Photo Hack Day 3 Recap: 300 developers, 70 hacks, and 21 APIs

On July 14-15, Aviary brought our groundbreaking series of hackathons to the West Coast with Photo Hack Day 3, hosted by Dropbox at their lovely San Francisco headquarters, headline sponsored by Facebook, with additional sponsorship by Walgreens, Sincerely, 500px, FlashFoto, Flickr, FujiFilm, and Tumblr. In just 24 hours, more than 300 developers teamed up to create an astonishing 70 hacks utilizing 21 featured APIs, making this the largest photo hackathon ever -- even larger than Photo Hack Day 2, the current record holder, which we threw on our home turf!


The event was kicked off with API presentations from our sponsors and our friends at Cheezburger,, Foursquare, IQ Engines, Microsoft, Shutterfly, Stupeflix, Teleportd, TokBox, Twilio, and  This versatile mix of APIs inspired developers and provided them with a hefty toolbox from which to build.

From there, developers built teams, constructed plans, and dove right into their laptops, clicking away until dinner, when they finally took a break to listen in on our discussion panel about “The Future of Photos,” featuring some of the most talented names in this corner of the industry: Avi Muchnick (Aviary, CEO), Dirk Stoop (Facebook, lead Product Manager on Photos), Jim Heiser (Adobe, Marketing Manager), Lucas Buick (Hipstamatic, CEO), and Kristen Berman (Lytro, Product Manager for Web and Mobile). After wrapping up the discussion panel, hackers logged in for a long night, only breaking away for the occasional midnight cookie or a swift scooter race through the lovely Dropbox campus.

Thankfully, our energy drink sponsors -- Redbull, 5 Hour Energy, and Guayaki Yerba Mate -- with the help of coffee and snacks from Walgreens and Sincerely, helped everyone power through the night.


To check out more photos of PHD3, check out Photosugar's newsfeed of the event.

Clearly the caffeine worked, as, come morning, developers logged 70 hacks, covering both web and mobile.  Merely finishing an app in 24 hours is an accomplishment; however, only 3 hacks could win.  Apps were judged based on technical accomplishment, cleverness, originality, and the overall real-world value of the application.

The winners are as follows:

Best use of Aviary API -Filter compare: a hack that adds a button called 'ALL Filters' to Aviary's Web editor. If the user clicks on this, it will automatically apply multiple filters and show them as a grid, making it EASY to compare filters.

**link coming soon!**

by Raja Rao.

For his clever usage of the Aviary API, Raja won an NYC start up immersion package, featuring $1000.00 to cover a trip out to NYC where he can work from our HQ and meet with several of the biggest names in the NYC tech community.

3rd place ($1,000.00) - Just a second - An app that captures one second videos to share the beauty of a single moment. -

by: Jeff Kiske, Ben Perez, Eric Berdinis, Ayaka Nonaka

2nd place ($2,000.00) - Sizzly - Sizzly is a social photo editing platform. Users can upload photos or capture new images via a native iOS app or website. Photos are then shared via social routes so the community can submit their edits. Edits are ranked by votes, then options are given to have the photo shared via Tumblr, Sincerely, Walgreens, or Fujifilm's print services. Users earn points by making successful edits. As points are accrued, those users can be sought out for photo-retouching related jobs. -

by: Chris Faulkner, Joey Hiller, Elliot Lee, Mohamed Mansour

1st place ($7,000.00) - Pics with friends - A game between friends where one clicks a picture and challenges the other to guess it.  The other friend sees the picture with Image effects like blur and tries to guess the caption for the image. -

by: Parashuram Narasimhan, Artur Rivilis, Sean Ren


"Future Of  Photos" Panel L to R: Jim Heiser (Adobe), Kristen Berman (Lytro), Lucas Buick (Hipstamatic), and Dirk Stoop (Facebook - not shown on the right)


Additional prizes went out to developers for best usage of each API, plus additional fun prizes were given away by Photojojo, HTC, and  We wish we could have given a prize to everyone, though, as we’re absolutely thrilled with the large turnout and incredible participation, especially considering this was our first time out on the West Coast.  Many thanks to all of our excellent sponsors as well!!!

Hope to see you all at Photo Hack Day 4!


The Aviary team