Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Use IFTTT, 500px and Dropbox to research a photo project. An 11 step guide!

A Photo project, you say?

Sometimes I get an idea of a photo that I would like to make. Usually its triggered by something that pops into my feed and it's usually a single photo. There are some really inspiring photos out there and taking someones idea and building your own vision from that, can be quite rewarding.
However; Building a vision from a single photo can be quite hard, if you want to prevent yourself from just copying someone else's artwork. So what do you do? Spend hours on Google Images, looking for other photos of the same subject? Sure, why not. But there might be a smarter way.
Automatisation! Let a few online tools work for you, while you are at work or sleep and harvest the fruits of your ...work?!
With this tip, you will, in a manner of minutes, be able to automatically have images from the leading image hosts, tick in to your online storage provider, for later review and research!
Sounds good?
Well then. Read on!

What do I need?

  • An online storage provider (Dropbox, Google Drive or SkyDrive). Chances are that you already have that. If not, sign up for one.
  • A 500px (or Flickr) account. I'll be working with my 500px account as I LOVE 500px!
    Again; Signup if you don't have an account!
  • A IFTTT.com account. Chances are you don't have that, but you will need it and when you realise the power of IFTTT you will never regret it!
    IFTTT (IF This Then That) is an online tool that can automate a bunch of different tasks and pull many of your online services together.
    What a news item, that you mark 'Read Later' on Feedly to be added to your Evernote or Pocket account? Check!
    What to receive a weather report from Weather.com, every morning via Mail or Text message? Check!
    Want to keep your profile photo on Facebook and Twitter synchronised? Check!

So how do you do it?

Everything is in place? You have everything from the 'What do I need?' section? Lets go!

  1. Sign into your IFTTT account and click Create Recipe.
  2.  Click this. This is your 'action'.
  3.  Click the 500px icon (or Flickr, if that's your thing)
  4. Select 'New photo from search'
  5. Enter Search Term (in this case 'seawall' as I wanted to research some seawall ideas) and Create Trigger
  6. Click that. This is your 'reaction' to your 'action'
  7. Select the Dropbox icon (or SkyDrive or Google Drive, if those are your preferred services)
  8. Click 'Add file from URL'
  9. Add your search term to the folder string
  10. Give your recipe a description. I usually just call mine whatever search term I used.
  11. You are done with setting up IFTTT.

What now?

All you need to do now is to sit back, relax and let the photos automatically roll into your Dropbox folder. Depending on your search term, it might take minutes, hours or even days, before images start ticking in, but at least you don't have to do any manual labour. It will all happen without any work from you.
When enough images has ticked in, for you to use it for inspiration, just log in to your IFTTT account and disable the recipe.
This process has saved me HOURS of work. Try it out!

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