited my Flickr account and looked at my photographs.


However not everyone knows what an online photo sharing service is and therefore visiting Flickr for the first time may appear daunting.

TASI (Technical Advisory Service for Images) who are funded by the JISC have posted a guide which highlights the advantages and potential issues that using these sites have for educational institutions.

Photo sharing has become increasingly popular in recent years as a means for individuals to publish or distribute their digital images online. As a result, some of the photo sharing sites that host these images have become useful sources of free or low-cost images. Many of these sites also include enough features to be seen as practical tools for managing and organising your own collection of images. This paper looks at the most common features offered by a number of photo sharing sites, highlights the pros and cons of using such sites, and offers some practical tips for both finding images and organising your own images.

Thanks to eNews from the JISC Regional Support Centres in Scotland for the link.