Turn color photos into black and white, sepia, and other color transformations

New dotphoto home pageOne reason we answer our phones One reason we answer our phones is to find out what dotphoto users want  to do.

Sometimes we’re surprised by a question. For instance: “How can I turn a color photo into a black and white?”

That makes sense because B&W is crisp, and can add an historic or exotic feeling. Actually, B&W is just one of the many color transformations that you can perform with the dotphoto edit function.

Click on any photo, and then the pencil icon in the upper left.  Choose the Effects icon, and then the second effects group, Classic, to try out the effects seen here.

When you Save an edited photo, we recommend that you choose Save as a New Image so that you do not over-write your original photo.

Note that the Strato effect is a film-like effect and even adds the date on which the effect was generated in the lower right corner.

Make more money: sell more photos!

If you’re selling photos on your web site, the most important thing is that your customers can find your albums.  You can use or modify the two icons here, and place them in a prominent part of your web site such as the top right or top center under your masthead.

The second button is probably more effective — especially if it’s graduation season and your customers are looking for graduation photos. Change the photo periodically to reflect seasonal interest. Also, many people still tap on text links instead of icons. In the dotphoto newsletter, more people click on a text link than the picture next to it that indicates the same idea.

Ideas for selling more photos



Reverse image search with TinEye

Say you want to find a similar image of the famous painting “American Gothic.” You can upload the image to TinEye.com and find thousands of similar images in seconds. It’s also great when you want a larger version of the image. With the browser extension installed, you don’t need to upload: just pick a photo and search.

Print your own Halloween mask.

New dotphoto home page

It’s fall and our thoughts turn to that important question, “What will I be for Halloween?” Here’s an idea: make your own unique, inexpensive Halloween mask by following these simple steps. The possibilities are endless.

1. Take a picture you like. You might be a celebrity, your best friend, or you could run your own photo through one of two free zombiefiers here: greenish or ghoulish.

2. Design your mask. You may cut it above the mouth to leave the jaw free as in the photo above, or it could cover the mouth. Use a string to measure your face: if you intend to wrap the mask back toward your ears, the mask may be wider than it is tall, so you would print the 8×10 in landscape mode. dotphoto’s editing tool can change your cropping orientation.

3. Print the photo as an 8×10 on matte paper. Glossy paper would be reflective, so would not work as well. The mask only needs to last for a night, and 8x10s at dotphoto are only 99 cents, so you might make two or three prints of different sizes, plus a backup.

4. Cut the eye and mouth holes with an Xacto knife, and cut around the edges of the face.

5. Attach ribbons or a strap to hold the mask in place. Before cutting the strap holes on the sides of the mask, add clear tape to both sides to reinforce the holes. String and a rubber band make a good strap that can be adjusted by knotting the rubber section.

Want help setting up the photos for your mask?
Add your photo to an album in your account called Halloween mask, and send a note to mask@dotphoto.com with your request. Please include as much information as possible — especially size.

Saving books & projects on dotphoto

New dotphoto home pageThe dotphoto My Projects tool enables you to save and retrieve projects that you’re working on. This is particularly helpful when making products with multiple photos like calendars and books, or when you want to show the product to someone else before ordering.

To retrieve a project

Choose My Projects.  dotphoto presents images of your saved projects that you can tap to return to the project design. In the illustration here, you would tap the calendar to go back to the design.

Make your own Presidential Proclamation!

Whatever your political persuasion, you can have some real fun with this web tool.

  1. Type your own text on the tablet.
  2. Use the and to enlarge or shrink the text.
  3. Click to the side to remove the blue rectangle.
  4. Capture the screen. (Ctrl-PrtScr on a PC, or Command-Shift-3 on a Mac).
  5. Paste the image into your graphics program; save the picture. Need a free desktop graphics program? Here’s a free download:
    GIMP for Mac OSX
    GIMP for Windows

The danger of relying too much on your camera

And now for something completely different…poet Wendell Berry on interposing a camera between your life and the world. We live in the time of the curated life — the finest moments buffed and shared to create an impression of a life that conforms to social standards rather than reflecting our actual lives.

We often remember the strangest moments because they are the most meaningful. Perhaps we can use our cameras to catch the most revealing, un-posed moments. A friend commented tonight that he takes multiple photos of a person because the picture “between” pictures is usually the most authentic.

The Vacation

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.