The Eye-Fi mobi card is the real deal

Back in 2006, I was an avid user of Flickr and was asked to help test a new camera card that was going to offer uploading via WiFi. At the time, this meant you could conceivably skip the step of connecting your camera/card to your computer via USB. It was a bit buggy, but eventually worked, but I didn’t find it super useful since you had to be near your home WiFi for it to work.

Since the iPhone came out in 2007, it’s become my primary camera due to ease of use, flexibility in apps, and ability to share photos easily from anywhere. All my other cameras became “dumb” cameras once that smart phone came out. I was curious if a Eye-Fi card could bridge the gap so a few years ago that I tried out the final production versions of Eye-Fi’s cards in point and shoot cameras. On home WiFi, with many camera models building in native support for Eye-Fi cards, the process was much smoother than that initial beta, though connecting away from your home WiFi to your phone was very buggy, clumsy, and was such a time-consuming and tedious process I rarely used the Eye-Fi cards with my phone and mostly gave up on the devices.

I was skeptical of the new Eye-Fi mobi cards recently released, but when I bought a new compact full-frame camera for an upcoming bike tour, I decided to try it out after hearing the smartphone integration was much better than previous models.

After having used a 32Gb mobi card for a couple weeks, I have to say I’m totally impressed and amazed. This is everything Eye-Fi was likely going for over the company’s history, but it never quite hit the mark until now. You start by installing a custom profile to your phone which stores the WiFi password on your card and auto-connects your phone to your camera whenever you power up your camera. You run a mobi app on your phone, and it quickly transfers images (even 26 megapixel RAW images) to your phone. From there, you can selectively choose which images to save to your phone’s native Camera Roll, then share them any way you see fit. The whole process is fast and automatic in a way none of their previous cards were, since you never need to touch your phone’s WiFi settings.

In essence, the card turns any dumb camera into an outboard lens for your phone. Last week on a trip to NYC I took my new compact camera with me and could easily upload photos to Instagram and Twitter within seconds of taking the photos. I mean that literally: I can take a photo with my camera, open up my phone, touch the mobi app icon and about ten seconds later I can be saving that image to my phone’s camera roll. I could also manipulate and tweak the images in a plethora of iPhone apps like VSCOcam, Photoshop Express, etc. directly on the phone before sharing it out to the world.

There’s also a web service to the mobi card, where all your originals will be uploaded to Eye-Fi (when your phone is on a full WiFi connection) with unlimited storage for $50/yr, which seems like a perfectly good deal.

I can’t get over how well the mobi card works. The connection between my phone and my camera is now almost instant, transfers are fast, and sharing is easy. The mobi line of cards are worth every penny and I’d strongly suggest anyone that misses walking around and shooting with a “real” camera to try them out.

Recent photos from rides

Ever since my favorite ride tracking site Strava added the ability to associate Instagram photos with rides, I’ve started taking a few shots on each ride to remember it. Here are some of my favorites over the past couple months




Giro di Portland

Every summer there are some crit races in downtown Portland and they are a blast. I missed last week’s Twilight Criterium but got to see last evening’s Giro di Portland. The racing was hot and fast, with some surprise results. The Cat 3 race was won by a 13 year old that won a race earlier that same day and won a race the day before. The final Mens 1/2 was won by a late breakaway from one of the oldest riders in the bunch. Overall, it was a great summer night of racing in downtown Portland.

Attacking

Racing over cobbles

Racing by

Racing by

Spectators on the cobbles

Women's race

Coasting over cobbles

Looking back

Women line up

13 year-old Cat 3 winner

Traffic control

Looking back

Full set of photos is on Flickr

Some Hot Air Balloon Photos from a local event

A few days ago, I saw a mention of a hot air balloon launch going on this weekend locally, both on Saturday and Sunday. When I woke up around 6am after just a few hours of sleep on Saturday the thought popped back in my head, I threw some warm clothes on, grabbed my camera, and headed out. I was greeted with dozens of balloons in various stages of setup and flight. Walking around near each hot air balloon’s base, I was pretty awestruck by the colorful beauty, the great early morning light, and the sheer size of them up close. The whole experience was overwhelming in a nice way and on the second morning I dragged Fiona along with me. Here are my favorite shots from the last two mornings:

Setting up

Filling up

Filling up

Setting up

Firing up

balloons

balloons

About to head up

Balloons

Ready for launch

Over the wheat/weed fields

The full set of shots is on flickr.

My favorite photo of the year

2010 Cross Nationals

This is from Dan Sharp, from last weekend’s race that I was also at, and it not only looks cool, those guys are going about 25mph on a somewhat cloudy day and I’m amazed that this photo could even be technically captured so well. So great.

My first art show: Songlines at PointB

My stuff at the show

Last year I visited my friend Becky’s gallery at Point B Studio while driving up the Southern Oregon coast. She mentioned the idea of including my stuff in an upcoming show and I filed it away under the “someday, yeah, that’d be cool” pile. Fast forward to earlier this year and Becky asked me to submit something to a show with several other artists. I kicked around ideas for the past few months until I came up with something I’m calling Twitart.

I went through my most favorited items at Tweeteorites and Favstar, picked ones I liked and then went through my 30,000 photo archive of stuff I’ve shot over the last seven years, looking for images to match. My favorite piece is this one:

Twitart: Superhero

It was fun to see other artists and talk with other photographers in the show. I particularly liked Christopher Garcia’s work that combined pixel art in digital prints with hand drawn elements and finished with screened inks. The pieces were really beautiful:

Cool digital/drawing/screenprints

If you’re headed up the Oregon Coast, stop by and check it out.

Art show logo/sign

“Request to License” via Getty Images is here! « Flickr Blog

There are billions of photos on Flickr, which is a whole lotta pretty to look at. But, if you’re a budding photographer, how do you get noticed? And, if you’re looking to use an image for your work, blog, ad campaign or more, how do you find just the right one and make sure you have the appropriate rights to use it?

via blog.flickr.net

This is fantastic news and could be a total game-changer. Flickr has already done many great things for budding photographers, but helping them get paid for their work steps it up to a whole new level.

Way back in 2000 when Blogger was first taking off and introducing thousands of new writers to the web we used to talk about a whole photo system pb came up with that would allow amateur photographers to display their photos and eventually become a sort of stock photo house and place to find newsworthy photos for syndicating, with all the money going back to the photographers. 

It seems like the idea took a full ten years to come to fruition, but I sincerely hope this is the start of something big for Getty, to be able to tap the creativity and expertise found among the millions of Flickr users.