8 Cool Tools for a Different Photo Viewing Experience
Sometimes viewing pictures in rows and columns can be dull. Luckily, there are a number of services dedicated to making the photo search and viewing experience more interesting. Here are 8 resources that provide a new approach to searching and looking at pictures online.
Which are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.
PicLens is a neat Firefox addon that lets you search through thousands of images and videos on a stunning 3D wall or on full screen mode from sites like YouTube, Google, Yahoo, Picassa, Facebook, Photobucket, Flickr, DeviantART, and more.
Once you launch the PicLens application on your browser, you can search for images and videos by keywords and by selecting the site you want to search. You can also simple click the ‘Discover’ button to let PicLens bring you the latest images, news, and videos from around the Web. You can zoom into pictures by clicking on an image or by using the scroll button of your mouse. There is also a new beta version of PicLens, rechristened Cooliris Beta, that lets you share pictures and videos from its 3D wall to your friends through email. For WordPress bloggers, there is a plugin for creating picture and video slide shows on a blog.
Imagery is an image search engine that displays search results in a whole new way. Whenever you search for something using a particular keyword, you will see the resulting thumbnail images in an online Web album gallery style and text free. Mouse over each picture and you get the option of going to the source page of that particular image or of opening the image in a new window. If you simply click on an image, it will open below the thumbnail gallery (see screenshot above).
You can set the number of image results Imagery will show you per page, or define the type of files like small, medium, large, black & white, grayscale, color, or on file extensions such as jpg, png, etc.
Zleek allows you to create photo albums called Zleek Books, in amazing layouts and share them with your friends and family for them to comment on your pictures. What makes Zleek special and different from other online photo albums is that it allows you to go beyond the rows and columns positioning of your pictures and create collages in a manner that you choose. You can resize and rotate your pictures on the Zleek Book page, choose from multiple backgrounds, and set the album sharing permissions settings.
Interestingness, as the name suggests, creates stunning collages of up to 500 pictures from Flickr that you can feast your eyes on every day. Just keep the site as your homepage and rest assured you’ll be greeted with pleasant images every time you open your browser.
WebMynd is a Firefox addon that tracks the sites you visit and displays them in an attractive visual playback, whenever you want, online or off. WebMynd stores the screenshots of websites you visit on your computer hard drive and the text is sent and stored in its server. You can choose which websites WebMynd stores on your computer and which ones to ignore.
WebMynd provides a reel view in which you can see the screenshots of your visited sites one by one or the grid view wherein you can see the thumbnails of the various sites you visited. WebMynd also integrates into the Google search results page whenever you run a search and displays its results alongside the Google search results on the same page.
Compfight is a Flickr search tool that displays images from Flickr without any frills. So if you are just looking for pictures without descriptions, Flickr user names, comments, and other details, you might just want to use this tool. You can search by tags or ‘all text’. The tool also has some features like filtering by Creative Commons or commercial use pictures, safe search, and displaying picture dimensions on mouse hover.
Blackr is a neat bookmarklet that you can use to view a Flickr picture on a black or white background, without any of the text, comments, and other details that come with it on the Flickr site. You can choose to have a white or black border on the picture as well.
When you are viewing a picture on Flickr, just click the Blackr button on your browser bookmarks toolbar and viola, you will see just the picture minus everything else. If you want a search engine that displays pictures on a black background, try Flickriver.
Photoree is to pictures what StumbleUpon is to websites. You can set your preferences about what type of pictures you want Photoree to show you. You can also rate the pictures and those that have been up-rated by you will automatically get included in your personal gallery.