Viewing China through PicLens

I’m a Firefox user, and one of the greatest things about it is its extensibility. PicLens, a full-screen 3D image viewer that works especially well with Flickr, has got to be one of the best extensions I have ever seen (even if it is almost too iPhone). I never blogged about a Firefox addon before because there wasn’t really a reason to. Now I never want to go back to boring HTML views on Flickr.

You have to see it in motion to really appreciate the addon, but check out these screenshots of PicLens views of some of my favorite (Greater) China-based photographers:


Poagao's Photos as seen through PicLens


Raemin's Photos as seen through PicLens

Life in Nanning

Life in Nanning's Photos as seen through PicLens

Shanghai Sky

ShanghaiSky's Photos as seen through PicLens

Mask of China

Mask of China's Photos as seen through PicLens

One great thing about the addon is that it’s much easier to skim quickly through a photographer’s collection and get a sense of the overall style. Give it a try.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Thanks for the link, John. I’m going to definitely check this add-on out.

  2. Life in Nanning Says: January 28, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up and it looks like a great add-on. Will give it a spin when I get the chance. Glad you like the photos.

  3. Wow, it’s a great new way to get motion sickness!

  4. Looks cool. Thank you for the info. ! (:

  5. I installed the add-on and gave it a try (it’s painless). However, I have noticed it adds lag in loading times, and then when browsing photos through PicLens, photos render slowly. I used it exclusively on Flickr. I have yet to try myspace which should be interesting. Anyways, that’s my feedback thus far. I would give this plug-in a C average so far.

  6. Wilson,

    Are you sure your computer doesn’t just suck?

    Ha ha…

  7. Pretty sweet. Thanks for the link.
    It also lagged for me when using on Flickr…and my computer really sucks.
    On facebook, however, no lag at all. Which leads me to believe that on crappy, or maybe semi-crappy, computers large albums render a bit slower. (facebook albums are 60 max)

  8. thanks for the link.

    yeah i get the same lag in loading time on individual photos as well and i’m on a decent computer and fast internet connection.

    the photos aren’t large enough for my taste either..C+ sounds about right, it does look pretty slick.

  9. C, C+?
    No way!
    Even with the lag, I’m calling it at least a B+.
    I’ve been using it on almost every album I’ve come across.
    Also, did you notice that you can search from within the add-on? Makes imaging searching a hell of a lot easier, more organized and well, just plain cooler.

  10. Wow, very cool find John. I’m definitely recommending this to my friends at school.

  11. Greg Pasden Says: January 31, 2008 at 8:16 am

    It almost makes me think that this composition might have been made on a Apple Macintosh computer. I think the compositions look great! Will you add more of your own pics to your site?

  12. Dang, I know my pc aint’ the newest. But if a P4 3ghz w/ 2gb ram and a 4mbit high bandwidth connection stateside is slow…

  13. Thanks so much for posting about PicLens 1.6. We really appreciate it!

    For interested readers, below are links to two videos demos, one by our team and the other by a PicLens fan!


    Thanks, again.
    Jessica & The Cooliris Team

  14. leanice kestner Says: May 9, 2008 at 7:57 am

    i just enjoy looking at places i know ill never go

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