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_Jewels Of The Web #2: Worth1000.com_

It's been a while since I wrote my previous Jewels Of The Web article, on web comics. I had intended it to be a regular series, so my apologies that it's been so long.

In this edition, I'm focusing on a single site, rather than a general category. The main reason for this is that although there are other sites with the same aims, I haven't found any which are anywhere near as good as this one.

The site in question is, and it is a site for graphic artists.

If you haven't heard the word "photochopping", I'll forgive you; it's not a real word, but it does a good job of describing the main activity on the Worth1000 site.

You probably have heard of the graphics software Photoshop, which is used by most of the site members to create their work (Not all of them though, but I'll come back to that later). Thus "photochopping" describes photos that have been "chopped" using Photoshop.

This can mean doing basically anything creative with one or more photos. The end results are so widely varied that it's hard to give examples, but if you've seen any magazine advertisements that look like real photos but obviously can't be, you'll know the sort of things to expect.

The site operates daily contests for users to try out their photochopping skills. At the simplest level, you will be given a photo as a starting point; the task then is to do something with it. Anything. Just make it look real. More advanced contests simply give you a theme, and leave you to find suitable source material to work with.

My first introduction to the site was when a friend forwarded an email to me which had a collection of very funny photochopped pictures. I can't remember exactly what the theme was, but I do know that they made me laugh, and I made a point of finding out where they'd come from and going to the site.

You don't have to be an artist to enjoy visiting the site. All previous entries are available to view in the galleries, and there are some spectacularly good artworks to admire. Many of them are very clever, and often very funny. As a casual visitor, it's easy to spend entire evenings simply browsing the archives, and that is exactly what I did.

But it is so much more fun to actually join in. And importantly, there's no pressure on beginners to actually be any good at it. Your entry will get the score it deserves, but members are friendly, and will give you advice on how to improve.

There is an entry fee for the contests on the site, but it is optional. This is an absolute master-stroke by the owners of the site, because it means that anyone can enter, without any commitment beyond the time taken to do the work. If you don't pay the entry fee, you can't win the prizes, but since the prizes are limited to site credits which can only be used for entering future contests, it's not really a big deal. The end result is a site with free-flowing creativity, easy to join, and with members who are friendly and supportive of each other, but at the same time doing well in a contest does actually mean something.

As I mentioned earlier, most members use Photoshop to produce their work, but Photoshop is an expensive piece of software if you're only intending to dabble with it. There are other programs which can produce excellent results. My favourite is The Gimp, which is freeware -- you can download it and use it completely for free. It isn't as easy to use as Photoshop, but it does have most of the tools you need to produce good photochopped pictures.

I must confess that once I started experimenting and submitting entries, I got completely hooked. I've had mixed results -- some of my entries have been really awful, but I've also had several the got into the medal positions in the scores. But the main thing is that it has been huge amounts of fun. When you see a new contest theme, coming up with an idea for it and then producing the finished picture within the time limit is a great way to exercise your creative juices.

I hope you'll all have a look and enjoy the artwork on offer. I also hope that at least some of you will try your hand at doing some of your own. It can be daunting to a beginner when you see the quality of some of the best entries, but it can also be a rewarding experience.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that in fact Worth1000 does also run other kinds of contest, including straight photography contests (ie no chopping), and even writing contests. But none of the other aspects of the site has anywhere near as much life as the main photoshop section.

Link to the main site:

If you're interested, you can look up my work on Worth1000 under the username Spudley99, or by following this link:

Download The Gimp from

Spudley Strikes Again

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The following comments are for "Jewels Of The Web #2:"
by Spudley

Spudley's Back!
Hey Spud...soo happy to see you took my advice and checked us out's been awhile!

Are you still publishing your "Puns" site...they were hilairous when you were here. Good to see you old friend...please come back soon!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: October 30, 2008 )

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