On the internet, we will always be beaten on price


We will always be beaten on price (by Flickr user moleitau, all rights reserved) Image: We will always be beaten on price, courtesy of blackbeltjones

Somehow this picture by Blackbeltjones really resonated with me. It seems to sum up a basic dilemma fact of life everybody (or at least every web worker, freelancer, creative type and coffee shop dweller) faces these days: We’ll never be able to compete through price. On the internet, there’s always someone who’ll be ready to be cheaper, maybe even faster.

Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so, not at all. From my experience, quality and good chemistry beat price anytime. If a client wants it primarily cheap, there’s decent places to get that. But the kind of work many of us are offering needs some time, creative input and experience. (To get an idea, check out Stowe Boyd’s Ten Day Rule, which pretty much sums it up.)

Why am I mentioning this? It’s not like any of my clients has ever complained in this respect, it’s always been good, constructive and trust-based relationships. But this photo was too good not to use it here. ’nuff said.

Photographs changes video as we know it


The header seems somewhat to enthusiastic you say? Well, judge for yourself. A piece of software called Photographs from Washington University looks like it might seriously change the way we deal with video for good by combining video with high-resolution photo shots. Says Gizmodo:

Essentially, you shoot some crappy, low-rez video of a still scene. You then reshoot the same scene with a digital camera (with higher resolution). Software can automagically combine these images to upconvert the video AND fix problems in the image— all while compensating for 3D space. Make sense? The remarkable demo will clarify things a bit:

Using Photographs to Enhance Videos of a Static Scene from pro on Vimeo.

It’s hard to tell how easy-to-use Photographs is at this point. But if the software works even remotely as well as it seems here, it’s just a matter of time until we see this pop up in consumer-grade tools. Wow.

The Big Picture: Stories told in photos by Boston Globe


I don’t know how I could have missed The Big Picture, the Boston Globe‘s amazing photo blog. (It has been around since June). The Big Picture tells stories by featuring stunning, awesome, sometimes scary (and always: huge, i.e. 990px wide) photos, put in context by a paragraph of text.

Waxy interviewed Alan Taylor, the programmer and blogger who created The Big Picture in his spare time while working on some community features at boston.com. (Here’s the full interview.) Alan explains how he goes about collecting the images (partly manually, partly automatic) and how he came up with the idea. One core motivation of his was to free pictures and let them speak for themselves, in most newspapers photos are just used as a click farm for ads:

[…] my parents used to always have Life and National Geographic magazines around the house, I fell in love with the visual storytelling way back then. When I was getting my feet wet in the online journalism world as a developer at msnbc.com, I had the good fortune of working alongside Brian Storm and a few others in MSNBC’s photo department, who were just phenomenal as far as selection, editing and presentation. I wondered why other sites didn’t reach that level. Many have by now, but I was still frustrated by the presentation — either far too small, or trapped in click-after-click interfaces that were in Flash or just acted as ad farms.

I won’t even try to put any of the pictures here, it wouldn’t do them any justice. The Big Picture: A must read.