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Google giving away HDR images under CC license February 14, 2018

Posted by Steven in In-Media, The-Web.
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Google is giving away a huge package of single shots and combined/calculated images as HDR photos. The package is intended for machine learning and reasearch applications but the license is quite open so other uses are legally possible.

Here are a couple of important links if you would like to learn more:


Free stock photo services (royalty free – free use license model) January 11, 2018

Posted by Steven in The-Web.
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I am involved in a couple of website projects at the moment. One thing I always tell my customers is: An excellent site needs excellent photos. And I usually recommend talking about the structure and goals of the website first and then directly sketch out where to get the media (i.e. collaborate with a photographer or studio).

In many cases or for smaller more experimental projects you may want to search or suggest good stock imagery.

If everything needs to be real fast then here is a list of services / providers which let you download photos for free (commercial) use. To be clear they all provide royalty free images with a nice flexible free (i.e. CC0) license.

  • Pixabay
    That was my original suggestion. A big site offering free photos under a flexible license. Search is decent but the selection can be generic and a bit out-dated at times. Nevertheless a good place to get started.
  • Pexels
    This was fairly new for me. I discovered, that the new WordPress editor gives you a Pexel photo search right within the media dialogue. I jumped to their website and I must say it’s a good service. As far as I see it uses standard public domain CC0 license and provides a ton of free and up to date images (for example this sweet happy 2018 graphic).
  • Death to Stock
    This is an interesting one – I actually found out via a Wired article. It is basically a window to a more broad design community and service. How it works? You sign up and then you get a monthly link with 10 stock photos for download. The service tries to bundle images according to topics and tries to give artists a platform and also tries to draw in the customers to seek more images from these artists or get more involved in other services. The images are great, very modern, very unique and high quality in my view.
  • Pixelio
    This one seems a bit old school and maybe focusing on the German market. Nevertheless it’s a nice little database of good and slightly quirky individual images. It seems there are two licences around one editorial use and one editorial and commercial use.

HEIF HEIC Converter for Windows December 13, 2017

Posted by Steven in Apple, Software.
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Apple seems to be aware that local storage on iPhones is mostly scarce. Recent iOS releases brought a number of improvements and more transparency regarding the storage management on iOS and iCloud.

I was quite surprised that Apple did not only pull of a couple of tricks regarding the display and management of storage but it even thought about the file formats that take up most of the space on an iPhone. For many people the storage fills up quickly by taking a lot of pictures. Apple looked at the way photos are stored (usually in .JPG format) and jumped in to change that format on iPhones.

The new modern file format  HEIF was specially designed by Apple to efficiently store a lot of photos and save this precious storage space.

Now the downside of this great change is – that the format and the usage of this efficient image storage system is right now an isolated Apple thing. iPhones do a good job in letting you post to Instagram and Facebook – handling the conversions in the background. But when you use old fashioned cables to access or copy files off your phone than you might get stuck with a file that your Computer can’t open.

To solve this some free tools are available: For Windows have a look at:


And for Macs there are also free tools available: https://imazing.com/heic

My view: give it a try and fear not: the move to efficient image formats is surely a great move for users. More space on your device.. more features like these neat live photos and just a bit of getting used to in your daily workflows.


Quick Link Toss: Martin’s Photos October 11, 2017

Posted by Steven in Freetime.
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Here are the Link to Martin’s Fotocommunity portfolio + website:

Always great places to wander around and check out gorgeous photos. I see a lot of portraits and artistic blacks and whites there.


Great Spots Showcased: Awwwards June 13, 2017

Posted by Steven in In-Media.
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Always on the run for inspiration and for great spots on the world wide web. Now I found one little service that makes for a good starting point.


In my own words: it’s a website aggregator which allows users and jury members to assign grades (1-lowes 10-highes) to website projects. It’s updated daily and provides a great overview of well designed or very usable websites. A good place to skim for inspiration.



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