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Due to sporadic distractions this year (sailing the world in our pedal-powered yacht, abduction by hyper-intelligent lemurs, a case of the hantavirus) we missed out on some of 2008′s major headlines.
Luckily, the end of December is our chance to catch up on the news we missed this year.
But which “2008 in Review” article is best? Is it the New York Times? The Economist? The East Weedpatch Herald Tribune?
We just pick the one with the best pictures.
We scored big this year when we found 120 huge photos of practically everything that happened in 2008.
It’s not all fires, floods and wars either: it’s everything from hundreds of performers beating gold drums at the Beijing Olympics to a solar eclipse darkening the afternoon sky into night.
Sure, we may miss some news in 2009 (the old yacht’s a-callin’ and the lemurs are nigh), but at least we’re caught up on 2008.
p.s. Seen it all before? Try the Odd News Review for the news you’ll wish you hadn’t seen.
Photo credits: NASA, Carlos Gutierrez, John Kirk-Anderson, Alex Brandon (more…)
Listen up, young whippersnappers: when we were your age, we had to trudge fifteen miles to work every day. Barefoot. With wild raccoons biting our ankles the whole time.
And if we wanted to have photos on our fabric, we had two options: glue and thumbtacks.
But all you young punks have to do is choose a photo and have Spoonflower print it on cloth for you. Your very own photo-print fabric: yards and yards of it.
And we suppose you rapscallions will make clever things with your fancy photo fabric:
- Wrap skirts with photos of grass on ‘em (Get it? Grass skirt?)
- Custom-made camera cases.
- Camera straps that actually look good around your neck.
- Aprons with photos of food all over them.
- Or even a whole quilt!
Young people these days with their shoes and photo cloth and raccoon-free commutes.
What’s the world coming to, dagnabit?
Why do we like Phoenix?
- It’s an image editor that works just like Photoshop. It’s got magic wands, layers, masks, blend modes: the whole enchilada.
- It’s web-based, so you don’t have to download any software or use up space on your hard drive. You can use photos already on the web, too: Flickr, Facebook and Picasa all work.
- There are 40+ free tutorials that range from beginner to advanced, so you can learn how to use all them fancy tools.
- There’s a very good free version, as well as a souped-up hotrod version that’s actually worth paying for.
And, after months of invitation-only anticipation, Phoenix launches tomorrow to the general public!
But you, dear chums, you are not the general public. Far from it. You are the faithful cadre of the Photojojo elite. Which is why we wrangled, bargained, and mud-wrestled a live alligator to obtain (just for you) special passes!
The first 2000 Photojojo readers to sign up will get $55 off a year’s subscription to the premium version. Fly quick, chickadees!
p.s. While you’re there, be sure to check out Aviary’s other tools (they work together like Adobe’s Creative Suite). Toucan creates color swatches and palettes, Peacock generates patterns and terrain, and Raven (the newest hatchling) is a vector editor similar to Illustrator.
Flickr, Facebook, your blog… so many wonderful places to share your pictures.
And yet, such a giant pain in the butt to tag and organize and upload photos separately to every single site. Sometimes it’s almost not worth the effort.
Until now! (Cue burst of golden light and singing choir!)
Pixelpipe’s a new service that uploads all your pictures to all your favorite sites at once. Here’s how it works:
- Choose all the destinations you usually send photos to (like Blogger, Picasa, YouTube and nearly 50 other sites).
- Add titles, tags, and captions to your chosen photos or videos.
- Click upload, and relax while Pixelpipe send all of your photos to their various destinations.
Easy, right? Also, did we mention that it’s free? And there are free software add-ons that let you upload straight from Picasa, and your mobile phone, and stuff like that.
So there you go: more sharing your photos, less pain in the keister.
Remember the first time you made a mixtape? Up all night, headphones on, slaving over a hot stereo until you got it exactly right?
Making your own postcard at Postcard.fm feels like that. Except it’s practically instant, so you can skip the up-all-night part!
All you have to do is choose your greatest photo, upload a song that captures the moment, and send it off with a message to your favorite person. Here’s one we made.
You can make a musical postcard for any occasion, but if you’re looking for some ideas try these on for size:
Best Valentines Ever: Send a foxy photo of you along with your intended’s favorite sappy love song. Hot-cha!
Party Invites: Send a festive postcard with all the party info to yourself, then forward the link to all your friends.
Sorry I Broke Into Your Apartment and Stole All Your Socks: OK, fine, maybe we’re the only ones that need to send those on a regular basis.
Now get out there and start mixing it up!
Need to convince your friends of something?
Nothing works quite like, well, propaganda… Especially if it has your face on it.
Maopost, a site dedicated to an extensive collection of Chinese propaganda posters, will seamlessly paint your face (or your friend’s) from any of your photographs into a classic propaganda oil painting.
You supply the photograph and choose one of the 35 suggested posters (or from their entire collection, over 1,500 posters), an artist hand paints you as a socialist hero.
It’s never been easier to insert yourself into (socialist) history. And you’ve never looked so convincing.
Wanna send beautiful newsletters for your business or hobby? Check ‘em out!
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Weather Service predicts 1787 tornadoes this year. That’s almost 5 tornadoes per day.
Dorothy would shiver in her ruby slippers, all right.
Us? We want to chase ‘em down. ‘Cause the only thing cooler than 300-mph funnels of wind are the pictures you take of them yourself.
Luckily (kinda?) we’re right smack in the middle of twister season, here and across the globe.
Do it yourself: Chasing tornadoes, mind you, is DANGEROUS. And doing it right requires lots of fancy devices, like anemometers and hygristors. If the thought of hunting a roiling squall excites you, the Stormtrack website outlines the basics of storm chasing.
Do it with help: Want those amazing photos, but like your limbs right where they are? Consider a storm tour! Professional storm chasers lead you into twister territory in these weather safaris, and some are even made for photographers.
Fair-weather friend who prefers rainbows to cyclones? So be it. Rainbows are cool, too.
for the DIY-er…
for the Do-it-with-help-er…
(Check out the 2009 High Plains Photo Tour, sure to be a meteorologic hit)
We don’t speak Russian, so we don’t know much about the background of Russian-made PhotoFunia.
What we can tell you, though, is that the folks behind it really like Eugene Petrosyan. And they can do some really nifty things with pictures!
Put yourself or your friends in the newspaper, on a $100 bill, or up on a Times Square billboard! Always wanted to be on the telly? PhotoFunia won’t just make it happen, it’ll give you a feline audience. You’re sure to find something among the site’s 50-plus effects.
Especially classy: These lads even use facial recognition to automatically plug your face into the right spots in some photos! Putin would be proud.
p.s. Like this? Then you’ll probably like Dumpr, too!
Marcel Duchamp walks into a bar, with a funhouse mirror in one hand and a webcam in the other…
Wait, how does that go again?
Anyway, we’re pretty sure if you put those things together, you’d end up with pixel-lapse.
Instead of capturing a photo all at once, pixel-lapse records one pixel at a time, starting at the top of the image and working downwards.
Try moving your head side to side as the picture records, or moving closer to the camera, or changing positions halfway through.
Surrealists of the world, unite!
for Mac and Windows
p.s. If you don’t want your images uploaded to the online user’s gallery, be sure to turn off “photo-sharing” whenever you open the pixel-lapse application.
Maybe we were nerdy children, but we used to get really excited when National Geographic arrived each month.
It was the big, glossy photos that got us, pictures of faraway places and people we’d never heard of.
Here’s something that makes us feel that way again: The Big Picture.
Every day there’s a photo essay on a different news story. One day it’s the Olympics, the next it’s the shuttle launch. With ginormous pictures. The biggest you’ve ever seen on a news site!
It’s been a long time since the news made us happy. And we’re feeling pretty good about it.
Photo credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center, AP Photo/Andre Penner, Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images, Reuters/Stringer.