Playing with the New Google Photos: Animations

Dead Sea Sunset by Natalie Parker

I took the plunge and decided to try the new Google Photos.  I’ll put comprehensive thoughts in a future post, but I wanted to share one cool thing today: animations.

As Google ingests all 30,000 photos in my collection, every so often it will take similar photos and animate them!

You must enable this feature by clicking on Settings and turning on Suggest New Creations.

I love seeing this surprises pop up.  At the top of this post is the sun setting over the Dead Sea.

Or, perhaps you like baby monkeys?  These two are from a national park in China:

Monkeys in China by Natalie Parker

It handles sports pictures really well:

Cal Football at Northwestern by Natalie Parker

And pictures of koalas:

Koala at Taronga Zoo in Sydney by Natalie Parker

One of my favorites is from our wedding day.  Our photographer took a bunch of pictures of us on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, trying to get the effect of people zooming by us.  I don’t think the pictures were that successful by themselves, but the animation really shows the effect:

Wedding Day on Telegraph Avenue Berkeley

I see just a few nit picky downsides:

I can’t control what is animated and what isn’t.  Sometimes it splits items into two animations when really everything could have gone together.  EDIT: I’ve learned I can create my own animations using the Photos mobile app.  I haven’t found that option on the web version.

I can’t edit for brightness and color.  If I haven’t edited some of the photos (often they are dark), the animation will use unedited photos.  Once the animation is created, I can’t edit to punch up the color.  If I really wanted an A+ looking animation, I’d have to delete, edit, and reupload the pictures then hope Google selects and animates them again.

For example, I really really want to fix the brightness so this little penguin looks like he did in real life (on bright white snow!):

Penguin moving by Natalie Parker

Or fix the brightness on this set of me sliding down the snow in Antarctica:

Sledding in Antarctica by Natalie Parker

But, all in all, I love these!  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them since I can’t exactly put animations in a scrapbook.  We’ll see!  What would you do with these?


Argentina in Yellow

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

We left for Argentina almost a year ago.  It was really a stepping stone to a bigger adventure.  When we got home, we were still reeling from the experience of being in Antarctica.  I shared Antarctica pictures with you but my time in Argentina was quickly pushed aside as I started the new year, new classes, and looked ahead.

I was coding my travel archives a couple weeks ago and realized I hadn’t said anything about Argentina.  I’m thinking about it now and how beautiful the weather must be.  I’m starting to forget what it felt like to be in the oppressive heat with rolling blackouts.

When we visited China, I experimented for the first time actively capturing one color: red.  If you don’t naturally take photos of random objects and default toward the “big shots,” this is good practice to break out of that mold.

In Argentina, I picked yellow.  Here is what I found:

This is one of the first pictures I took, when we arrived in La Recoleta in Buenos Aires.  I think I picked yellow at that moment or soon before.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Most taxis are black and yellow.  Traffic is a mix between first and third world, meaning they mostly obey traffic laws but it can get hairy.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

A bench outside an ice cream stand in Palermo as we went for what must have been the fifth serving of dulce de leche ice cream.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

I was trying to get the Starbucks sign with the traffic signs here.  Everything is a mixture of new and old.  Sometimes the differences can be quite stark.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Picking up some maps of the city before stopping for an ice cream.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Remembering an amused taxi driver taking us to La Costanera so we could find choripan (more on that in a later post).  We wanted real street food and we found it.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

I stopped everyone for this shot as we were rushing back to the hotel (after an ice cream pit stop) so we could catch a flight south.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, “El Fin del Mundo” or end of the world as they call it.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Right at the foot of the Andes, it looks a bit like a ski town.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Getting a remis to our hotel.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Beautiful flowers outside the hotel lobby.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

And finally, standing on the shore of the Beagle Channel.  We’d sail through it the next day on our way to the seventh continent.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker

Stay tuned for more Argentina photos leading up to Christmas.  I’m planning a roundup for each of the two cities we visited.

Argentina in Yellow by Natalie Parker