Automagically Remove Backgrounds

From the Department of AI is Coming for Your Job: an algorithm that does a pretty fair job of separating a human in an image from its background. I uploaded the image of the woman at left, and downloaded the result at right, all in a few seconds. Check it out here. The free version works at limited resolution. There is a paid version (naturally) that works at much higher resolution. The underlying technology is pretty impressive.

Screenshot_2019-01-09 Remove Background from Image – remove bg.png

Search Engine for Copyright free images

This free service allows users to search large public image libraries (such as Flickr, or Wikimedia Commons) for images tagged for commercial use or adaptation. Very clean interface and simple to use. However, as the home page warns "Do not assume that the results displayed in this search portal are under a CC license. You should always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link."

Microstock Photography is a Hard Way to Make a Living

An interesting article detailing the thinking behind the very successful microstock photography service Shutterstock. Submitting artists find it surprisingly hard to get into, which is great for users (most stock art sites could do with a much higher bar to entry). The most successful photographers and artists on Shutterstock reputedly earn six figure incomes, but keeping up with the image search zeitgeist must be a somewhat stressful way to earn a living.