While it sounds like a nasty intestinal parasite, Wire Worm is a plugin designed to rid your photographs of pesky unwanted artefacts (particularly wires). Like many modern Photoshop plugins and features, it does a lot of the heavy lifting automatically, calculating the replacement colour /tones and shapes from the surrounding background. And it does a pretty good job, cutting down on the need for fiddling around with endless cloning and other patching techniques.
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.
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.
When installed in your browser, Cooliris converts a standard image search session into a rather more attractive (and possibly more useful) slide show. Google, Bing, Picasa and Flickr image searches are supported (among others). If nothing else, it can make a prosaic image search into a more interactive and almost three dimensional affair.
Much potential aesthetic pleasure is lost because many objects of beauty are too small for our underpowered eyes to clearly see. But when we use lenses, stains and modern scanning devices, we can see ornate biological forms, pristine crystal structures and intriguing chemical reactions. Nikon celebrates the convergence of beauty and knowledge in a fascinating online gallery.
As a child, I was disappointed to discover that only a couple of thousand stars were visible to the naked eye. With the encroachment of light pollution, that figure is probably rather optimistic. Uber-enthusiastic amateur astronomer Nick Risinger decided to create a massive full sky image combining thousands of images -- the night sky we wish we could see. For optimum viewing, he travelled tens of thousands of kilometres to seek out the darkest parts of the US. The results are awe-inspiring. Our own galaxy extends from edge to edge in a blaze of starry glory, with lanes of gas and companion star clusters clearly visible. He has made large versions (3000 pixels wide) available to the public, plus selling prints on archival stock.