The Week in Links: Photography, Design, and SF

Welcome to the all new links write-​​up posts. I hope to bring you the week’s top finds each Friday in a com­pre­hen­sive post, sorted by inter­est. There should be a lit­tle bit of some­thing here for every­one. I’m putting this one behind a break because it is one long entry. That’s what hap­pens when I con­sol­i­date these from daily into weekly I am afraid.

Freelancer Links

40+ Articles to Help Freelance Designers Find More Work

There is a lot of stuff out there lately for the aspir­ing free­lancer. I’m start­ing to do okay with lin­ing up free­lance jobs, and I’m not really try­ing to sell myself, as ulti­mately I need a full­time job. But this stuff is always useful.

How to Become a Freelance Web Developer — Nettuts+

Good tips for peo­ple just get­ting start­ing out, and some even for those who are sea­soned veterans.

Seth’s Blog: How to make money with SEO

Not so much from a freelancer’s point of view but from the point of view of your customers.

42 Questions Every Freelancer Should Ask Their Clients | Freelance Folder

I am poach­ing some fo these for my client sur­vey. Good list.

Finding free­lance jobs: 6 sites for tal­ented techies | ITworld

I don’t tend to use these sites, instead focus­ing the free­lance I do on refer­rals, but some of these are new to me.

HTML/​CSS/​Web Design Links

In the Woods — Examples and Tips for Great HTML/​CSS Formatting

It’s easy to for­get good for­mat­ting when you’re under a dead­line or putting in a quick hack. Taking the time to orga­nize and for­mat your code will help oth­ers who come after you. It’s like the backpacker’s ethos about leav­ing things the way you found them in that way.

8 Characteristics Of Successful User Interfaces « Usability Post

Simple, direct, and yet very hard to mas­ter. Great usabil­ity article.

Home › The Personal Web Design Degree

An inter­est­ing con­cept. I want to dig into it more and see if I can find it per­son­ally use­ful, but no time right now.

Essential PHP Techniques for Web Designer and Developers | Desizn Tech

Good PHP tips for the non-​​experts in PHP.

CMS Toolbox

Trying to decide between CMS tools? This link will help.

Rule Seven: Composition: putting it all together. | GoMediaZine

GoMediaZine has been run­ning a great series of links on design the­ory. This is the latest.

Variable Grid System :: SprySoft

Helps gen­er­ate a grid sys­tem for those sites that rock the box.

How to Spot Quality within Web Design: Examples & Tips

I learned sev­eral good points for this one. These ele­ments sep­a­rate the great design­ers from the merely good.

Make an iPhone App Using the Envato API — Nettuts+

I’ve been think­ing about try­ing to make an iPhone App. I have a bunch of writer tool ideas. No time though.

TileStack Helps Non-​​Developers Create Gorgeous Applications

More iPhone app resources. This might make the pro­gram­ming side much easier.

Graphic Design Tutorials

How to Create a Van Icon in Photoshop — Psdtuts+

I’m not sure that I would ever need to cre­ate a VW van in pho­to­shop, but there some good tech­niques here.

40+ Cartoon Character Illustration Tutorials | Tutorials | Smashing Magazine

My guilty secret– I wish I could draw well enough to be a char­ac­ter designer. Instead I write them.

Create a Divine Angel Montage in Photoshop — Tutorial9

More solid Photoshop tech­niques. The result is some­thing you might find hang­ing in a goth girl’s bed­room, but still nice.

How to Create a Hellacious Flaming Skull in Photoshop — Psdtuts+


Create a Feathered Crow Illustration — Psdtuts+

A beau­ti­ful illus­tra­tion, and some good selec­tion tech­nique tips.

Free Resource Links

50+ Sources To Download High-​​Quality Free Vector Stuff | Showcases | instantShift

I can’t get enough of the free vectors.

New Vector Plus Pack — Floral Deco — Vectortuts+

Really use­ful flo­ral deco pieces. Free for any kind of use.

30 Brilliant Typefaces For Corporate Design | Fonts | Smashing Magazine

We never have enough fonts, do we?


Free for a lim­ited time port­fo­lio sys­tem. Useful for very budget-​​conscious clients perhaps.

18 Photoshop Brushes To Lighten Professional Designs — TZ

Also, we never have enough pho­to­shop brushes.

270+ High-​​Res Rough and Grungey Photoshop Brushes

See what I mean?

WordPress Links

10 Exceptional WordPress Hacks | Developer’s Toolbox | Smashing Magazine

Some of these tech­niques to rep­re­sent com­mon plu­g­ins in your theme could really come in handy.

Using WordPress as a CMS | Nometech​.com

CMS, CMS, it’s a magic word mean­ing “less grunt work for the designer in the long run.”

jQuery/​Javascript Links

jCart — Free Ajax/​PHP shop­ping cart

Very nice shop­ping cart implementation.

jQuery selec­tors and attribute selec­tors ref­er­ence and exam­ples | Pamaya — Web Design & Development

I’ve never used sev­eral of these selec­tors, so the exam­ples here were very educational.

Emblematiq :: Niceforms :: Overview

It’s like a magic “make my form awe­some” script.

Blogging Links

8 Principles for the Modern Blog …at least for 2009 « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang

Number one: have valu­able con­tent. Easy to for­get when you like talk­ing about your cats.

How to Craft Your Personal Business Model — FreelanceSwitch — The Freelance Blog

This could prob­a­bly go under free­lance, but for some rea­son I put it in here. Sorry.

How to make money with a blog

Wouldn’t we all like to blog professionally?

Photography Links

How to Develop Your Photography Skills: 11 steps (with pic­tures) — wikiHow

A good beginner’s list of tips and methods.

Huge List Of Highly Extensible Photoshop Plugins | 1stwebdesigner — Love In Design

Also some­thing you can never have enough of? Photoshop Plugins.


Another take on stream­lin­ing Flickr to max­i­mize the pho­tos and min­i­mize the cruft. Nicely done.

43 Photography Hacks, Mods And DIY Projects | DIYPhotography​.net

For the cheap­skate. Or the unem­ployed. Or the enter­pris­ing inven­tive sort. Take your pick.

Science Links

First Tool Users Were Sea Scorpions?

500 mil­lion years ago, sea scor­pi­ons were smart enough to use snail shells as a reverse aqua lung. Please god, do not let the octopodes dis­cover this technique.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Paris lib­er­a­tion made ‘whites only’

The racist side of vic­tory in World War II. Things that only come to light 60 years later. Sad.

An Amazing Velociraptor Hunting Trophy

Not so much sci­ence as FUCKING AWESOME. Unfortunately, in the act of cap­tur­ing this tro­phy, the owner changed the time­line result­ing in the 8 years of the Bush presidency.

Science Fiction Links

Tor​.com /​ Science fic­tion and fan­tasy /​ Stories /​ Bugs in the Arroyo by Steven Gould

A new story by Steven Gould is always a treat. And I don’t care what the haters say, I liked the Jumper movie. My brain got a lot of rest watch­ing that.

Chesney’s “Victorian Underworld” — the secret Victorian under­belly of cyber­punk — Boing Boing

The book that Gibson based crim­i­nal cul­ture on in Neuromancer. If that doesn’t make you want to read it, I don’t know what will. What are you doing hang­ing around my blog anyway?

Gizmodo — Time Travel Cheat Sheet — Time travel cheat sheet

I am totally giv­ing this to one of hte pro­tag­o­nists in my YA time travel novel.

Art Quotes Talent — Artists Quotes on Talent and Creativity

I’ve been think­ing about blog­ging more about cre­ativ­ity in gen­eral. This was some­thing I dug up while think­ing about that.

The Grab Bag

‘Flame War’ Video Lampoons Web’s Potty Mouths | The Underwire from Wired​.com

We Didn’t Start The Fire” lam­poon­ing the internet’s flame wars. Hilarious, and incred­i­bly well produced.

Snowflaking — A Primer | I’ve Paid For This Twice Already…

More debt repay­ment strate­gies involv­ing snow metaphors. I can’t con­vince Sarah to let me do the debt snow­balling. Not that we have any money to pay off debt right now. Maintain…

aM lab­o­ra­tory

This is a hell of a cool music toy. It makes draw­ing with blocks turn into music that almost always sounds good. I might have been a musi­cian if all instru­ments oper­ated on this kind of priniciple.

Posts of mine you may have missed:

New Story Online: The Kansas Jayhawk vs. The Midwest Monster Squad (With Exciting Poster Illustration Action)

I’ve released my story from the May 2005 issue of Interzone under the Creative Commons license, and added a cool poster illus­tra­tion I made for graphic design prac­tice. Check it out even if you read the story before, just for the illus­tra­tion. I also tried very hard to make it easy to read on the screen as well as on an iPhone.

Twitter Will Murder You While You Sleep

My take on #ama­zon­fail from a broader per­spec­tive. A bit tongue-​​in-​​cheek like most of my posts when I am in a good mood. You should at least get a chuckle from it if noth­ing else. Also has one of my bet­ter lines of rea­son­ing lately: “Much like nature abhors a vac­cum, the inter­net abhors an absence of infor­ma­tion.” I am so smart.

The Madness and Genius of John Brown

A med­i­ta­tion on the abo­li­tion­ist who is so impor­tant in Kansas his­tory. He lived for a period of time in the town my par­ents live in, Osawatomie (which is not a native amer­i­can name itself, but a com­bi­na­tion of the Osage and Potawatomie names). I think he’s been painted unfairly in the Kansas edu­ca­tional system.

The Hidden Spring and the Abandoned Hog Farm

I describe an expe­di­tion into the wilds of Kansas to look at the ruins of an ancient hog farm atop a hill. I spec­u­la­tive on the lives of the for­mer own­ers and mar­vel at the con­struc­tion. Special thanks to my step­fa­ther Mike for tak­ing me there.

Okay, so that’s every­thing I can dig out of my mem­ory and Delicious. Stay tuned for more next Friday!

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