Tech Report: CamFind

Y’all probably know that I taught in the Computer Science Department at Trinity University and have always been kind of a closet techie. So I was really excited to read about an app called CamFind, which searches for objects based on a photo. Kim Komando, self-described as America’s Digital Goddess, wrote about it on her site. I really like her tips (most of the time).

Anyway, Kim wrote: “CamFind uses the Cloudsight API (application program interface) to search the Internet for your image. If it’s a cup of coffee, it’ll recognize that image, translate it into an online search, and give the results. CamFind recognizes almost any image. Plus, it’s free to use. So, give it a shot, to see how well it works for you.

And this was a consumer review about CamFind: “This blew my mind, it even recognized a contemporary abstract painting by an unknown artist that hangs in our apartment as an abstract painting.”

So I downloaded CamFind (free for both iPhones and Android) because I wanted to find info about some art-related objects, and gave it a try!
First Object – the Diet Dr. Pepper that was sitting on my desk (as always):
CamFind swung into action and immediately identified it as:
And then it helpfully gave me a link to where I could by some more red and white Coors beer steins.
So then I tried a photo of an encaustic piece that I did several years ago:
CamFind took a look and told me that it was
Hmmm – that was a little better, but I was hoping for something more like. “Engaging ecaustic dimension art work by world famous artist Lyn Belisle. “ Didn’t happen. I am reduced to being a creator of brown and black wall decor. Sigh.
Finally, I tried the metal piece that I really wanted to identify – I have been using these in some of my Ex Voto constructions and wanted to know what it was and where it came from (a friend had given me several of these).
CamFind instantly identified it as – I kid you not
And it showed me several sites where I could buy another sandal just like this one.
So — to the reviewer who was astounded that CamFind could identify her abstract painting as an abstract painting, your point is??? I can look at it and see that much. Can’t CamFind give me a nice critique of the color, style, and hidden motivation? Guess not.
In summary, CamFind is free and often unintentionally hilarious; however, don’t count on it to actually identify stuff for you in detail. But as Kim Komando says, “Give it a shot, to see how well it works for you.”
And by the way, Kim has some interesting tips for artists who want to sell their work online through social media. If you’re interested, click here see what she tells an online caller from Alabama.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to take some more photos with my amazingly amusing CamFind app before heading out to the studio to paint.

Talk amongst yourselves (and Friday Freebie)

Hi, and happy Friday – I’m in the throes of class prep at Trinity, so I’ve found a little design video to inspire and amuse you while I’m off working in my spiffy new computer lab. It’s *hard* to switch an art brain for a tech brain – wahhh.

The finished Magnetic Shard Face pin

The finished Magnetic Shard Face pin

But I didn’t forget the Friday Freebie! A lucky SHARDS subscriber will receive a Face Shard Pin Kit complete with magnet, face shard, paper and beads (your choice of warm or cool colors) to create your own wearable art adornment that looks something like this – it’s easy and fun to put it together since everything in the kit is coordinated and cut to size.

So here’s the design project video by Pierre Lota of Lota Design – pretty cool stuff. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back soon from tech-land.


ArtTech Networking at the Studio

monaipad_edited-1Here’s part of an email invitation (below) that I sent out last week to the Studio “regulars” – and the response has been amazing. About 20 of us are getting together tomorrow @ 5:00 at the Studio to discuss how we can best network together to learn new skills in social media and digital imagery – like giving the Mona Lisa an iPad – it’s easy!!

“Dear All – Just in the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a number of requests for help with tech issues for artists, such as learning Photoshop, creating on iPads, blogging, and using other social media for art promotion. There’s a huge need for this these days, and I am “lucky” enough to have been forced to learn some of it when I started teaching at Trinity ten years ago. My idea would be to discuss what the needs are and then possibly set up either individual sessions or a small group workshop or two during the summer (these would have a small tuition charge), but then we would go further than that – you could partner with a tech buddy (or several) who is interested in the same things you are and you could help each other when I’m not available. It would be like a learning circle. I can give you all kinds of links to resources and tutorials so you could learn on your own in the direction that best suits you. What do you think? ~ Lyn”

I expect people will want to learn new things in two areas – how to work with digital images in Photoshop and other editing programs, and how to get more exposure for their art via the Internet. We’ll see how it goes, and I can set up some classes to fit the needs of my fellow artists. Come by if you’re interested and share ideas with us. It should be fun. If you can’t make it in person, do read Alyson Stanfield’s book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio. It’s a great guide to promoting your art. And if you’d like some free (free is good) beginner Photoshop Lessons, here’s a link for you.

We’re all in the together – might as well share what we know!