Ex-Getty Images executives launch ImagePick

imagepick Ex Getty Images executives launch ImagePickFounded by ex-Getty Images CFO Lawrence Gould and former Getty Images Director of E-Commerce, Tom Donnelly, ImagePick is a new Royalty Free image service that intends to shift the tectonic plates of the stock industry from quantity back to quality.

The ImagePick website has been designed with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind. Large numbers of thumbnails on a single search provide a fast and efficient way of finding the perfect image. It has partnered with the rights-holders of the finest image collections available including Corbis, Jupiterimages, Blend, Rubberball and Westend61.

“We want every picture editor to take the ImagePick Challenge. We’re confident that when editors experience the results of an image search on ImagePick, they will wonder why they entertained mediocre image solutions for so long,” said ImagePick CEO Lawrence Gould.

PicWash: practical alternative to professional photo touch up

picwash PicWash: practical alternative to professional photo touch upIn this digital age, having a captivating social networking and online dating profiles mean a lot to millions of teens and young adults. Hence, having a perfect picture devoid of acne scars and pimples is a serious business.

So serious that PicWash, a new photo-enhancement web services to the masses by making them easy to use and cost-effective, is bound to make a killing considering that many are as concerned with their “web appearance” as with their physical appearance.

The company’s editors and graphic designers collaborate with a dermatologist and beauty industry consultants to help ensure that you look great and your picture looks its best – without making you look like a different person. The service is easy to use and cost effective. Users can upload photos to PicWash.com and request a PicWash for as little as $7 per photo, compared with $50, the average price of a professional photo touch up. Photos are returned in 48 hours via e-mail.

How Fast They Grow: Digital Scrapbook for Babies

howfast How Fast They Grow: Digital Scrapbook for Babies Aimed at parents who exclusively use digital cameras, How Fast They Grow is new all-digital baby book Website that allows quick creation of 12 by 12 inch pages using one’s own digital photos and journaling. Unlike commercial photo websites, the pages are ordered individually, not bound books, so that users can build their books over time.

This new site developed its own unique rich-internet application, “Digi-Scrapbook”, in conjunction with Ecom Enterprises of Sunnyvale, CA. This patent-pending tool allows for real-time editing of pages, photos and text, while keeping the traditional look of a high-end scrapbook with details like layered text, quote boxes, and well-formatted photo collages.

“There is an unspoken expectation that moms should chronicle their baby’s first year. Despite the current popularity of paper scrapbooking, the moms I know were disillusioned by the time commitment. It takes at least an hour to make one page and that doesn’t even take into account the time to buy the merchandise and print the right photos. My goal is a ‘Just Add Water’ solution to baby and child scrapbooking,” states founder Cathy Bennett.

Google adds new Picasa features

Google revealed yesterday through its blog some interesting new features for Picasa, its online photo storage and sharing service. These features include integration with Google Maps and a mobile version of Picasa.

The mobile version of Picasa lets you visit an optimized version which is viewable through your mobile device’s smaller screen. With it you can view your photo albums, download photos, view snapshots of others, post comments on those snapshots and make use of photo search to find pictures related to your query.

Picasa is also being tied into Google Maps (and Earth). A new “Map My Photos” option will let you see where on a map you took your photos. These photos, when shared, can also have their location revealed to others who view them.

picassa google maps Google adds new Picasa features

Duo releases PHP social network platform

socialengine Duo releases PHP social network platformAlex Benzer and Charlotte Genevier, two college-aged software entrepreneurs hailing from Webligo, a budding Pasadena-based company specializing in web-based software development, have released a new social networking platform called SocialEngine. The aim is straighforward: to give individual webmasters and small organizations a comprehensive yet simple way to build social networks.

SocialEngine is a PHP-based white-label social network platform that installs a full-featured social network on your website. Like other products, it includes most of today’s popular features such as blogs, photo and video albums, interest groups, and so forth. What makes SocialEngine unique is its unprecedented extensibility and customizability. While other products give you cookie-cutter designs and an overwhelming mound of features for users, SocialEngine offers simplicity, ease of use, and complete control over the appearance and functionality of your social network. The developers designed SocialEngine to highlight your unique concept instead of the platform itself. In that vein, SocialEngine is the only product of its kind that does not force any copyright statements or branding on the visible areas of your social network.

Another unique aspect of SocialEngine is its capability to have “subnetworks.” SocialEngine automatically sorts your users into these subnetworks depending on the rules you (the administrator) have set. For example, you can organize users by age, location, profession, university, and so forth. Smart administrators will use this feature to show highly-targeted advertisements to their users, generating above-average advertising returns.

Google acquires photo-sharing site Panoramio

panoramio photo sharing Google acquires photo sharing site PanoramioGoogle is acquiring Panoramio, a photo-sharing site where users can “map their photos” by linking them to the exact location on the Google Earth maps where the photos were taken.

Based in Spain, Panoramio has been using the Google Earth technology for months to provide digital photographers a unique photo-sharing experience by linking photos with places. Each user can store up to 2GB worth of images (about 2000 photos with a 4MP camera) and “pin” them anywhere in the map.

“Those of you already using Google Earth have no doubt noticed Panoramio’s striking images documenting settings from all over the world, like moonscapes in Croatia; dramatic sunsets in Australia, and innovative architecture in the United Arab Emirates,” Google Earth director John Hanke said. “Panoramio has been working with Google to incorporate Panoramio photos into Google Earth for some time. We believed a deeper relationship would add value to the Panoramio experience for our users.”

Panoramio’s site announcement says the acquisition is to be closed sometime mid-June. Financial terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed.

Amazon acquires dpreview.com

dpreview Amazon acquires dpreview.comAmazon.com announced that it has acquired dpreview.com, the web’s most comprehensive site for digital camera information and reviews. Founded in 1998 by Phil Askey, dpreview.com provides unbiased reviews and original content regarding the latest in digital cameras, and offers a host of features and forums designed to make it easy for consumers to find the camera that’s right for them. With its unique voice and in-depth technical reviews, dpreview.com draws millions of unique visitors each month.

“Dpreview.com is by far the most authoritative source anywhere for straight talk about new digital cameras,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “We at Amazon.com have been their fans for a long time, and we extend a big welcome to the dpreview.com team.”

“One of the difficulties of operating dpreview.com independently has been the balance between producing content and delivering new site features,” said Phil Askey, founder of dpreview.com. “Now, with the support of Amazon, I’ll be able to devote more of my time to expanding and improving our features – such as product reviews and discussion forums while still delivering the high-quality content that our readers have come to expect.”