The story of a single picture


It’s funny, almost one year ago in january 2009 I created an image of a device that I thought to be the perfect “couch hanging, while websurfing” device. It was of course an apple device and completely inspired on the iPhone. My iPhone to be  more specific, it’s a 2G model (I prefer it’s looks over the new ones)  and what I like so much about it is the way that it when you decide to go browse, you draw it from your pocket, push the home btn and launch safari, 20 seconds later you’re browsing the web. No booting, no crippled way of selecting hyperlinks, the in/out zooming by double tapping works perfect in my opinion. It would only be better if this device was slightly bigger, not to much though, not like a 10 inch if you ask me. Just 3/4  iPhones wide would be nice, and then a little higher, say a touch screen with a res of 1280 x 800 would be perfect. So when I was considering this I decided to draw something in 3dsMax, render it with vray, and drop it on Flickr.com. That’s what i did and then nothing happened, it had like 12 views and like 2 comments from apple fans. I called this rendering the iNetbook because some people were indicating that apple should release one too, so I thought ok this should be it then.



Then in the second of august 2009, out of the blue, a big dutch iPhone related website called www.iphoneclub.nl used it as an illustration to go with an article of theirs. I was all excited and I noticed this because I read this blog from day to day. So when I saw this had happened, I was immediately checking out my Flickr account to see if it did me any good in traffic on my images. Yep, image views went berserker but strangely enough more so on the other rendition of this same iTablet I posted. It turned out that another website posted a similar article on their website. That site was 9to5mac.com, they used the proper way to link the image and it turned out that all Flickr traffic was generated from their website. I scored a 17,000 views on this image which was quite different from the usual 2 views  i normally get on a photo.  All this attention for this mockup was already rumor related to a previous keynote or developer conference or something.

So I thought that was it, then this current wave of rumors brought me some more fame, my product mockup starred in a popular national Dutch television show called RTL Boulevard:

RTL Boulevard discussing the iSlate fotoboer.nl in the back

RTL Boulevard discussing the fotoboer.nl iSlate in the back



sadly no credits were given. But it was my image nevertheless.

The iphoneclub.nl had an article where my image was used by somebody who used it as the background for his illustration of the likeliness of certain specifications of this iTablet/iSlate device,


you can see that here. The same pic was on dvice.com and geekology.com and perhaps few others. That was on 13 januari, so you would think that’s it, the last few days before keynotes what could happen :

Last thursday appleinsider.com decided to publish this:

“Of all the mockups and renderings that have surfaced on the Web attempting to depict what the final product will look like, the rendition below created by Flickr user Fotoboer.nl last August is strikingly close to the real deal, those same people say. It would be more precise, they add, if it weren’t missing a handful of design elements of the iPhone.”

You can see the complete article here: article

Dutch blogs were spitting stuff like “Nederlandse mockup lijkt het meest op de echte apple iPad” (”Dutchmans’ mockup most accurate to actual apple iPad”), like it was a matter of national interest and something to be proud of ;-) Well I’m proud of myself, but I cannot image someone else in my country to be proud of this achievement which is also only a rumor not based on any facts whatsoever LOL.

It is like the whole world took a dive at it which lead to a flood of this images all over the globe, hilarious I got requests from Seattle Times and German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” if they could use this image in their paper, very nice. I’ve read in flickr reactions about people who were proud that they chose my image some time ago as the most likely iTablet to be released as if anything is certain right now ;-)

WHATS THE SCORE SO FAR
Right now I have a staggering 40,214 views on flickr, someone who basicaly ripped my image and changed the border of it (its still credited as mine)?? Has even more views: 44.000 here Must be better tagging I suppose? My private website fotoboer.nl has these traffic stats while it’s only remotely involved in this:

date: visits
2010-01-16 : 46
2010-01-17 : 48
2010-01-18: 101
2010-01-19: 54
2010-01-20 : 63
2010-01-21 : 216
2010-01-22 : 1180

Yesterday night I spend the night googling to see what I could find of my image: this is some part of the sites that republished the same story or some distorted form of appleinsider.com
amongst them are names like:
telegraph.co.uk, techmeme.com, gizmodo.com, businessinsider.com, cnn.com, gizmodo.com.au, geekology.com, macrumors.com, 9to5mac.com, pixada.de, mashable.com, tweakers.net, venturebeat.com, sun.com, geek.com and ign.com

7ad.com.au apfelnews.eu
appadvice.com apple4.us
appleinsider.com applereviews.com
appletabletwire.com blogsdna.com
bright.nl businessinsider.com
channel321.com cnn.com
dailyradar.com daylight.com
digitaltrends.com dipnip.com
dvice.com edibleapple.com
erictric.com everythingicafe.com
facebook.com fiveprim.org
fscklog.com garagesalepreview.com
geek.com2 geek.com
geekology.com getmeapp.com
gigaom.com gizmodo.com.au
gizmodo.com headlinez.nl
iClarified.com ign.com
iphonemofo.net ismashphone.com
japaneseblog lafm.com.au
latenightwithjimmyfalllon.com machoe.com
maclife.com macrumors.com
mashable.com midnightbluesays.com
mippin.com mobielnieuwsnet.nl
mobielnieuwsnet.nl myprops.org
neb.rr.com neowin.net
netlog.com newscred.com
newwebmag.com nieuws.be
nobosh.com ow.ly
picklejuice.postereus.com pixada.de
planets.sun.com pocket-lint.com
powerfm.com.au q-ontech.blogspot.com
redmondpie.com regator.com
reuters.com softpedia.com
sourceboom.com startlog.nl
tappable.com techmemem.com
techzine.nl telegraph.co.uk
theiphoneblog.com thenextweb.com
thenextweb.com touchmodel.net
tweakers.mobi tweakers.net
twitter.com:thijsniks twitter.com:tonnydejong
unlock-iphone-apple.com venturebeat.com
wbir.com zimbio.com

Quite a collection huh, it turns out that even more established websites are more or less just a bunch of copycats. Very few websites published original text to go with the images. I found that to be very disappointing. What’s the use of runnnig some tech blog if you don’t even take the time to elaborate on some stuff you come accross.

Anyway these were about 84 screenshots and if you think that i stiched this wallpaper together in photoshop then i guess you never heard of Python with the PIL(Python Imaging Library). A few lines of code and it saves you quite some RSI. Also the table html code generation and the slicing was done in this script. You can download it here, this little remark at the end was necessary to still make it a technical post ;-)

The script is taking all png files from a local dir and thumbnails them, then pastes the thumbnails into a transparent png file ( the main collage). The way these images should or should not overlap can more or less be controlled (Basically the script will keep on generating random positions in the given canvas until a certain distance towards all previous pasted images is reached). I created extra methods in the class for pasting the transparent collage onto a white matte, and then slice everything into little pieces plus it spits out html code to create the composite html table.

Regards, Jeroen/Fotoboer.nl

Tags: , , , ,

One Response to “The story of a single picture”

  1. Zenimot says:

    I’v got one word: WOW!

Leave a Reply