Visual Storytelling - T. Benjamin Larsen's Blog

Technology Schmecologny

-Tools in the hands of tools

I love technology. Not all technology of course, but great looking, seamlessly working gizmos and cleverly designed software are things that bring a smile to my face. As much as I love technology I am also depressed at some people's blind belief in the tools of the digital age. Technological advances and lower prices have put professional tools in the hands of anyone willing to part with the cash. In the 80's desktop publishing, advanced computer-typefaces and photocopiers drove a lot of smaller advertising agencies out of business. A lot of executives figured 'we can do it ourselves and save money!' No one would claim to be a carpenter simply because they bought a hammer and some nails. Yet this was essentially the logic governing their decision.

Picasso’s La Guernica

Today I doubt you'll find any serious company that make their own advertising material. (Short of them having a professional marketing department). As people got used to seeing material with fancy font-work it became apparent that smooth fonts and clipart alone does not make professional looking documents. While most people wouldn't know how to design a print-ad, most people do know a bad one when they see one. Over time, talent prevails. After all, most people reading this could probably afford to buy material better than that used to paint the Guernica. Most would probably not come close in their artistic efforts though. Even if they did have the time (and space!) on their hands.

If you need an illustration would you rather buy it from an accountant who just bought the latest version of Photoshop or from a proven artist using Microsoft Paint?

From YouTube/EclecticAsylumArt

As you can see from the above example great artists can make great artwork even with limited tools. The combination of great tools and great artists is the stuff dreams are made of. If you can only have one of these you should choose the artist - every time.


Meta Bloging

-The first 6 months

As my blog has just reached its 6 month of existence and is soon to reach 25.000 page-views and 6000 visitors (thanks to each and everyone of you!) I figured it was time for my first meta-blogpost. I think every bloger will sooner or later sink to this low, and for me it took just 6 months. Sorry.

Anyway, to avoid wasting your time completely I thought I'd inform you about the tools I use for my blog:

My very first blogpost

1. My MacPro. This is the physical corner-stone for more or less all my creative work. I type on this, I touch up images, animate, edit videos and make music on this thing.

2. RapidWeaver. RealMac's RapidWeaver. This, OSX only, software seems to be spreading like wildfire. Pitching itself somewhere between Apple's iWeb (part of iLife) and Adobe's Dreamweaver it is a solid Web Authoring Tool. While the blog-section is not 100% customizable (closer to 80%) the ease of use and clean coding-nature is definitely good enough for me.

3.) iPhoto. Another part of Apple's iLife this is a firm favourite of the household helping me to retain some sort of order in my steadily growing collection of digital photographs.

4.) Adobe Photoshop. Yup the great old man of advanced image-manipulation is another heavily used favourite. While it is to some extent approaching the state of bloat ware it also enables the users to do just about anything and deserves its place at the top of the food chain.

5.) TextEdit. Occasionally used to rid text-clippings of any unwanted formatting or font issues.

6.) SubEthaEdit. Yet another OSX exclusive. This is my general tool for occasions when I code my sites the old fashion way. When it comes to this blog it is mostly used to alter css-files.

7.) And last but not least: My Notepad and ballpoint-pen. Always with me, a lot of the stuff you'll read here is actually written on the tube (underground, metro, subway or whatever you like to call it).

The tools of the trade

Well, that's about it I think. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to everyone stopping by, and doubly so to those of you bothering to drop me a comment every now and then. Cheers!