Sunday, July 27, 2008

Open Source Free Photographic Guides

Today I was exploring a new location for a landscape shoot. I hadn't seen any decent shots from this location, and in fact I'd never heard of it. I just happened to be cruising around on Google Earth and looking at a few of the Flickr photos that had been geocoded around this particular area. A few happy snaps, but no serious photos.

So today it was a lovely Sunday afternoon, so I took my son and we went exploring to recce this location. Turns out it is a very good location with a lot of potential... I'm going to shoot some dawn shots there next weekend. But on the way back I was thinking to myself... Wouldn't it be cool if there was some sort of central registry where photographers could share their favorite locations with other photographers.

Some sort of Virtual Open Source Photographic Guide... A Wikipedia of Photo Guides.... Guides so rich in great photographic info, that it would help any photographer find great new locations to shoot, and improve their chances of getting great shots the first time by knowing when and where to shoot.

As I was hiking out with my son I was thinking about what it would take to create some sort of tool that others could use.... What would it need?
  • A simple authoring tool (know HTML or any of that stuff)
  • Free hosting (I didn't want to pay for it)
  • A place to upload pictures or link to existing pictures on Flickr
  • A way of allowing others to post comments
  • A search engine so people can find your guides
  • A Comments capability that would allow others to comment (or ideally suggest updates) to guides that you post
  • A Rating system so readers could rate your guides.

That was my initial list. When I got home and reached for my blogging site, I saw an interesting little posting about Google's new capability called Knols (chunks of knowledge)... and guess what... it pretty much perfectly met my criteria.

So I have started an experiment and written two Knols on photographic sites in Sydney that I know pretty well. I'd love to hear what you guys think.
1) A Photographer's guide to Turimetta Beach
2) A Photographer's guide to Mona Vale Pool

Take a moment to have a look at these guides and let me know if they contain the sort of information that you would like to see if you were going to visit a new site.

Imagine if we could get thousands of photogrphers to start documenting their favorite locations and becoming the "local expert".... we would have the largest guide to photographers anywhere in the world!! What a great resource that would be!

Take care... and watch my photostream on Flikr for the cool new site I discovered on Sunday

Brent

16 comments:

Spool Photography said...

Awesome info Brent and great idea. I'l have to start to put my thinking cap on when I am out shooting contribute as well. I am in Sydney from the 14th August for around a week and will be shooting right in these locations so your info has come at the best time for me.

Brent Pearson said...

Hey there Spool

Where do you live?

If you want, why don't you drop me a line a few days before you visit Sydney and I can give you some very specific recommendations based on weather, tides etc. Both my old man and I shoot all around Sydney and know it pretty well. What sort of stuff do you like to shoot?

Also, my old man is retired but very passionate about photography, if you want somebody to shoot with mid-week, it wouldn't take much to arrange for him to take you out to some of the lesser known spots.

Let me know if you need any help making your Sydney trip a winner

BP

spoolphotography said...

Thanks Brent I will do.

kirkhille said...

Great info Brent ,
Had the same sort of idea for a web site like this a while ago ,

The tips on Turimetta will deffinatly come in handy .
Heading over to Sydemy for a few days in about week as never been before this information will definatly coming in hand as wont have that much time to scout any location .

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