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Aug-31-2014

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.

 Introduction

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.

featured

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Aug-27-2014

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.”

Source: technewsworld.com

 

 

clipping4u

 

 

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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Aug-24-2014

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.

Source: theverge.com

 

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!
Source: school-of-digital-photography.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discover how to streamline and simplify the way you back up your iPhoto library

There’s no getting around it: backing up is not glamorous, fun or exciting, but nevertheless should be a crucial part of your workflow. File corruption, computer damage and theft are the main ways you could lose data, and they’re much more common than most people realise. Therefore backing up your system is a no-brainer.

Main image_web
One way to ensure your photos and videos remain locked away for safe keeping is to duplicate the entire library by saving it on an external drive. Then, whenever this hard drive is connected, users can switch between the internal iPhoto library and the backup. Additionally, the beauty of this function is that it can be used for much more than just backing up; you can also create multiple libraries for improved organisation too.

Step-by-step: Duplicate your iPhoto library

1 Drag and drop

Connect an external hard drive with enough free space to hold your iPhoto library.     Locate your library in Pictures then drag and drop it into a ready-made folder on the hard drive.

step 1_web

2 Switch to library

To save confusion later, rename the backup library as something appropriate. Open iPhoto and head to File on the menubar, and then travel down to Switch to Library.

step 2_web

3 Select the right library

iPhoto will now ask you which library you want to work in. ‘iPhoto Library (default)’ is the internal catalogue, so plump for your newly created backup option and hit Choose.

Step 3_web

4 Are you sure?

You can also create new catalogues on your Mac’s hard drive. iPhoto will now check to make sure that you definitely want to switch libraries. Hit Relaunch to confirm.

Step 4_web

5 Welcome to your backup

Everything will be set out and stylised in the same fashion as the original, and any changes to where images are stored will happen independently and not affect the original.

Step 5_web

6 Edit away

What’s more, any edits, detail changes or deletions in this backup version will happen here alone and therefore not affect any of the images in your original collection.

Step 6_web

 

Source: icreatemagazine.com

 

 

 

 

Scientists at IBM Research have created by far the most advanced neuromorphic (brain-like) computer chip to date. The chip, called TrueNorth, consists of 1 million programmable neurons and 256 million programmable synapses across 4096 individual neurosynaptic cores. Built on Samsung’s 28nm process and with a monstrous transistor count of 5.4 billion, this is one of the largest and most advanced computer chips ever made. Perhaps most importantly, though, TrueNorth is incredibly efficient: The chip consumes just 72 milliwatts at max load, which equates to around 400 billion synaptic operations per second per watt — or about 176,000 times more efficient than a modern CPU running the same brain-like workload, or 769 times more efficient than other state-of-the-art neuromorphic approaches. Yes, IBM is now a big step closer to building a brain on a chip.

The animal brain (which includes the human brain, of course), as you may have heard before, is by far the most efficient computer in the known universe. As you can see in the graph below, the human brain has a “clock speed” (neuron firing speed) measured in tens of hertz, and a total power consumption of around 20 watts. A modern silicon chip, despite having features that are almost on the same tiny scale as biological neurons and synapses, can consume thousands or millions times more energy to perform the same task as a human brain. As we move towards more advanced areas of computing, such as artificial general intelligence and big data analysis — areas that IBM just happens to be deeply involved with — it would really help if we had a silicon chip that was capable of brain-like efficiency.

IBM_SYNAPSE_20140807_003

 

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You might recognise this question from the compulsory anti-piracy video on many movies and other digital media.The irony? In 2014, I very well might download a car!

3D printing makes this very achievable — even trivial — if you have the necessary hardware and resources.

Yet statements like this make it obvious how unaware big commercial companies can often be of the nature of the internet and how it constantly transforms itself. There’s been a growing belief worldwide that copyright doesn’t foster creativity and innovation anymore. There is need for something new.

Sidenote: In a second great irony, the music used in the anti-piracy ad was used without the permission or licensing of the music’s creator..

How Creative Commons was born

For a designer and inhabitant of the digital age, old school copyrights are often not favourable. Since the internet and digital culture spread out, outdated copyrights, mostly used for books and other writings, were inadequate for such a dynamic ecosystem like the internet is.

Technically, whenever we want to use some asset, we need to ask for permission from the copyright holder as “All rights are reserved”. Sometimes though, making a small change in that asset would be enough, which wouldn’t be possible if “all rights are reserved”. A solution for this problem was needed. And that’s exactly how ‘Creative Commons’ was born in 2001.

As a non-profit organization, Creative Commons enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Their easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to ” some rights reserved.”

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

I won’t go deeper into legal terms here, and how this can benefit you as a creator (which it can; but here is a list of successful case studies, including The White House making use of CC Licenses). However today I will focus on how it can be beneficial for you as a user of CC licensed assets, and finding the right assets for your next project using Creative Commons and avoid paying for Stock Imagery to save some bucks.

Let’s introduce some of them.

Gratisography

Gratisography

Gratisography has always been one of my favourite free resources for photography. I stumbled upon it by accident while researching about Creative Commons licenses. Created by Ryan McGuire from Bells Design, Gratisography takes advantage of a rarely-used Creative Commons licenses: Creative Commons Zero.

 

Why is Creative Commons Zero rarely used?

Well mostly as it is not really a license, but rather the lack of one. Creative Commons Zero gives users 100% freedom over the material, without any right belonging to the author.

A rather radical solution, but one us consumers and designers can certainly appreciate! However, people are often polite enough to give attribution to the author, which sometimes can be more rewarding and widespread than using a license with integrated Attribution rights.

And truly, Gratisography’s images have aided me in a variety of personal and commercial projects. Albeit limited in number, it offers ultra-high definition photography and imagery, suitable for many areas.

Particularly if you like using arty, abstract images in your projects, instead of corporate, cheesy smiling suits, Gratisography is perfect for you. It’s like a pumped up Instagram feed with ultra high definition photos.

Tinyography

Tinyography

If you don’t make your living from photography, chances are you snap more pics with your smartphone than a dedicated camera. Ryan McGuire builds on this concept to introduce Tinyography, Gratisography’s sister site.

Rabbit sticker

Tinyography uses the same philosophy as Gratisography, i.e. all photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, however they’re shot with an iPhone and are in square dimensions. If you like Instagram you will love Tinyography. As with Gratisography, new images are usually added weekly here, so check again from time to time for updates.

And as if this wasn’t enough, Bells Design gives away an awesome Bunny Sticker for free. You can request one too!

Shades 1.0

Often you prototype wireframes for websites, apps and similar, but would prefer not scribbling them in your notebook to save time. Shades 1.0 tries to speed up your prototyping work by releasing vector images of dummy elements often used when prototyping.

Shades

These will come very handy to you when explaining workflows. You can even print the elements out and scramble them on your table manually to get an idea of your creation.

Currently the project is on version 1.0, but the author is accepting requests and feedback for new elements to be added in the next version.

The best thing about this?

Shades 1.0 licensed under CC-BY , which means you can use it for whatever you want, as long as you give credit to the original creator ( Heidi Pungartnik / Design for Founders)
You can find Shades 1.0 here.

Flickr

Most of us know that Flickr has a long and well-respected reputation as a photo storage and sharing community.

What many don’t know is that Flickr also offers a treasure trove of millions of photos made available under a Creative Commons license. A smart move from their side!

You can filter the search results also by specific licenses, in order to avoid “All Rights Reserved” or Creative Commons licenses which might be too restrictive for your work. Just go to Advanced Search and tweak the filters to your liking.

Flickr's advanced search

In the following example, we are searching for photos of ‘Melbourne’, which we can use commercially, but still base our work on; i.e: modify it to our liking.

From the search results we can choose an image which will do justice to our work afterwards.

In our case, I chose this great skyline of Melbourne by Yasser Alghofily.

Melbourne Victoria - Yasser Alghofily

 

 

As you may see, we are free to share and adapt this work for any purpose, even commercially, as long as we give attribution (credit) to the author.

DeviantArt

DeviantArt is one of the best established sites for artists to display their work. Many of them choose to make their work available for others and often use a Creative Commons license for that.

Unfortunately, DeviantArt does not currently offer a dedicated search to find works licensed under CC.

Google Images Search

Instead, you’ll need to be a little craftier. Go to Google Images and search for: ‘“This work is licensed under a Creative Commons” site:deviantart.com‘ or specify it with more search terms.

Sure, it’s a clunky workaround, but considering there are so many wonderful but under-appreciated resources on DA, it’s definitely worth looking into.

There is also a group dedicated to Creative Commons licensed works, which you can regularly check:

 

So, are you a Creative Commoner yet?

With the border between Copyright and Freeware becoming blurier, a solution like Creative Commons is more than welcome. Indeed there is need for an artist to have his work recognized and be paid for it, yet it shouldn’t restrict the development, progress and creative thinking of the broader range of people, where copyright makes more damage than ensures rights.

Creative Commons is trying to cover solutions for both problems, and frankly, it has done a great job so far.

 

Source: sitepoint.com