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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year-2015

Posted by MkTeam under Uncategorized





Christmas brings family and friends together. It helps us appreciate the love in our lives we often take for granted. May the true meaning of the holiday season fill your heart and home with many blessings. And Happy New Year -2015


Master Fundamental Colors in Photoshop

Posted by MkTeam under Photoshop Tutorial



Digital technology gives photographers a level of control over colour that the average film photographer could only dream about. Using Photoshop, it’s possible to remove colour casts and adjust overall colour as well as working on specific tones and hues.


With so much control it can seem rather daunting at first, but provided you always work using Adjustment Layers or Duplicate Layers, you can revert back to your original image and start again whenever you like.

The aim of colour adjustment and white balance correction is often to produce a neutral image. While this may be what is required on many occasions, it can also strip the atmosphere from a scene.

 Colour is one of the best ways of conveying mood or atmosphere in an image, so rather than worrying about getting colours technically ‘correct’ or neutral, it’s often more important to think about the emotion or sensation that you want to convey.

For example, give a misty image a hint of blue and you’ll shiver inside every time you look at it, but give it a touch of yellow and red and suddenly it seems that the sun is starting to burn off the mist with the promise of a warm, sunny day.

A rich, warm autumnal image is very often far more attractive than a technically correct version. The decision is yours, but the most important consideration is the image itself and what works best.


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How to Deal with Office Gossip

Posted by MkTeam under Media News & Gossip



No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues. ~ Bertrand Russell
Gossip is as old as communications and no workplace is immune from it. This article discusses some of the ways in which you can deal with and challenge a culture of workplace gossiping.

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  3. Know what gossip is. Friendly work banter and gossip are worlds apart. But how do you tell the difference? Consider the following:
    • Discussion: A friendly work discussion that talks about others keeps the references to other people general, friendly and supportive. The speaker is not obsessed with picking holes in another person’s character but is merely imparting information about what another person or people have done in a matter-of-fact way, to further an objective, work-related conversation and to enlighten the listener about work relevant information;
    • Gossip: Gossip tends to be talk that gains attention for the speaker. The speaker will often adopt a confidential tone and is using the information about somebody else to be the center of attention and will impart the details in a way that tries to undermine the credibility or likability of another person. The details may be given with moralizing undertones and character assassination may be the top of the gossip’s agenda. Often you are told more personal details than you care to know about. The motivations behind gossip include attention-seeking, self-inflation, exaggeration and a me-versus-them mentality;
    • Grapevine gossip: This is gossip pertaining to general change occurring within a workplace. Someone started it and now it is running about like wildfire. Usually this happens in an uncertain environment and is fueled by fear, poor communications from management levels and wild guesses by staff. It is less personal than gossip attacking another person but is as equally damaging and demoralizing.
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    Don’t take work gossip to heart. A lot of work gossip is just that – gossip. It is filled with innuendo, rumors, errors and even deliberately malicious nonsense. Take it with a pinch of salt rather than reacting personally or defensively. There is no doubt that gossip must be dealt with strongly and immediately but it will not help your situation as a team leader or colleague to take it personally. Focus instead on the reality that there is an underlying reason or series of reasons causing the gossip and focus on dealing with it objectively as a task rather than as a personal attack to be foiled in an emotional or angry manner.

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    Arm yourself with the facts. Is there truth to the tall tales? Sometimes there is a kernel of truth and this should be uncovered before addressing the problem so that you are well placed to respond with facts rather than emotions. This is especially important in relation to change management gossip where wild ideas take root quickly and spread even faster; look for factual answers by asking questions of the right people, namely, those who are in a position to give definitive and accurate answers. You may also need to seek additional facts from trustworthy sources such as internal bulletins, official publications and meeting minutes if there is gossip about changes or redundancies that might sideswipe your response.

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    Assess the context. Which type of gossip are you dealing with – personal gossip or workplace change gossip? Both require fast and firm treatment to prevent staff morale from plummeting. The following two steps address each type.

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    Address workplace change gossip with speed, supportiveness and honesty.During times of rapid change and uncertainty in a workplace, gossip will naturally increase due to fear and anticipated negative outcomes. It is important to realize this and to sort the fear factor from the facts. If you are a team leader, be a source of reassurance to your team by acknowledging their fears and worries. Armed with prior researched facts, tell them what you do know; equally tell them what you don’t know and do not make things up. When you don’t know something, tell them that you’ll find out. Be the rock that supports them and diverts gossip back on itself.

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    Challenge a personal gossiper directly. Some people gossip because they enjoy it or they feel insecure about others in the workplace. Most gossipers are pure attention-seekers. A persistent and long-term gossiper must be stopped in their tracks by calling their bluff. View such people as attention-seekers and give them some attention within limits by hearing them out in a closed-door meeting:

    • Inform the gossiper that you want to know what is really bothering them. Ask them why they are telling you the information (that you perceive as gossip). Forcing them to explain will cause them to realize that you have seen through their muckraking for what it is.
    • Another tactic is to inform the gossiper that you are prepared to follow up the gossip with the targeted person. This will let the gossiper know that the information is going back to the targeted party and the gossiper will likely retract or apologize.
    • Be positive and genuinely seek to assist the gossiper. Engage the gossiper in a conversation that lets them air their real grievances and be understanding but firm in your responses. Maybe they are peeved that they missed out on a training or promotion opportunity; maybe they are annoyed that the victim of the gossip has a special work deal or work hours that they also want to have. Dig a little deeper and see if there is a fair solution that can be reached.
    • Be realistic. If the gossiper sees your direct approach of fair discussion as threatening and refuses to be forthcoming in what is really bugging them, be firm in letting them know that the gossip must stop. Often confronting a gossiper in this direct manner is enough to alert them to stop; or they may choose to move on under their own steam. At the end of the day, however, it may be necessary to make it clear that gossip is not tolerated at all at work, to the extent of letting go of a person who persists in this behavior.
    • Remember the “kernel of truth” mentioned above. Whilst it is not appropriate to assume that the target of the gossip is deserving of the muckraking, sometimes the gossip’s loose talk might have pointed out a weakness in a work practice or a person’s skills that may need attending to. Do some discreet homework to see if perhaps there is need for improved communications, some staff training or other means for improving work morale that might have been overlooked in general. In other words, look for some positives a midst the negative situation that will allow your team and workplace to self-improve as a result.
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    Don’t participate in work gossip. If you participate in work gossip, you perpetuate it and you belittle yourself. In particular, if you have leadership aspirations, or you are already in a position of leadership, any participation in work gossip by you will be viewed negatively and as anti-team spirited. Always ask yourself about your motivation when discussing others in a personal way within the work context; if you are talking about them to ingratiate yourself with others or to make yourself appear better, than it is likely that you are gossiping.

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    Make it company policy to discourage gossip. It is important that staff members are aware of how gossip is treated in your company. Make this a constructive and positive policy, however, by showing what employees should do rather than telling what not to do. For example, provide examples of what your workplace considers to be gossip and provide examples of how to avoid this type of negative interaction.




Google Gives Glass a Good Polish

Posted by MkTeam under Technology



 update to the software that runs Glass gives users of Google’s wearable computing device more control over their interactions with contacts.

The latest version of the software — also known as version XE20.1 — adds the flexibility to choose how to reach out to a contact after selecting the person from the contacts list.

“Now, when you tap on one of your contacts, you can swipe between Hangouts, email or SMS — whichever strikes your fancy at that moment,” explained Joel Kalmanowicz, a Glass product manager.

Users’ entire phone address books are now available on Glass as well, he added, with a selection of 20 contacts accessible by voice and the rest by swipe.

The new app is already available for Android users; iOS users will see it arrive “in the next week or so,” Kalmanowicz said.

In separate news, meanwhile, Google recently received a patent that suggests a new, less-conspicuous look might be in the works for Glass.

glass patent application

‘How Extensible Is That?’

The Glass software update offers “more choices for people who have contacts they want to reach,” Jeffrey Orr, senior practice director for mobile devices at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld.

 However, “the first thought that came to mind was, how extensible is that?” he said. “You might have hundreds or even thousands of contacts that are part of your database, and now they’re getting pulled into Glass. I’m interested in how that works.”

 Twenty of a user’s most recent and starred contacts are accessible by voice, Google said, but “in a world where people are so socially connected, is 20 the right number?” Orr wondered. “How well does this align with the users, and if they’re going after business users first and foremost, is this type of update really going to be that meaningful?”

Products such as Glass are going to appeal to a range of business audiences, he pointed out, particularly in job classifications where individuals can benefit from workflow, efficiencies and productivity gains by not having to look away from their task, as well as jobs where safety and compliance are critical.

‘A Natural Evolution’

As for the future-focused design changes apparently in the works, “this seems like a natural evolution of the Google Glass product, going from a very purpose-built form factor to one that is a little bit more everyday,” Orr said. “I could see those types of frames working towards the subscription-type solution that many wear.”

There is not only a fashion component to the selection of eyewear, he pointed out, but also a safety component in industrial applications.

In any case, neither of the Google Glass developments to emerge this week indicates that we’re at a point where the general consumer market is going to find a use case, Orr opined.

“At some point, we think there’s going to be an opportunity for broader consumer appeal, but today most will continue to observe from a distance,” he explained. “Most will say, ‘cool tech’ and move on.”

In the meantime, however, “we’re continuing to see all these different barriers being chipped away,” he added.

‘A Necessary Redesign’

As the market moves toward different wearable form factors, it will need new user interface paradigms, Tuong Nguyen, a principal research analyst with Gartner, told TechNewsWorld.

Toward that end, the new Glass software update is “a great and needed and possibly expected move,” Nguyen said. “This is part of a necessary redesign of the user interface for this next generation of wearable computing devices.”

Other vendors already have been working on similar design refinements to the eyewear-computing concept, but “that’s not to steal any of Google’s thunder,” he added. “This will raise awareness to the benefit of the market as a whole.”







Adobe Illustrator is the established go-to tool for vector graphics. You can scale graphics infinitely larger or smaller, without any loss of image quality.

That’s why Illustrator is perfect for creating backgrounds. You can create seamless repeating backgrounds easily in Adobe Illustrator with thePattern Tool.

You simply arrange the elements and tell Illustrator how you want them to repeat or tile, which allows you to focus on the overall design, not on the mechanics of execution.

But patterns alone aren’t the real story here.

SVG — in many ways the web image format of the gods — has amazing built-in support for rendering patterns, and Illustrator CS6 is uniquely placed to help you produce these patterns.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

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How to Photograph Lightning

Posted by MkTeam under Photoshop Tutorial



So, you are a regular Explora reader and you recently mastered fireworks photography. Now, the fireworks shows are done and you are hooked on photographing dazzling light, so you decide you want to photograph the lightning that comes with summer storms. Well, again, you have come to the right place!

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There’s a debate raging at The Verge, and we need your help. One of The Verge‘s video producers, Nathan Cykiert, thinks 1994 was the best year in film, whereas reporter Arielle Duhaime-Ross is adamant that 1993 was the most epic year of all. It’s a close call — one year had Mrs. Doubtfire and Jurassic Park, while the other featured The Lion King and Shawshank Redemption — but it’s not so close that a web-wide poll can’t settle the argument once and for all. Hear their cases and vote below!

When in doubt, turn to 1993. It was, by far, the best year in film. John Williams redefined the musical score in Schindler’s List that year and Spielberg won his first Oscar for Best Director. Tom Hanks delivered what is arguably one of his most powerful performances in Philadelphiaand Bruce Springsteen’s song for the movie still makes us cry. Harrison Ford made our hearts leap as he jumped off the ledge of a storm drain into raging water in The Fugitive. And Willy the whale made countless children weep as he, too, took the most important leap of his life in the name of freedom. It was a golden year in film. But 1993 didn’t just bring us the action and drama we were craving — it also brought the funny.

That year, we got to see Whoopi Goldberg struggle up a deserted corridor after her students glued her butt to a chair. We smoked up and dissected the patriarchy underlying Gilligan’s Island in Dazed and Confused. We heard the Chicago Cubs’ pitching coach, Brickma, explain the concept of “hot ice” to a confused rookie named Henry Rowengartner. And we giggled as Jack Skellington tried to get the inhabitants of Halloween Town to do Christmas right.

Clearly, 1993 had everything a kid, teenager, or adult could ever ask for — even Robin Williams in drag. Heck, if it wasn’t for The Sandlot, an entire generation of kids would never have known that Babe Ruth was also nicknamed “The Great Bambino.” For that alone, we should be thankful.







The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is world renowned for its cutting-edge research and medical care. It is also a leader in sustainability, modeling healthy, sustainable food choices for patients, staff and visitors. In the recent 2014 townhall (see minute 21.20), an attendee asked University of California Office of the President (UCOP) President Janet Napolitano about UCOP’s sustainable food initiative, advocating for a move away from an animal-based diet. She responded that while UC is not moving toward a total vegetation approach, campuses are adjusting their procurement process to buy food from smaller, organic growers. Napolitano commended UCSF for its sustainable food efforts, notably efforts to eliminate antibiotics from the meat it serves at UCSF Medical Center.


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Photo By: Daniel Stark
Rain is a wonderful phenomenon of nature; it can make a desert bloom, inundate a city or even a whole country wreaking havoc to millions throwing their lives out of gear. For photographers rain offers many rare opportunities.  Rain lashes out everything in the vicinity; drops of water hang on all possible objects; colors, reflections, shadows, emotions, and much more everywhere. The cup overflows for one who is after a good scene to frame.
Rain has the power to transform ordinary scenes into rich, vibrant and captivating ones. It also has a huge impact on people and animals and even plants.People react to rain with a gamut of emotions ranging from the sullen faces of rain-drenched commuters to children exhilarating the wondrous joy in sportive mood.
rain photography settings
Photo By: Doug Wheller
Rainy season is the time for photographers to let their creativity run wild and capture some stunning pictures; it may be just a drizzle or a torrential one, at times the rain may be accompanied by breeze or storm. In either way photographer gets his right theme! Rain photography is fine art that requires engaging of some innovative techniques. It also calls for skill and tremendous amount of patience to get outstanding results. Please refer our previous article titled‘How to Photograph Rain’; here we will deal with some technical tips to capture rain drops the way you want it.
Before we begin a sane advice; though rain offers many vivid frames to the camera; it is not a camera-friendly phenomenon; water can do irreparable damages to the equipment. The first and foremost challenge in photographing rain is keep ourselves and our equipment from getting drenched. Although a few drops of water falling outside of the camera body won’t hurt it, you certainly don’t want to expose your camera to a heavy downpour.

Rain Photography Settings

The best lens to Shoot Rain

rain photography ideas
Photo By: Steve Wall
There is no best lens as such to shoot rain, but since longer focal lenses let you capture the rain without getting immersed in rain. It would be wise to use longer lenses; so that you could avoid the possible risk of splashes hitting your equipment at totally unexpected times.  Longer focal length lenses also magnifies the subject (which includes rain drops) and thus could bring more impact to the rain drops.

The Key is with Shutter Speed

tips for photographing rain
Photo By: Eric
Rain drops are moving objects, and their speed varies with accompanying wind and the strength of the downpour.Images of raindrops can vary a great deal from how our eyes perceive them; their quality   really depends upon the shutter speed; used to capture the rain.
First thing to decide when attempting to capture rain drops is how you wish your drops should appear in your photograph. Whether to picture them as individual drops frozen fora moment or to capture them in a slight blur to give a sense of movement.
To get individual rain drops frozen in the photo; fast shutter speeds come in to use. Anything above 1/1000th of a second will work well for achieving it. To capture a slight movement, use slower shutter speeds are. For slow-speeds; remember how slow you need to go will depend on the speed at which the rain drops are falling at the moment. But a good starting point will be 1/125th of a second. 1/60th of a second is another speed found to produce very pleasing results.
how to photograph rain
Photo By: Claudio Alejandro Mufarrege
  • Since exact control over shutter speed is your main objective Shutter Priority/Time Value will be a good choice of shooting mode.
  • Too slow a shutter speeds make the rain drops completely disappear making your images foggy in appearance.
  • The longer the focal length of the lens; the greater the subject magnification; and raindrops travel more traversing the frame; hence increasing of focal length creates more blur while the shutter-speed is kept same.
  • In dim light conditionsslightly increase your ISO settings.
  • In dull conditions it is also possible to use flash to completely freeze the raindrops.

Best Lighting for Photographing Rain

tips for photographing rain drops
Photo By: Ling HK
The best way to capture rain is when the rain drops are side-lit. Even backlit conditions will work.Directly shooting into the light is better but doing it too directly may cause trouble with your exposure; the magic angle is somewhere in between these two and is left to your innovation.
A good way to find out the best lighting is to use your own eyes, walk around your subject and find the position from where you could see the rain most clearly; find out the best angle/lighting to shoot; time spent on these assessments never goes waste because such a rain along with such an object and frame may not coincide another day; make the best out of this coincidence!

About the Right Background

settings for rain photography
Photo By: Sel
The best background to shoot rain is dark ones. I have found dark green background (blurred foliage) works best for most subjects and is easily available in most situations.

To Flash or Not

Rain Photography
Rain Photography
Don’t go for flash other than either using flash as a fill light or using it as the only light source. If used properly it could produce very interesting results, it will light up the raindrops and give them a slight pop. Finding the right flash power setting for your subject/scene will require some testing but when things come together the results could be quite magical.
Rain may come and rain may go; work hard to make your images remain forever; happy monsoon happy rains and happy images!