Twitter Cards for a Tumblr w/ Custom Domain

This morning I setup Twitter Cards for Very Stills, my image based Tumblr blog that’s running under its own custom domain. The process for doing so was a bit confusing so I’m detailing it here thinking it might help someone looking to do the same.

First have a look at the documentation for Twitter Cards.

When you’ve got an idea of how to setup things, look to the Card Validator page and plug in your information into the fields specified.

Here I selected the type of card I was aiming for, “photo”. A lot of the other elements aren’t required, but I plugged in my Twitter handle, “@rayweitzenberg”, for “twitter:creator”.

The most elusive element you’ll want to include is the “twitter:site” element. In this field, enter “tumblr”. This isn’t obvious, but getting this wrong will keep your card from being approved.

The last element required was “twitter:image:src”. For this I plugged in the URL for an image on one of my Tumblr posts.

At the bottom of the form, you’ll find the “Update Preview” button. Hitting this will generate a preview of your card and below that you’ll see the embed code to plug into your Tumblr theme.

From the sample code, copy the fields you want to apply and place them in the “head” section of your Tumblr. Remember you’ve got to stick to the conventions of Tumblr’s Blocks of code. Instead of the hard coded URL for twitter:image, you’ll want to change that item to “{PhotoURL-500}”.

Directly below you’ll see how to specify the code you plug into your Tumblr’s head tag. This is the actual Tumblr markup. Notice the elements in the various Blocks.

Next, on the same Twitter Card Validator page select the “Validate & Apply” tab. Here you’ll plug in the permalink of the Tumblr post that contains the image who’s URL you plugged into the “twitter:image” field.

If everything’s straight, after entering the URL to validate and hitting “Go” your application will go into the approval process. In my case, within 5-10 minutes I got an email saying my photo card was activated. That’s it!

On a related front, one thing confusing that I got hung up on was the fact that Tumblr automatically injects both Facebook Open Graph tags and Twitter Tags into the HTML of the page. I was searching, trying to figure out where this data was coming from, but was left scratching my head.

In the end, if you’ve entered the correct tags, Tumblr’s automatically embedded code doesn’t break your implementation’s functionality. The nice thing the auto embedded code does is it creates links from your cards into the Tumblr iOS and Android apps. Nifty.

So you know, this second bit of code is the way things rendered when viewing my configured page’s source. Note the extra info Tumblr added for Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram Lux – Matching Effects with Photoshop

Alright, I’ve been experimenting more with Lux. More than anything I’ve been attempting to match the effects of the feature.

Without digging too deep, I saw that some people suggested that it was simply contrast and brightness adjustment that could be achieved with Photoshop curves or levels. Turns out this is only partly true.

The screenshot below shows you how close I’ve gotten this image to match the one uploaded to Instagram. The view is tiny, but you can see how many layers it took to get the effects straight…no fewer than 8.

Achieving Instagram Lux Effects

Overall adjustment only got me so far. It took making discreet selections of the image and further tweaking them individually. This leads me to believe Instagram’s Lux effects are being applied in varying degrees of intensity to different parts of the image it’s processing.

More to experiment with…

Instagram Lux – Exposure and Contrast Adjustment

This is part of my ongoing experimentation with Instagram. A couple posts ago I talked about Instagram filters which work for me on occasion, but really, not that frequently.

This time around I’d like to highlight #Lux, the Instagram feature that adjusts the contrast and exposure of the image being processed.

Here is an image I uploaded today with which I used Lux:

Instagram Lux

And here is the image pre-Instagram adjustment:

NYC Subway Billboard

Not being too familiar with the feature, I wasn’t sure how the image would turn out. As is happening for me in using the app, I was pleasantly surprised.

Shadows are left as dark as intended, but the highlights and mid-range are adjusted in ways I hadn’t already expected. Again, in this instance I’ll take a cue from Instagram and further process this image in Photoshop to achieve a similar effect.

Thinking about it now, I’m going to dig around a bit to see if there’s a quick and dirty way of achieving Lux’s effect on the desktop. As I’ve said, the result isn’t always what I’m looking for, but to have the option to quickly view its effect would help me in my first rounds of post processing.

Sound Noir – Hakim Murphy

20130425-165858.jpg

I banged out this flyer really quickly the other night. Short on time, we weren’t able to do much collaboration or iteration, but we’re all pretty happy with it.

Part of the reason we were short on time Tuesday night was due to my heading to Sac in the morning. I decided to travel with only my phone and iPad this time around. As a result I’m posting this with the WordPress iPad app and am not sure how it’ll turn out on the site. We’ll soon see.

Additionally, without a laptop I’m unable to prepare the visuals I’ll be playing with a week from tonight. I’m in CA until Wednesday, so again, very little time to prepare.

I’m not worried.

It’s more important to hang with my 99-year-old grandma and with my dad who turns 70 this weekend.

Check the event details on Facebook and RA

Mister Sunday – Never Loose Your Coat Check Ticket

I was at the Spring edition of Mister Sunday last weekend. Decent party as usual.

One note I wanted to share is the suggestion made at the coat check room: Take a picture of your ticket in case you loose it.

Super simple and super smart.

Coat Check Ticket - Mister Sunday

(In)frequently Filtering Instagram Images

I discovered Instagram late. Very late. For the longest time I told people I just wasn’t into the square format of the images, but honestly it was the filters that drove me nuts.

I’ve come full circle.

It was the wonderfully talented Fabio Issao who finally got me to come around. One evening in DUMBO I told Fabio it was the square format that kept me at bay. Realizing it when I said it, I corrected myself saying that if it were the 1:1 ratio I had a problem with, I never would have enjoyed shooting Hasselblads.

So I dipped my toe in.

Stepping into the app I did automatically see, and was repulsed by, poor application of the default filters. I stuck with it, sure that I couldn’t quit too quickly after a very brief first impression. I’m glad I did.

Right from the start I began experimenting with the available filters. But for the most part they did little for me. A lot of the filters just aren’t for me. That said, I run my images through all of the filters each time I post. Most often I don’t find much, but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.

Here’a an image where I’m pleased with the effect of the X-Pro II filter:

Ray Weitzenberg - Dying Star

Again, I’ve got to admit to my small mindedness, I find the effect of the filter quite beautiful.

After posting the image above to Instagram, I worked to reproduce the effect through traditional Photoshop color correction. Ignore the difference in composition for now. This is the result:

Ray Weitzenberg - Dying Star - Hand Made01b

So yea, I got pretty close. If I put another 15-20 minutes into it I could nail it.

What’s most interesting to me, is that I never would have thought to shift the colors this way. It was the random flipping of switches in Instagram that brought me to this end result.

Photoshop’s got it’s own filters, but like most people I haven’t touched them since the first couple weeks I played with the app, and none of them affect images this way. (Those filters are likely out there, I just haven’t looked.)

What’s been happening since is that I’ll process an image in Photoshop or Snapseed then send it to Instagram to experiment with its filters. Not being able to get high res images back out of the app, I send the image back to Photoshop to match and reproduce the effect.

Now that I think about it, this might warrant a second Instagram account to use just for processing. TBD.

UPDATE: Here’s the photo before post. Heh, pre-post. This’ll give you an idea as to how much processing was done to achieve the look and feel above.

Ray Weitzenberg - Dying Star Original

Anthony McCall at Sean Kelly

This morning @rkdwp, his girlfriend, Emily and myself headed for Pace to see the James Turrell show. It wasn’t amazing, but worked to get me in the mood for the museum shows this summer.

On a related note, the book paired with the LACMA show is strong. I had a chance to take a look at it at the gallery prior to its going on sale.

A bit later we headed to Sean Kelly to catch the Anthony McCall show. It’s up for just a few more days, so giddy up. Unfortunately I didn’t get any good shots of McCall’s solid-light installation.

What I am happy with is the shot below that I took of the buddies watching McCall’s “Circulation Figures” installation. This shot makes up for not having the right gear for the primary piece.

On yet another related tangent, have a look back at a previous Limitless Pulse post I wrote about McCall. Included in the post are examples of some of those amazing solid-light works. The piece we saw today was as striking as one would expect.

Anthony McCall @ Sean Kelly

Wormhole Remix & Photoshop Touch

Chapter 2 in the ongoing series documenting work I’ve done sprouting from the appropriation of Creative Commons licensed images found on Flickr. First, the remix:

Wormhole Remix

The original, wormhole by clickykbd aka Ryan Gallagher:

wormhole by clickykbd

Remixing this image was exceptionally satisfying as it was one of the first times I’d used Photoshop Touch on the iPad.

I’ve been using Photoshop on the desktop for nearly 20 years, but this new app has an interface that I found especially liberating to use.

On the desktop, I typically use Photoshop for color correction and brightness / contrast adjustment. I rarely use it for more illustrative approaches the way I did here.

It took a moment to orient myself, but using Touch flowed smoothly. With its new interface, I freely explored the app and let loose experimenting with it.

With Touch I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, and somehow having the input device being my fingers rather than a mouse and keyboard made using it something more similar to the charcoal drawings I’d done so long ago.

As I said, this is one of the very first experiments I’ve done using Photoshop Touch. But the process was so satisfying I see myself picking up the iPad more often than the mouse and keyboard to make more of these graphic pieces.

It’s a Euro

One winter afternoon, Bear and I were exploring Chelsea galleries. He found a euro, picked it up and all day long had good luck.

Remix en La Felguera

At the end of last year I produced a series of images that existed as edits, or remixes of Creative Commons licensed photos and illustrations found on Flickr.

The licensing of the images specify the need for attribution, so it’s with this and a smattering of future posts, that I’ll document both the originals and the finished pieces I created.

Here is the remix:

Light Painting en La Felguera Remix

And the original, Light Painting en La Felguera by Luis Fdez:

Light Painting en La Felguera Remix