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Image of the week: Protect me!

This image is available for sale and use starting from only 1.95$ at the link below. http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/ecology-concept/1312678

This image is available for sale and use starting from only 1.95$ at the link below. http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/ecology-concept/1312678

 

I decided upon the image of the week based of the recent protests against the cyanide mining at Rosia Montana in Romania. Rosia Montana is a commune in Alba County.  It is located in the Valea Rosiei, through which the Rosia River flows. The rich mineral resources of the area have been exploited since Roman times or before. The state-run gold mine closed in late 2006 in advance of Romania’s accession to the EU. Gabriel Resources of Canada plan to open a new mine. This has caused controversy on one hand over the extent to which remains of Roman mining would be preserved and over fears of a repeat of the cyanide pollution at Baia Mare and on the other, over the benefits that mining would bring to this poor and underdeveloped part of the country. According to some reports, the project would use as much as 12,000 tons of cyanide annually, which is more than any mining project in Europe, a quantity that would not only infect the waters and the land there, but in the whole Romania and all the other Balkan countries in a mere 15-20 years from the starting of the project. It would be one of the biggest ecological disasters of all time, leaving a country dry and dead. Over the last 11 days people started to protest, gathering 1000-3000 people each day, culminating with over 15 000 on Sunday afternoon in a huge march through more neighborhoods. The protests started as the government decided to vote a special expropriation law to get the people at Rosia Montana out of their houses so the mining project could start. This law breaks constitutional laws. It breaks property laws for the people in Rosia Montana, heritage laws and clean environment laws.
This is just another example how people decide to kill this planet for money, leaving only distruction and deaths behind.
The simplicity of this image by creativeapril carries the message of how simple it would all be if we all united for a better future, our future, the next generations future.

What’s so great about this image?

1. It has a very simple composition with a powerful message, of protection.
2. It has a lot of copy space where you can write your own messages, of even complete it with your own drawings.
3. It can be used as two different images, by cutting the “Protect me” sign out of the image. So we have a simple background with grass and another one with the message and the butterfly.
4. The message “Protect me” is in a word bubble case, making it look like the nature – represented by the grass – is sending the message to us.
5. The design of the butterfly makes it look like green leaves, showing that everything is part of nature, all living things, that we must protect in order to keep the harmony and our own health.
6. The colors are simple and calming, making the image very positive.
7. It raises awareness about ecology and the stay green concept.

How could we use it?

  •  Environmental and ecological campaigns.
  •  Inspirational posters to be put on walls inside your house, office or even in a pub/restaurant/club.
  • The main image for an activism campaign.
  •  Website and blog wallpapers and layouts.
  •  For magazine covers and articles regarding the current situation with pollution and ecology’s place in saving the earth as we know it.
  •  Book and magazines covers, also as a main image for an article in newspapers, magazines, blog, etc.
  •  Outdoor adverts.

 

 

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The image of the week: We wait, time doesn’t!

The image is available for sale at: http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/time-concept/8185160

The image is available for sale at: http://yaymicro.com/stock-image/time-concept/8185160

Time is relative, according to Albert Einstein. To the rest of world time is either called the enemy either the savior. We always say that time will heal all wounds or we panic when we realize that time is ticking just like a clock and the more we move in the future the more we feel we don’t have enough time to do whatever we want. The truth is time just is, it never moves faster or slower. These are just the perceptions that we have about it. This image by stokkete is so wonderful that i fell in love with it and its concept. I like it so much that i might actually frame it and hang it on my wall as a reminder that we all have time, it’s just the way that we use it that will make a difference in our lives.

What’s so great about this picture?

1. It has a great message that is always actual. Since forever people have complained about either the lack of time or the amount of free time that leads to boredom.

2. It has fantastic geometry that raises this image as a beautiful piece of art.

3. It has a vintage look due to the colors. Vintage is the new modern in our age, also an indication how time actually moves from past to present and future.

4. The amount of copy space gives the buyer the opportunity to write a lot of messages on it.

How could we use it?

  •  As the main image for an insurance company, great for promoting a life insurance.
  •  Motivational posters for improving life’s quality by becoming more organized and establishing one’s priority. We all know that saying;”Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today!”.
  •  An investment campaign either for stock market or real estate.
  •  An advert for a miracle cosmetics that stops the aging progress.
  •  A campaign for a recruitment company. Time is now, apply and we’ll help find you a job faster so you save the time you spend applying your CV everywhere.
  •  Wallpapers for your desktops. (By the way, this is my current wallpaper)
  •  A framed print to put on the walls either in your home, office, etc. It really is such an artistic image.
  •  The cover for a book or inside print in either books, magazines or newspapers.
  •  Outdoors billboards for different campaigns.

 

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Image of the week: Freedom in a world of constrains

Tied up woman screaming.

Image available for sale at: http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/tied-up-woman-screaming-/3611051

When i first saw this image uploaded by BDS my mind stopped for a few minutes and i kept starring at it like a kid at something new and lovely. It intrigued me so much because it has so much power and it is so versatile and it speaks so much about freedom and how tied down are all of us by the society. I met once a very wise old man who told me that freedom is not how we perceive it and freedom is not achieved through wars and violence, but through our own minds. In society we need to have rules that we must obey in order for it to function, but what we can do for ourselves is to set ourselves free from the inside out, not the other way around. We can become free by changing the way we see things, the way we think and act towards the world and the others around us. That reminds of a great quote by Mahatma Gandhi that fits just right: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

What’s so great about this picture?

1. It has a powerful full of emotion message – a woman tied up and screaming.

2. It has endless opportunities of usage.

3. It has a lot of copy space on the black background where you can write you own words, message. Actually looking it more carefully you could even write something on the model’s tongue, like a cry for help, etc.

4. The colors are bright and vivid, even though the black background can be a little “threatening”

5. It has great emotional impact reaching subjects as freedom of humans in society, freedom of speech, abuse towards women, emotional and financial constrains, etc.

How could we use it?

  •  Outdoor and indoor adverts and billboards with a message about freedom of speech, freedom of women in the Muslim community, stop the domestic violence.
  • A commercial for a new radio station where you don’t hear any more bad songs.
  • A politician’s campaign image, through which he wants to liberate people of all previous financial and political constrains.
  •  A commercial for a new medicine for head-aches or even flu or allergies, asthma, etc.
  • A powerful campaign to raise awareness about the human traffic situation.
  • A nonconformist job add, for a firm that promotes a different type of working environment, where people are treated nicely and have the freedom to speak without being judged and fired.
  • An add for a psychotherapist new office with a possible message like: Rid yourself of constrains and start living a new life!
  • Wallpapers for our desktops, banners and logos for applications.
  • In magazines and newspapers on a huge number of subjects regarding freedom in every way.
  • Inspirational posters.
  • Printed on shirts, caps, mugs, promotional material, book covers, agendas, etc
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Image of the week: Money is a snake that can both poison or heal

 

Money is a snake that can both poison or heal.

Image by Gloffs availabe for sale at http://www.yayimages.com/stock-image/money-is-a-snake-that-can-both-poison-or-heal-/3838737

No matter how hard we try to deny it and think otherwise, the truth is money is what makes the world spin. The only problem in this is greed. Money make us happy and help us sustain our health, but in the same time it makes us miserable and sick. We all know that food no longer tastes like the food we ate when we were children. It is not because we grew up and don’t taste food the same way, but because greed has led us to the moment when we eat vegetables and fruits made in labs, modified organisms, that have less nutrients, less taste and a high concentration of toxic substances. Living has become a business and this photo made by Gloffs is a wonderful conceptual example that proves it.

What’s so great about this picture?

1. It raises awareness about the current situation of the food industry.
2. It has a big emotional impact.
3. The colors are bright and eye-catching.
4. It has copy space where you can add your own text.
5. Great isolation, the image can be cut out very fast and easily worked on.

How could we use it?

  • In magazines and newspapers in articles regarding the food industry and also financial, economical subjects about this matter.
  •  Wallpapers for our desktop, logos for applications.
  • The image for a nutritionist business card.
  •  Outdoor adverts and billboards as the main image or part of it.
  •  An agricultural campaign logo for investing in your food by planting and harvesting your own food.
  • Inspirational posters about the freedom of choice when it comes to food.
  • Websites and blog wallpapers and layouts.
  • Printed on t-shirts, caps, mugs, promotional materials.

 

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Open Source: How Stock Photo Agency YayMicro.com was Created Using Only Open Source Technology

Bjorn has written a paper on the Open Source use at YayMicro. Please enjoy! Click here to download a PDF-version (106kb).

Open Source Image Agency

Beginning

With little resources, but lot’s of faith, energy and a common belief in how a microstock agency should be made, three entrepreneurs all quit their job at a leading stock agency, and started creating low price photo agency YayMicro from scratch.

They literally had nothing: No founding, no code, no stock photos. Today http://yaymicro.com features more than one million stock photos and is commonly regarded as the easiest to use microstock agency. This is a fairy tale story showing how far the open source community has come, and how you can create something out of nothing if you just believe.

Microstock: Low Price Stock Photos

Microstock

Microstock photography is an offshoot of traditional stock photo agencies. Microstock companies source their images via the Internet from a wide range of photographers, and customers can buy the stock photos at a very low price compared to traditional stock photo agencies. At YayMicro.com anyone can register as a photographer, upload their pictures and, if the photos are approved by YayMicro’s reviewers, sell them to customers around the world. When an image is bought through the website, the photographer receives 50% in commission. In contrast to traditional stock agencies, licensing rights at YayMicro is super simple. YayMicro offers a Royalty Free license that gives the customer permission to use an image on anything the customer want, as many times as he wants, for as long as he wants. The only limitation is on reselling rights, which can also be bought, but at a higher price.

TECHNOLOGY

Since resources were scarce, and software is expensive, the people at YayMicro were pretty much forced to look at free alternatives for anything they did. Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Apple were out the window. Instead, every piece of technology was chosen from the open source community.

Operating System – CentOS200px-CentOS_full_logo.svg

The enterprise-class linux distribution was chosen because it has proven to be one of the most reliable and stable distributions. It’s one of the most popular server distributions, meaning it is easy to find solutions and support online. YayMicro is currently running CentOS release 5.5 (Final) that was released in May this year.
CentOS was an easy choice for Yay, since the developers had experience from RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The community around CentOS provides the support needed, and the functionality is just as good as RHEL. In fact, CentOS can be regarded as the free edition of the same software that makes Red Hat an enterprise solution. It is incredibly stable, efficient, and secure. It provides the same level of security as other enterprise Linux versions. All updates also coincides with a release of RH, ensuring consistent compatibility.


Postgres-Database-Is-Expected-to-Suffice-the-Needs-of-Different-Administration

Database Management System – PostgresSQL

Obviously, for a microstock agency with millions of images, selecting the right DBMS is crucial. There were two clear alternatives YayMicro had to choose between; mySQL and PostgresSQL. Traditionally mySQL has been assumed to be faster, but less full-featured than PostgresSQL. However, this assumption is to a high extent based on history and old stereotypes, and for the most part outdated. PostgresSQL has become much faster recent years, while mySQL has implemented many functionalities in its last releases.

Both PostgresSQL and mySQL have their own loyal supporters, focusing on advantages in their system while talking mostly about faults and problems with the other. In the end both systems are excellent systems, and both would probably have been good choices for Yay. The choice might have come down to two factors that might or might not have been correct.

First, PostgresSQL have a rumor for scaling better with large amounts of data. This was hard to test initially, but with millions of millions of records, the database is still super responsive, even at high concurrency levels. Secondly it might have factored in that YayMicro felt PostgresSQL was the more “open” of the two open source systems, a belief that was somewhat “confirmed” in 2009 when Oracle bought mySQL.

Search Engine – Apache Solrsolr

One of the most important aspects of a successful stock photo agency is a good search engine. If users can’t find their picture in seconds, they’ll go somewhere else. Technically, searches could be done straight to the PostgresSQL database, but even though it’s super fast, it’s nowhere near what YayMicro needed. Consider this; each image is tagged with 50 keywords, the database holds more than a million images. Each search should take into account the relevancy of search phrase, orientation of images, how many people is in the picture, country of image, explicit images and categories. It should return a ranked list of a search, giving you exactly result from 350 to 400 if that is what you ask for. Consider thousands of people searching the website for images at the same time. Apache Solr is up for it.

Solr was created by CNET Networks in 2004, and donated to Apache in 2006, thereby going open source. Although Solr is still a young project, it has become extremely popular and proved to be a really strong search engine. YayMicro is the only microstock agency that uses this modern search engine, and as a result features the fastest search in the industry. Other users of Solr include NASA, CNET, Yellow Pages, Digg.com and SourceForge. You can try the search here: http://yaymicro.com/search.action

JqueryJavaScript Library – jQuery

JavaScript is what made webpages dynamic, and jQuery is what made JavaScript accessible. That’s a bold statement, and might be an exaggeration, but it is meant to show how important jQuery has been to the development of YayMicro.com. “jQuery: The Write Less, Do More, JavaScript Library” is their slogan, and it’s very fitting. Javascript has never been this easy.

Adding a simple line of code (importing the jQuery Library) does two things. It makes it easy to write javascript code, and it makes it possible to include tons of jQuery compatible plugins. Whenever new functionality like image previews, login boxes, button effects or image galleries have to be implemented, jQuery is there to help. It’s not an exaggeration that implementing the preview function on the page took less than three hours, and most of that time was used browsing for the right plugin. Released just four years ago in 2006, it’s already used by more than 31% of the 10.000 most visited websites. That’s no coincident.

YayMicro uses the latest release, 1.4.2 of jQuery. Updates are done as soon as new versions are proven to be compatible with all used plugins.

Image software – ImageMagickimneeeerdo

An image agency needs a stable and extensive image converter. ImageMagick provides all the needs, and does so with a BSD license. All image conversions and vector graphics are done with ImageMagick and GhostScript. ImageMagick is also easily adjustable to Yay’s server environment.

ImageMagick has support for over 100 formats, tons of functionality and extensive security features, including memory and thread error detection. All the stock photos, more than one million, have in some way been handled with ImageMagick.

logoWeb Application Development Framework – Stripes

Web Application Development with Java has historically been responsible for many headaches for developers who had to spend 80% of their time configuring, and only 20% of the time were spent on actual code writing. When Struts went open source in 2000, it got a little better for developers, but there was still a lot of time spent on configuration. WebWork 2 and Spring-MVC are better, but nothing really compares to how easy it is to develop Java EE applications with Stripes. Auto-discovered ActionBeans, transparent file upload capability and a great Localization system are just some of the things that make Stripes so easy to use.

On the Stripes website, they claim that: “Stripes aims to provide an experience similar to owning Apple hardware, Sony TVs and luxury German cars (without the price premium); things just work, they feel right and every now and again you get that “Oh, it does that too? Awesome!” feeling.” Stripes really does this, and for the diehard Apple fans in Yay, the Apple reference alone is reason enough to use it.


Other technologies

To make YayMicro.com work, there are too many technologies involved to write in-depth about all of them. Here are the nuts and bolts of the open source microstock agency that is YayMicro.com.

• Eclipse The open source toolset Eclipse is used for developing the Java EE applications that are used.
• Apache ActiveMQ Apache ActiveMQ is a message broker that enables applications to talk to each other.
• Bucardo Bucardo is the open source Database Synchronization system built for PostgresSQL
• Bacula Bacula is the backup application that makes everybody at YayMicro sleep well.
• Apache Subversion Subversion is the revision control system used. A more modern version of the all-popular CVS.
• Wordpress blog.yaymicro.com is running on WordPress, (which means YayMicro is also using mySQL)

Click here to download a PDF-version.

-Bjorn Sjogren

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Dr. Jackson Avery (actor Jesse Williams) from Grey's Anatomy as a Stock Photo Model!

The other day I was helping out a client looking for different types of people in our stock photo base. After working in the stock photo industry for some years you begin to recognize the different models, and you’d probably greet them as old friends if you ran into them on the street. Even when you have 10.000+ models in your image base, as we do now, you still recognize a surprising number of them!

So at first I didn’t stop to take a closer look when I saw a familiar face. But there was something about those blue eyes that made me click back to take a closer look. I thought to myself “This must be that Grey’s Anatomy guy, Avery, but is he a stock photo model”? I got Jan to check the model release, and it’s true.

Stock Photo of Jesse Williams, who plays Jackson Avery in Grey's Anatomy.

Jesse Williams, who plays Jackson Avery in Grey’s Anatomy, is a stock photo model represented at Yaymicro.com!

Let’s enjoy his pictures while we wait for season 7, where he’ll play a leading role. First episode, “With You I’m Born Again” airs on September 24, at ABC.

Cheers, Linda

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