Wednesday, February 22, 2012

4 Easy Steps to Creating a Photo Guide

With ShutterGuides, we've made it easy for anyone to quickly create a photography guide with the best spots they've found. Do you know Chicago like the back of your hand? Have you studied and found every spot in Yosemite that Ansel Adams stood at? Why not create a photo guide, complete with GPS coordinates, weather details, recommendations for equipment to bring, and, of course, a photo to prove that spot's worth?

Here's a walk-through of creating a guide on ShutterGuides:

(Well, ok, I said there were 4 steps, but just this first time, there's 1 extra - you'll have to link up your photo sharing account - for now we support either Flickr or Google+/Picasa. You'll import photos from this account for your guide.)
  1. Choose your spots: Select photos from your shared albums that you think represent the location well. Try to choose a photo that shows off the spot at least as much as your photographic talent. As you select photos, we'll import any public EXIF data for that photo, such as geotag, shutter speed, and aperture. (Remember to share that stuff on Google or Flickr if you want it imported.)
  2. Choose photos that best show off the location of your spot.
  3. Map your spots: You are, after all, sharing photo locations, so any photo that doesn't already have a geotag will need to be dragged onto a map. (For tips on recording and sharing GPS coordinates with your photos, check out our help page on this.) The further you zoom in before dropping the photo, the more accurate your spot will be.
  4. Map your spots by dragging the photos onto the map.
  5. Describe your spots: This step is optional, but helpful for anyone using your guide. You can write a short title and description for each photo spot, including things like recommended equipment to bring, tips, tricks, etc.
  6. Describe the spots, giving tips about equipment, time, etc.
  7. Describe the guide: Give the guide a memorable and descriptive title like "Left My Heart in San Francisco" or "One for Me, Tufa You - A Guide to Mono Lake". Optionally, write a short description to the guide, and add tags to help people find your guide later.
  8. Give your guide a memorable title, and (optionally) a description and tags.
That's it! Your guide is finished, and you're ready to publish. Don't forget to share the guide afterwards with your friends on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and the like!

So what are you waiting for? Join ShutterGuides today to create your photo guide!

And as always, give us feedback on this process. We want to make this as simple as possible for you to create the best guides you can!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hello World, Welcome to ShutterGuides

It’s been a long time in the making, but today we’re proud to announce the launch of ShutterGuides, the best way to share awesome photography spots! With ShutterGuides, you can create photo guides featuring awesome photo spots.
If you’re curious, the idea started a little more than a year ago. Wyatt and I and another friend were headed to Yosemite for a photo run, and I had spent the morning researching photo spots in Yosemite Valley. There was one scene in particular that I was interested in trying to capture: a view of El Capitan in the background, with the Merced River in the foreground, and sunset lighting the scene to make magic. But where do we go to get that shot?
There were a few somewhat helpful sites out there, but none really oriented toward sharing photography locations (most were very oriented to sharing the photo itself). We started talking about how useful it would be to have a site where you could easily share locations and research places ahead of time. Fast forward a year or so and many late night coding sessions, and here we are!
All you photographers out there, take it for a test drive, kick the tires (although not too hard please!), and let us know what you think, and do us a huge favor: create a photo guide to somewhere you visit or know well!
Oh, and if you’re still wondering, we did find that spot, barely. We very nearly missed the sunset, but here's the spot, complete with GPS location and photo details, as part of my Yosemite National Park photo guide:

Oh, and don't forget to give us your feedback as we embark on this journey together!