Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer

You want to remove something from an image on your iPhone? As always, there’s an app for that. Here’s a quick test of two. Links: Touch Retouch and Photo Fixer.

Image 1: Remove the path

Touch Retouch

Brush a red layer on what you want to remove.

When you are satisfied hit “go”. Wait. And:

Photo Fixer

On this image it kept giving me a message about the fact that the area was too large. So I gave up.

Image 2: Remove the trashcan

Touch Retouch

Select and process:

Not completely satisfied, so I select more and get a decent result:

Photo Fixer


And process:

Not satisfied, so I select and process more:

Image 3: Remove the poster

Touch Retouch



Photo Fixer



Image 4: Remove the statue

Touch Retouch

Photo Fixer:

Problem with too large selection. I decided to do it in several steps.

And got this result:

My conclusion after this quick test is that Touch Retouch is easier to use, is faster and gives better results than Photo Fixer.

But Photo Fixer is the new kid on the block and will probably mature as it gets updated etc. So keep an eye on both of them.

See the comments. One of my requested features is a sort of popup that shows what’s going on under your finger. The people behind TouchRetouch tells me that this is coming in version 2.0 later in November.

…in addition to lots of other improvements:
• 1:1 image viewer;
• Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, Twitter sharing;
• Clone Stamp tool;
• Finger move hint;
• Localized help;
• Application settings;
• Improved algorithm for large pictures;
• Landscape mode;
• EXIF data support.

Looking forward to that. And it’s very nice to see that both developers have contacted me because of this quick review. I’ll keep an eye on both these apps.

Quick App Review: Touch Retouch vs. Photo Fixer

One year in 90 seconds

Please digg this story here.

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

If you like these videos then follow me on twitter: @eirikso – and you’ll be the first to know about other projects that I might do.

The story

All through 2008 I snapped still images from the same spot on my balcony to make a sort of time lapse video showing one year passing by. The video was hugely successful and has close to two million views on YouTube in addition to about one million on Vimeo and hundreds of thousands of views and downloads from other web sites.

Last year I bought a new camera. The Canon 5D Mark II. In addition to excellent quality stills you can also shoot HD video with that camera. So I decided to do the same thing all over again. But this time I recorded 30 second video clips each time. My idea was that it would be possible to dissolve between the videos to get the same kind of time lapse effect, but this time with motion all the way. Snow falling, wind blowing etc.

2009 is over and I have now put all the clips I recorded through the year into a couple of videos.

I recorded clips with a 15mm fisheye, a 24mm wide angle and a 50mm lens. I’ve made three different versions. The first one is the one at the top of this article. Shot with the 15mm fisheye and “defished” using Fisheye Hemi in Photoshop. To do that I exported the video as an image sequence and did a batch job in Photoshop to run the fisheye hemi filter and some cropping.

The 50mm gives a closer look at the trees and I decided to make a longer video that gives a better view of how nature evolves with that footage. I ended up with 120 seconds.

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

The last video is a version from the 24mm footage. That’s the short one. One year in 60 seconds…

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

Download the full quality versions through BitTorrent:

All the videos are available on Mininova for download through BitTorrent in HD:

24 mm – One Year in 60 seconds (1280×720 30P)
15 mm – One Year in 90 seconds (1280×720 30P)
50 mm – One Year in 120 seconds (1280×720 30P)

How To-video (english) (1280×720 30P)

How did you do it?

The way I did it is actually quite simple. I found a spot on my balcony where I could place the camera in the exact same spot each time. Then I recorded video clips at irregular intervals. More or less once a week all thorugh 2009. More often during spring and autumn and not that often during summer and winter. All the videos are then put together using lots of dissolves.

It’s easier to explain the process in a video, so here it is:

Link to the video in HD on YouTube.

The audio

The sound was simply recorded with the Canon 5D Mark II as well. And left as it was recorded on all the clips in the video.

Can I use the videos in my projects?

Yes. All the videos are licensed with a Creative Commons License. To be exact: by attribution, share alike, non commercial.

Creative Commons License
This work by Eirik Solheim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Norway License.

But what about commercial use?

If you want to use the video commercially I’ve decided to test a feature called Files Forever. At my hosting company, Dreamhost. You can buy a royalty-free, eirikso.com-bug free, totally clean full quality version of the file. It’s a ridiculous $99,- and the money will cover parts of my hosting fees for this website. Buy the files here:

One year in 60 seconds (24 mm)
One year in 90 seconds (15 mm)
One year in 120 seconds (50 mm)

Yeah. But I want to buy the original footage. The files directly from your 5D. I want to edit this myself. No problem. Please contact me at:
eirikso (at) eirikso (dot) com

Where was this filmed?

In Oslo, Norway

I don’t believe you, this is fake.

If you think the video was made in post production using fancy graphics software… Well, that’s your problem. Not mine.

I want to make something amazing from the raw clips

Contact me, and we’ll see what we can do.

I have other questions

Use the comments, so that I can answer to all the other people with the same questions.

…and by the way: if you’re into geocaching I’ve actually placed a cache in the area you see in the videos.

One year in 90 seconds

Free, but not that free…

Tomorrow I’m off for Malmö and Media Evolution 2009 to listen to some excellent speakers. And I am honored to have been invited to contribute in a Blog Race leading up to the event. A blog race where we are discussing main speaker Chris Anderson’s thoughts on the economics of free.

Thoughts that are utterly scary for anyone making their living producing content. And for some parts of the media industry this is truly disruptive. I mostly agree with Mr. Anderson, but now when I have the possibility of raising some questions I’ll try to do so, and hopefully manage to start a discussion.

Let’s have a look at some of the most important parts of the media industry.



The cost of production decrease, but it’s not free. Back in 1990 when I started studying television engineering it was a huge advantage for me that I got access to professional production equipment. Now the visual language of 35 mm film is available to anyone affording a Canon 5D Mark II and some lenses. And editing? Free with any Mac.

But production in total is not free. Not at all.


Where the industry meets the most disruptive changes. Internet distribution is very cheap compared to the cost of moving plastic around in big trucks or paper around with an advanced system of paper boys. But it’s not free. You need servers and bandwidth.

How about filesharing and BitTorrent? That’s close to free? Yes, I should know. At the NRK we distributed one of our most popular television shows thorugh BitTorrent. Roughly 105 TB of data for a total cost of about $200,-

BitTorrent is effective use of bandwidth, but you still have to pay for your internet connection. So it’s not free distribution. It’s getting cheaper for the content provider because the end user shares his or her bandwidth.

Coca Cola in da house


Getting cheaper because of the low cost of distribution, but getting more expensive because of the abundance of content. Joi Ito mentioned something that describes this problem in his presentation at DLD last week:

“What used to be a distribution problem has become a discovery problem.”

Getting attention is harder than ever. But when you finally get it it’s easier and cheaper than ever to utilize it.


And the cost of creativity? Maybe you would say that the cost of creativity is constant. It’s still difficult to make truly original, high quality, provoking, emotional and popular content. Still, I would argue that even the cost of creativity is going down. By sharing ideas, learning from others, communicating and cooperating we have better possibilities than ever.


And I have experienced all of this. Through this blog, videos and images I’ve put up there for free. Most recently a certain video currently at more than 3 million views. Views demanding bandwidth that Google pays for through ads. A video that already gives me secondary income through presentations and business-to-business deals with television stations and ad agencies.

But let’s have a look at the bigger picture. Making content is cheaper. But it’s not free. Of course Mr. Anderson knows that. And he argues that parts of the business is getting so cheap that we can start making money on something else.

For some parts of the business that will work. You can find what Kevin Kelly calls “Better than free“. Music, television and movies? Anything in there that’s better than free?



The cost of production, distribution and marketing is lower. No doubt about that. And if we don’t want to pay for the copy. What would we want to pay for? Over at Amie Street I pay for music. Because they help me with the discovery problem. And they keep my music so that I can download what I have purchased as many times I want. They deal with the metadata and the backup problem. So, call it what you want: me paying for music, or music for free but discovery and backup at a fee.

And then you have the concerts, merchandise, business-to-business etc. We’ll probably loose Britney Spears, a couple of boy bands, Bono’s million dollar yacht and some other creations from the big labels. But people will keep making high quality music. And they’ll make enough money to make a decent living. Magnatune and Pump Audio are on to something.

And that very same Kevin Kelly is on to something as well. In his article about the fact that there’s something “Better Than Owning“. If the labels had decided to be brave they wouldn’t kill Spotify but helped it into a wonderful service that a lot of people would pay for. Either by cash or by listening to ads.

And my question to Mr. Anderson? The numbers! I’m only assuming stuff here. The record execs do the math and tell us that music will die. That my assumptions are wrong. Have you done some research on those numbers? The actual production cost. The possible income on the combination of concerts, merchandise and business-to-business through services like Pump Audio? Any current success stories?

Yes, a couple of bands that already got famous through the aid of a record company can give their music away. But how about that example of a new artist doing fine, producing high quality music, feeding his family. By providing music to the people for free?



That’s easier. They’ve been in the business of free for decades: Find quality content, combine it with ads and reach as many people as possible. Eventually they’ll get it. The fact that the traditional model of free TV will work on the web as well. The biggest problem? Media agencies and marketing execs. They need to think different. Beyond the 30 second spot, beyond the banner ad and beyond the boards by the highway. That seems to be the difficult part. Hulu seems to work pretty well, but they need to understand that the world is global now.

And the question? We’re here in scandinavia now. A place where the license funded public broadcasters are very strong. Will this future of free content kill the license funded broadcaster because it will be out competed by free high quality content? Financed by all sorts of strange new business models?

Will these new models be good enough to finance true public service content?

RED1 vs Canon 5D MkII


The good old days where you could charge several times for the same content will soon be over. First cinema, then DVD, then pay-TV and finally free-TV. No more. Driving trucks of DVDs around must stop. It’s not environmentally friendly. Distributing through the internet makes sense. But so far it makes no business model good enough to replace the old one. Not even close.

The movie industry is different. The production cost is higher. Much higher. Okay, we can still make movies, even if Tom Cruise gets slightly less for his next movie. But making a block buster is expensive. And according to a movie exec I spoke to recently about 60-75% of the income on an average movie is DVD sales. You know, that stuff that is going to be free now.

My question:
I have problems understanding how the movie industry will fit into that $0 future of business. By making the cinema a better experience?

Some bonus questions:


Not so free transistors?

Quoting “Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business“:

“That meant software writers, liberated from worrying about scarce computational resources like memory and CPU cycles, could become more and more ambitious, focusing on higher-order functions such as user interfaces and new markets such as entertainment.”

My question:
Right now it seems like the biggest problem is performance. Seems like that transistor wasn’t that cheap after all. Lets make Google Chrome. Performance, not function. And the focus of WIndows 7 and Snow Leopard? Pretty high focus on performance… It went too far?

Micropayments work!

“The huge psychological gap between “almost zero” and “zero” is why micropayments failed.”

My question:
Yes, there is a huge gap. But I still think bad usability is why micropayments failed. I understood that when I met my new friend called AppStore in my iPhone. When it’s instant entertainment for $1 micropayments work. Or what?


And the obvious question that Chris Anderson must have got hundreds of times:
If your last book, “The Long Tail” was free. Would you have increased your speaking gigs to a level that could pay for the potential income the direct sales of the book gave you?

The other parts of this blog race:

Chris Anderson visiting Malmö
Keep what you got by giving it all away
People pay for context, not content
4 things for media to sell in the world of free

Soon off for Malmö. Getting answers…

Free, but not that free…

Pirates, presentations and a lot of work

The title says something about why this blog has been dead silent for the last weeks. Lots of interesting stuff happening. That gives me interesting stuff to write about. But if it’s too much exiting stuff happening I don’t have time to write… Catch 22?

Whatever. It has come to the point where my trusted readers start sending me email wondering if I’m OK. So I simply wanted to tell you that I am completely fine. Unfortunately I haven’t even had time to announce my public presentations lately. The last one was Mediaforum in Strømstad.

Image: Lawrence Lessig is one of the persons interviewed in the movie I mention at the bottom of this article.

Last week I also had a quick trip to Stockholm. In addition to some meetings I attended a debate about rights management at the royal institute of technology. It wasn’t really a debate, because the panel in general agreed on most issues. But it turned out to be an interesting discussion about youth culture, sharing, creativity, privacy, freedom of speech, business models and the modern media world. I hope to get back with more from that debate.

After the discussion I was fortunate enough to have dinner with the panelists and some other very interesting people. Pirates, politicians, university people and content producers. One of them was Henrik Molkte. Together with others he is responsible for an excellent documentary about remix culture and copyright law: Good Copy, Bad Copy. It’s worth the hour. Watch it on the website or download it through BitTorrent and enjoy on your favourite device.

Unfortunately I have busy days ahead as well, but hang in there. I’ll not stop sharing interesting stuff here at eirikso.com.

Pirates, presentations and a lot of work