Archive for May, 2012

A Little Boost to Your Photos and Galleries

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a digital photo is worth even more. All digital cameras embed extra information in each photo — things like camera make and model, date and time the photo was taken, focal length of the lens, shutter speed, etc.

We’re happy to announce two new features on WordPress.com for digital photos that will take advantage of your digital photo’s EXIF information!

Automatic Rotation

From now on JPEG images will be rotated automatically after uploading according to the camera’s original orientation. No more manually rotating all those portrait photos! What’s more, the rotation is “lossless” and preserves all embedded information in the image file (the JPEG image format is “lossy”, meaning that each time the image is edited, some of the fine color nuances may be lost). In short: your photos’ orientation/rotation is automatic and their image quality is preserved 100%!

Gallery Sorting

There are two new sorting options for galleries: Image Date/Time and Upload Order. These additional sort options are also available for previously-published galleries, offering you more fine control on how you display your images on your WordPress.com site. Have you ever inserted a Gallery in a post or page? Get started with Galleries.

The Gallery Settings dialog

Both of these new features depend on the EXIF data saved in the JPEG image files, so if you edit your photos before uploading, make sure the software you use preserves that data.

So, upload few photos, create a gallery or edit an existing gallery and let us know what you think in the comments. Need photography inspiration? Check out the Photography topic in the WordPress.com Reader!


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BUBBLEGUM SOUL

retronaut

thesfstyle

Just a  few random images that inspired me today. I’m really getting into coming to work early – you basically just have to read the news and catch up on stuff you’ve been neglecting. Gets you in a good place to start your day :)  



{images from the retronaut and the sfstyle}

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Get Push Notifications on Your iPhone and iPad

WordPress for iOS Push Notifications and Swipe-to-moderateFollowing the recent notifications refresh, we’re super excited to announce that you can now get comment Push Notifications on your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Stay connected to your blog and moderate incoming comments wherever you happen to be at the time.

Push Notifications
WordPress.com contributes to many Open Source WordPress apps, and we recently enabled notifications for the WordPress for iOS app. As soon as you get a new comment on posts you’ve published, a notification is sent to your phone. You will see the name of the commenter as well as a short excerpt of the comment, as much as we can fit. Swipe over the notification to view the comment.

We’ve also added a new “Swipe-to-moderate” feature in the comments list. This enables you to quickly Approve/Unapprove, Trash, Spam, and reply to new comments – it’s all just a swipe away. Of course you can still tap Edit to bulk moderate comments and tap the comment to view it in all its glory. In the detailed view you’ll see the post they commented on, their Name, Email, and URL, as well as an array of buttons for simple moderation.

Read Blogs on the Go
Did you also know that you can read your friends’ blogs with the app? When you open WordPress for iOS, tap “Read” to launch the mobile version of the Reader. You can read up on blogs you follow, see posts you’ve Liked, browse Freshly Pressed, and peruse popular Topics to find new sources of inspiration. When you find something interesting, you can Like or Reblog it to your own blog. You can even comment on posts you find right on your phone. And here’s the best part: it’s all synced back to your regular Reader.

Of course it’s also a great way to share quick photos when you’re out and about, write a post or two, update your About page, and check your daily Stats. It’s like having a mini-version of your blog in your pocket.

Get the Update
Already have WordPress for iOS installed on your phone? All you need to do to get Push Notifications is to update to the latest version and allow the app to send you notifications when asked.

New to WordPress for iOS? No problem, you can learn more about the app on its website, or click here to download WordPress for iOS directly! WordPress for iOS is available in most common languages and works on all newer iOS devices.

What’s Next?
This is the first time we’ve enabled Push Notifications in the iOS app, and we’ll continue to add more notification options so you’ll be able to have a full WordPress.com experience from your device. We’ll also make sure you get the notifications you want, when you want them. You’ll be able to toggle what Push Notifications you want to receive and which ones you’d rather not get notified about.

Learn more about the app and what’s next on the WordPress for iOS Blog, and make sure to follow @WordPressiOS on Twitter to get the latest news first.

So, hurry up and update your WordPress for iOS app to the latest version, and start using those notifications. Then come back here and let us know what you’d like to see enabled next!


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Photo Blogging 101, Part 3

Beyond developing your photo blog and cultivating devoted followers, how can you take your phlog to the next level? Here’s a few extra resources that can help you along the way.

Stay Organized

Using categories to divide your photographs by type is a great way to make it easier for visitors to navigate your site, especially as your portfolio of images continues to grow. For example, as you categorize photos as “Travel” or “Black and White,” you can then add those category pages to your site’s navigation bar. If you’re using your photo blog to generate business as a photographer, this means that someone who’s looking for some black and white images can easily take a look at your gallery of black and white photos. This guide explains how to add categories to your post, and you can follow these steps to add those category pages to your site’s menu.

When displaying a series of photos, you’ll see that there are a handful of options for inserting them into your post: slideshow, gallery, and individual images. If you’re adding a large amount of photos to a single post, you may want to consider using the gallery option. Too many photos on the front page can cause a slow load time for visitors. By loading your posts as thumbnails first, visitors get the full effect of the breadth and variety of your photographs at a single glance. If you’re looking for feedback, visitors can comment directly on your photo by clicking on the “Permalink” button in the gallery carousel.

When uploading multiple photos to your post, don’t forget to use our Drag and Drop uploader so that you can upload multiple files at the same time. This will even allow you to drag a group of photos from your computer directly into the upload area.

Become a Curator

When working on a series, curate your content so that you can focus on the quality of your photos, not quantity. This means hand selecting the best photos in your series, rather than posting all of them at once to get as much out there as possible. When choosing images to include in your photo gallery, consider the following:

An example of the Rule of Thirds (photo by Bryan Villarin).

  • The rule of thirds: When cropping your photos, try using the “rule of thirds” for more visually interesting photos. The rule of thirds is a compositional guideline that proposes photographs should be able to be divided into nine equal parts by two horizontal and two vertical lines. The main elements of the picture should fall along or at the intersections of these lines. In the photo to the right, the primary focus of the picture—the two red chairs—are positioned at the lower-right intersection of the grid and the horizon falls along the top vertical line.
  • Stay sharp: When choosing a photo to include in your post, you’ll want to prioritize images that are vibrant and clear. A photo that is blurry or faded isn’t as captivating as a sharp, bold image.
  • Don’t be afraid to edit: Cropping your photos to maximize the focus or remove conflicting elements from the subject, playing with filters, and tweaking the colors (including white balance) on your photo can help to polish the edges on your favorite shot.
  • Be aware of repetition: While you may have a ton of great photos in your series, do try to highlight images that are unique and distinct from each other. Four strong, individual photographs are more visually interesting than 10 slightly different stills.

Resources

There are a lot of great options out there for image editing tools. Since we’re big fans of all things open source at WordPress.com and Automattic, you may be interested in GIMP and Seashore, two open source image editing programs. Our very own Sara Rosso has a great tutorial on getting started with GIMP and Bryan Villarin has some excellent tips on creating better photos without expensive equipment.

Don’t forget to check out these other links for more information on photo blogging, licensing, and tools for your work:

Now get to snapping!

Missed our previous posts? Take a gander at Part 1 and Part 2 here.


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Comfortable shopping at your fingertips

Stumped for time and wishing that you could just magically click buttons or snap your fingers and all your chores get done just like that ? Whilst reality might not be all that accurate in replicating these fantasies, with the advent of the internet and various other technological advances, you could get all these work done at the click of a button. What one person might choose to call state of the art technology, we call online shopping.

sloggi,

Businesses are rising up to the challenge to cater to the varied needs of different customers, and it goes without saying that there is a niche market when it comes to customers who’d like to have the option of shopping from home. At Damart, you could shop to your heart’s content in the comfort of your own home. Perfect for times when your schedule looks so cramped up it seems impossible to run down to the stores to grab up a few essentials, you could surf the web and browse through delightful selections. Regardless of whether you’re searching for something to wear to a party or if you’re looking for specific brands such as Sloggi, Damart has something that will be able to meet your needs. If the thought of rushing through the crowds seems daunting and unappealing, take a chance and relax with a cup of coffee as you peruse the seemingly endless options at your fingertips. Shopping could be a joy if you have access to simpler ways such as these.

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Adidas Originals UK: fun for all the family

We all know that exercise is good for us, but getting the whole family involved in physical activity can sometimes be a challenge. Getting together as a group to exercise and get fit can act as important family bonding time, as well as doing our bodies some good. So, as an alternative to the gym, why not try something a little newer and a lot more exciting?

Fitness crazes that have sprung up in recent years, such as Zumba and Capoeira, are fun, family-friendly activities that are sure to go down well with all ages. The spirit of these activities – combining dance with lots of other types of movement, such as the influence of martial arts in Capoeira – makes them far less repetitive than going to the gym. This means that they are perfect for those of us who aren’t obsessed with treadmills and cross-trainers.

Of course, to take part in these exercises you’re going to need to shop around for the ideal sportswear. Brands such as Adidas Originals have a huge range for everyone in the family, from toddlers’ tracksuits to stylish hoodies and tops for teens. Getting kitted out in your favourite brands together could make the difference between a boring workout and a great, family-centred activity!

Adidas Originals UK Adidas Originals UK

Exercising as a family can have a beneficial long-term impact, too. According to the Benenden Healthcare Society, exercising with the family will encourage kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle later in life. Child activity expert Michelle Ball explains: “Parents are powerful role-models …Children respond very effectively when the whole family gets involved.” With the Olympic Games only months away, there has never been a better time to get yourself and your family exercising. Embrace the opportunities that come with new fitness fads by getting involved in something a little different – you never know if a new form of exercise will be just the thing to get your family fit and active.

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Louis Vuitton Les Extraordinaires Minaudière Coquille D’oeuf

Coquille dOeuf Minaudiere Louis Vuitton Les Extraordinaires Minaudière Coquille Doeuf

Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2012 Leather Goods translate a light and airy spirit in soft shapes and sorbet shades. “We decided we wanted to do something very pretty, and very gentle, and very loving, and just fill it with pretty colors and beautiful light, luminous textures, things that were translucent and transparent. We wanted to define the body to create shapes, but have air and lightness and softness,” said Marc Jacobs backstage after his Spring/Summer 2012 fashion show for Louis Vuitton.

From all the bags this season, ultimate object of desire is this dainty minaudière, with its Monogram mosaic painstakingly hand-pieced together – with the assistance of the last man in Paris still in command of the 1920′s technique – for over 600 hours from 12,500 fragments of eggshell; a metaphor indeed for the care and craftsmanship lavished on this collection.

The delicate Minaudiere Coquille D’oeuf is priced at US$101,000. Luxury and craftsmanship at its best. Check out the video below.

Image via Louis Vuitton



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Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas Sarria Horizontal

Jill’s Consignment has an LV bag with my name on it – the Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Canvas Sarria Horizontal!  I’ve been browsing several Damier styles since I prefer them over the traditional monogram LV.  Features include Damier canvas, smooth leather trim and golden brass hardware, double zip closure, and front pocket.  It also has terracotta microfiber lining with flat pocket, cell pocket and d-ring.  This bag is brand new with dust cover and box.  Price: 1,095.00.

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TAKE MY MESSAGE TO YOUR BROTHER AND TELL HIM TWICE

{Title and video: The Jacksons in Vegas, 1981 … sigggggggggggggh!}

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Notifications, Refreshed

Stuff happens all the time on WordPress.com. You’re blogging, commenting, liking, and following like never before. Every hour a record is broken and someone’s day is made. We’ve always known about your love affair with stats. We like watching numbers grow, too. And we also like to see the events that the numbers represent. We think of Notifications as a magnifier for Stats: you can zoom in to see exactly who did what and then connect with them.

The original Notifications menu first appeared in the WordPress.com toolbar as a small orange button and a stream of activities related to your blogs and comments. It was a good start but we’ve had bigger plans all along. Today we deployed a new toolbar button and, more significantly, a new tab on the WordPress.com home page.

The New Button

The first thing you’ll notice is that there is no number. We axed it out of compassion. It all boils down to how people feel about inboxes. In giving you a notifications stream, the last thing we wanted to do was cause more stress! So we dropped the unread count and now the orange color simply means there are new notes since you last looked. An icon shows the type of your latest notification.  The icon now also refreshes while you’re on a page, no need to reload a page to see new notifications.

You might also notice that unread notes are still white until you open them, which turns them gray. We didn’t entirely remove the concept of read/unread; we just stopped counting them. Feel free to turn them all gray if that’s your thing, or let some notes stay unread. Either way, we won’t pester you with a number.

The New Panel

In case you like to browse back through older notifications, we built a page that lets you do that. Just go to the WordPress.com Notifications panel and scroll to your heart’s content. Are you proud of a certain achievement from last month? Relive old glories as often as you like.

Other than letting you scroll to older notes, the new panel isn’t much different than the one in the toolbar. That will change soon! We have a list of features to add, as well as new notifications to send, that will make the new panel one of your favorite places on WordPress.com.

Today we’re sending one thousand notes every minute (ten million per week) but we want to send more. We have lots of ideas for new notifications. What kind of things would you like to be notified about?

Small Print

These changes are not compatible with Internet Explorer versions earlier than 9. We will devote some time to maintaining backwards compatability as long as it doesn’t delay the development of new features for modern browsers, but we encourage you to upgrade. Meanwhile, the old version of the toolbar will be displayed for older IE browsers.


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