How Living Images Changed The Way I Look at Photography
Now that the new iPhone will have the ability to record a short clip before taking the photo, let’s talk about living images. It’s nothing new, but I think, this could potentially change the way we take and look at photos.
The technology is nothing new. HTC tried it first with HTC Zoe, but I never heard of it before. My first experience with this feature was when Nokia rolled out an update for Nokia Lumia 930, which enabled this feature. No one, in my circle of friends, have ever heard anything like this ever before. I always loved taking photos on our nights out and now, that the photos moved a little before freezing into a blurry, over exposed image, everyone was stunned by how fun it was. Showing pictures to friends just became fun.
Nokia as always, lacked to improve or do anything with this feature. The Windows Phone OS stock photo viewer app even lacked the feature to display living images. Nokia pushed out a separate, a bit slower, photo viewer application, which while it had the ability to show and play this living images, lacked of doing anything with them.
There wasn’t even an app for exporting this live images. So you had to do it manually. Which totally sucks, to be honest. First of all, I take a lot of pictures. I mean, a lot. In the last three years (since I’m on Windows Phone) I took 13338 pictures. That’s roughly 12–13 image per day. It’s a lot of images, and really hard to handle them. It also takes a lot of space to keep everything that I have. Anyway, after sorting out the .thm files, and putting them into a new folder, I had to look for a way to change extensions for multiple files. After some google-ing I found out that I could do that with a simple “ren *.thm *.mp4” command using the command prompt in the Windows. And then, there comes the fun part.
I had to make a gif from the video. You could have multiple sites tell you how to do that, but I stuck with using photoshop. It’s the most advance you can get. So I had to find the import from video to layers option. I also had to be sure, to limit the number of frames, so I only took every second frame into the gif. Then I had to change up the speed, because when it imports it stays the original speed, which will make your gif display twice as fast.
Anyway, so then Save to Web, and thanks to tumblr, here comes the tweaking game. The gifs now have to be under 2 megabytes (when I started I had to keep it under 1 mb) and only 540px wide. With most 16:9 landscape pictures, I don’t really have a problem, but the portrait sucks. It’s hard to keep it under 2 Megabytes.
I’ve spent two days going through most of my pictures taken last year, export the living images, and sort the best of them. In the end, I had 183 mp4 videos, which were waiting to be converted. It took about two and a half hours of really hard work, to create them, but it was totally worth it. This was the second time I made a collection of this living images. But last time, it was only 56 images that I selected and uploaded.
Speaking of which, uploading sucks. I had to upload them to tumblr, but in a way that I don’t hate myself by the end of it. The question of uploading two each day was totally out of question. Noway I’ll keep uploading in my mind. I would have stopped like a week into it. But then I found picloadr.com which allowed me to upload the maximum of 50 pictures into separate posts. It took me four uploads, with this semi reliable site, but it worked.
I think living images capture a lot more what a normal photo would. That meaning only by the smartphones of course. Now that everyone can be a photographer, a cameraman and a journalist by reaching deep into his pockets, I think this will kind of revolutionize how we look at imagery.
While many people were upset, that Apple steals this idea, and sells it as it’s own new feature, these people need to understand how it’ll actually more the technology to advance. With nooneeverheardaboutit HTC Zoe and heardaboutitbutdidn’tdoanythingwithit Lumia Living Images this interesting and fun new technology would have gone to waste. I hope that iOS will make it easier for people to create these kind of images, and export them as gifs. I kinda hope my tumblr, my facebook and my instagram will soon be flooded by people taking living images. It is really a new way to share an experience.
That is, as long as someone not comes to me, swinging a new iPhone 6S+ and yelling in my ear “Have you seen what my phone can do?! It can literally move pictures. I bet yours can’t do that”. Hereby I promise that if this happens, I’ll take his overpriced and oversized piece of crap and slap him with it.