While unlikely to supplant Photoshop, Sumopaint is a surprisingly smooth and powerful image editor. Unlike Photoshop, Sumopaint operates in your browser. Powered by Flash, the program sports many of the same tools as Photoshop. The program also supports layers and filters. The filters are available only if you pay a one-off fee, and for slightly more, users can download an offline app version. The interface is very clean and professional. Now to search for a browser based image editor that runs on html5...
Ancient by digital standards, Photoshop continues to reinvent inself. To see how the latest incarnation has changed from those which preceded it, download the temporarily free beta from Adobe, and check out an introductory tour from Lynda.com.
A simple idea, well executed: the Noun Project is a catalogue of symbols covering everything from the mundane to the sublime. They are available free of charge, and the web interface is as simple, clean and monochrome as the symbols themselves.
File under: people with way too much time on their hands, or: how to make your fetish into a business. Austin Radcliffe spends his days shooting and curating images of objects arranged in aesthetically pleasing ways. In some ways his obsession is quite old school — collectors have long organised their finds by all sorts of esoteric criteria. While the neat aspect will probably irk messy people, the various collations, coteries and concatenations are often quite pretty, fun, and interesting for the sheer variety of things revealed in the world.
Looking backwards in time is to be constantly surprised. There's always so much that has been forgotten, and is genuinely strange and unfamiliar Seen in detail, eras often belie their stereotypes. How to be a Retronaut posts themed photo galleries chiefly from any decade of the last ten. Topics include Colour tourist photographs from the Soviet Union (1960s), Harlem Street Scenes (1930s), Pepsi advertisements (1950s), an Apple Gift Catalogue (1983), portraits taken in fake snow (Victorian England) and abandoned buildings of Detroit (2000s) and many, many more. The photographs and ephemera are often hard to contextualise and integrate, yet in an odd way, bring the past momentarily into the present.
Google Street View gives users the chance to 'stand' on any of millions of streets and pan to see the scenery. But as every viewer knows, the average street is pretty prosaic, and the image quality is not fabulous anyway. Which brings us to 360cities. This immersive site has thousands of high resolution 360 degree images from all over the world — views of mountains, canyons, urban scenes, forest glades and massive crowds. The images are seamless, sharp and occupy your full screen with thousands of details that you can absorb at leisure. The interface is easy to navigate, piggybacking on Google maps (and also appearing as a layer in Google Earth), and once you get started, stopping is a problem. Check out some of their ultra high resolution images — the London Eye panorama is a jaw dropping 80 gigapixels.
Fascination with combinations of repeating images/symbols and colour seems to span cultures and appear in every historical period. The Mayans, the Egyptians, the Persians and Victorian-era Britons were obsessed with pattern, whether applied to walls, monuments, clothes or jewellery. Those similarly afflicted in the 21st century can use programs like this. While they may not be designing a grand tomb, they could at least generate a nifty wallpaper for their mobile phone or PC...
- Try to use images at, or close to, the original size unless there is a lot of image detail to work with.
- Look for images with large pixel sizes (1000 pixels and above, preferably). Anything smaller than 400 pixels across is likely to be of little use for print.
- When saving in the jpeg format, use the highest or next highest quality level.
- when converting an image from 72dpi to 300dpi or similar, resize without resampling to discover the 'true' size of the image at print resolution.
- If an image has to be enlarged for print purposes, use a sharpening filter afterwards