April 1, 2010 at 10:16 am #170296
What is you favourite image bank? I use iStock photos but it is not specific to LA. This is not useful when trying to find something like “examples of shared pedestrian / vehicular streets…..” Any comments welcome. LaithApril 1, 2010 at 10:25 am #170312
thanks Damian. I’ll check out Creative Commons. It may not work for me here if I need access to Flickr. This service is blocked by the UAE internet censorship authority. Will try.April 1, 2010 at 11:09 am #170311Jon QuackenbushParticipant
i usually just do a google/yahoo images search…
this can be dangerous though if you have your profanity filter off…April 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm #170310
A fellow LA and I have developed http://www.sitephocus.com as an image library for the built environment. We’re currently in beta mode on a new platform we recently launched and offer high res image downloads through pay-per-image and yearly subscription (unlimited downloads). Registration to the site is free and will keep you up to date on our latest uploads. Currently, we have about 25,000 images from around the world and add 300-500 images per month for our users, so there’s always something new to see. Recent month’s updates include Nashville, TN, Copenhagen, Barcelona, LA, St. Louis, and San Francisco.
This link might get you started – Woonerf search
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. I’d be happy to discuss the site with you or anyone else.April 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm #170309Ruben JoyeParticipant
Without attacking you personally, it is wrong to assume that everything visible on the web should be free to use anyway you like. I myself upload images to numerous stockphotography sites (istockphoto, fotolia, dreamstime,…) and just because you can remove watermarks doesn’t make it OK to do so and use them for free. It would be of little respect to the photographer and clearly breaching laws that protect the copyright owner. Compare it to someone copying your masterplan design without your consent, or any form of compensation. I don’t think you’d be pleased with a minuscule caption stating you are in fact the architect. Additionally I know all to well that in the midst of things nobody will ever think to properly credit the photographer of an image you found on Google Images… And no I’m not a pessimist but a realist 🙂
While I had no problems sharing my photos for a very long with students and non-profit organisations for free through http://www.sxc.hu, I feel that professionals that (directly or indirectly) make money out of someone else work deserve to get compensated. Note that we are not talking about huge amounts but micropayments, often around 1-5$. In return you get a professional high resolution photo, you can help sell your project with. I don’t think it’s worth spending much time on trying to remove the watermark manually…
The websites I mentioned above refuse ‘non-commercial subjects’. Landscape themes are NOT commercial enough for the broad audience – expect for the very pittoresque – and therefor get very little coverage. This makes me think there potentially is a market for a specific landscape architecture / urban design (commercial) image library. Of course, nothing is stopping you from searching for free and 100% legal alternatives. I do so myself at times when my personal library proves incomplete. In that perspective I’d like to suggest http://doelbeelden.nl/ (sadly dutch only) and checking out the creative commons on Flickr.April 2, 2010 at 12:26 am #170308SousukeParticipant
I generally agree with your first paragraph, but then there are opportunities to use work along “fair use” guidelines. I’ll admit it can be a grey area as I’m sure Shepard Fairey can attest to. (For those who don’t know him, he created the iconic Obama “hope” image from an AP Photo.)April 2, 2010 at 12:33 pm #170307
What we hear from many of our subscribers, and the primary reason we created the site in the first place (besides enjoying traveling and photography), is the time savings of having hundreds of photos that they can quickly browse and are high quality. Time searching various sites in the hopes of finding good, hi res images is a direct cost to their firms or the projects they work on and the savings translate to additional time spent designing or a better bottom line. Just think of how much time is spent looking for images and then think about the typical billable rate. That’s where our users see the biggest benefit.
A few other things we hear quite often are the reduced travel costs (though nothing beats seeing a place in person), having a managed central image library accessible to everyone in the firm anywhere, anytime, and exposure of places from around the US/ world presented monthly.April 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm #170306
Good news. The image bank provided by Flickr is available via the Creative Commons website. Thank your suggestion opened the door. The CC website is an interesting resource itself. Will also check out the above plugin. Thanks for your help.April 2, 2010 at 7:53 pm #170305
I sometimes search Google images too but often I need higher res images and a more focussed database to begin with (as I’m often searching at the 11th hour). Thanks for your reply.April 2, 2010 at 8:27 pm #170304
Top job. I’ve just reviewed sitephocus and it’s good. I congratulate you on the good work. I couldn’t quite figure out if there is a “search within keywords” function like iStockPhotos. Do you have a facility for others to sell through your site as well? LaithApril 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm #170303
Hi and thank you for contributing to the discussion. Have you seen any accessible and online landscape specific image banks other than sitephocus?
LaithApril 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm #170302April 5, 2010 at 2:33 am #170301
Thanks for the compliments, Laith! We’re looking at revising our search set up to include a ‘Search Keywords Only’ search box. Currently on the beta site, when you search for a keyword the site pulls up images that have the keyword as well as that word within the site’s name (ie. park/ Baldwin Park TND).
A feature that’s on the site now to help with searching is the Master Keyword list that’s linked. Additionally, there is a function where you can refine your search to help narrow down the results and that’s located above the thumbnails once you’ve entered a query. Hope that answers your question on the searching.
To your last question, we’re hoping to establish a contributor program that will help us to exponentially expand the reach and content of sitephocus. There’s a lot of details to work out, but that’s the next major addition we plan to include.May 14, 2010 at 7:45 pm #170300
Thanks for suggestion about plugin. Waiting for update to work with latest version of Firefox. VPN proxy service….will look into that.May 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm #170299Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
agreed, houzz.com is pretty cool. set up an account for my firm a month or two ago, and we’re happy with the site. it is a nice showcase of some nicely finished projects. hgtv also has a good designer’s portfolio site….http://www.hgtv.com/designers-portfolio/main/index.html
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