Photoshop: How To Go From Day To Night

Here’s a cool Photoshop tutorial from the folks at Adobe. In this episode, Principal Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows us how to adjust photo lighting and change the time of day.

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Good Places To Find Royalty-Free Photos & Videos

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Recently I was asked to create a video for the “Dress For Success” fashion show at Winter Park Tech. My mission was to conjure up a video that could be used to compliment the music already selected for the event. I was under an extremely tight deadline and I didn’t have time to shoot anything. So I immediately started scouring the web looking for royalty-free videos I could doctor up using Photoshop.

After an exhaustive search, I came across Videezy.com. The site allows users to upload their videos for use in the public domain. There are thousands to choose from. All you have to do is use your e-mail address to set up a free account, then you can download them directly onto your computer. Thanks to Videezy, I was able to complete the project without a problem. And I finished well ahead of schedule.

As an aspiring web developer, I often find myself looking for royalty-free photos. Normally I head straight to Morguefile.com because they have a very large selection. However, I recently came across Pixabay.com which also has hundreds of thousands of user-uploaded pics. Many are extremely high quality, and just as good as many of the photos you’d find from paid sites like iStock Photo or Shutterstock. And all of them can be downloaded completely free of charge.

If you take the time to look, you can find numerous websites offering royalty-free photos. In a recent blog post, theme & template developer Bootstrap Bay compiled a list of about a dozen free stock photo websites. Check out the article here: http://bootstrapbay.com/blog/free-stock-photos/

UK Software Firm Offers Affordable Alternative To Adobe Design Products

When it comes to making vector graphics, Adobe Illustrator remains the preferred product of choice for the graphic design industry. UK software firm Serif is bringing some competition into the marketplace, creating a new trio of products squarely aimed at poaching users of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Today Serif released Affinity Designer. They describe the product as “the fastest, smoothest, most precise vector graphic design software available.” The other products, Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher are expected to be released in January and September 2015 respectively.

For now, the Affinity products are only being offered for use on Mac OS X. Affinity Designer is currently available in the Mac App store for a special launch price of $39.99. The sale continues through October 9th. Then it will revert to its regular price of $49.99. The one-time fee also includes all updates for at least two years.

By offering the Affinity products for a flat-fee, Serif is hoping customers will see them as an affordable alternative to a monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. For more information on Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher, check out this article on Creative Bloq: http://www.creativebloq.com/illustration/affinity-designer-launches-101413109

 

Looking For Inspiration…

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 8.01.27 AMI recently came across the website Logo Of The Day. Designers submit their logos, which are then screened by a professional, practicing logo designer. They are judged on the design & concept, creativity, scalability, appropriateness, usability and memorability of the logo before being awarded the LOTD award. Each day, the selected winner’s logo is posted on the site.

Logo Of The Day was started by Graphic Designer Jacob Cass, in 2008. Recently Mr. Cass compiled some of the winning logos into a book called Logo Design: Inspiration E-Book. The 70 page book features over 1,000 logos and it’s free to download. Check it out here: http://justcreative.com/2014/09/23/free-logo-design-inspiration-ebook/

Keeping Creativity Alive

If you’ve ever worked on a creative project, chances are at some point you’ve been in a situation where you’ve hit a creative wall. Creative Bloq magazine recently released the article “20 Ways To Overcome Creative Block”. It shares some great tips to help you keep those creative juices flowing.

Some of the most helpful advice was in tip #4: Don’t be afraid to step away. Sometimes when you’ve hit the creative block, it’s best to walk away. This leads us to tip #19: Sleep on it when you can.  When you wake up with a clear mind, it’s easer to look at things with a fresh perspective. Tip #5: Finish what you’ve started. This tip stresses the importance of seeing a project through to completion.

To see the rest of the list of  “20 Ways To Overcome Creative Block” check out the full article here: http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design-tips/20-expert-tips-to-beat-creative-block-123523

Understanding Net Neutrality

Later this week, companies like Reddit, Kickstarter, Etsy and Vimeo are banning together for a “net neutrality day of action”. The purpose of the protest is to bring attention to the net neutrality rules recently proposed by the FCC and to encourage public comment. If passed, the new rules could mean faster loading times for companies willing to pay a fee. This could leave their smaller competitors in the dust with slower loading times.

Net neutrality can be a difficult concept for the average internet user to understand. So here’s a video from Mashable explaining what it’s all about:

 

The Internet Slowdown Day protest is scheduled for Wednesday September 10th. Foursquare, and other members of the Battle for the Net initiative are hoping the protest will encourage the public to forward their concerns to the FCC, Congress and the White House. The FCC’s open public comment period on fresh Internet regulations comes to an end on 9/15.

How To Deal With Nightmare Clients

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Whether you’re a freelancer or working for a large web development company, chances are at some point you’re going to have to deal with clients that are less than cooperative. Web Designer Depot recently posted an article about Nightmare Clients And How You Can Avoid Them. The article breaks down problem clients into 9 categories ranging from the “helicopter client” who wants to hover over your every move, to the “broke client”, to the “buddy client” who wants to be your new BFF while you’re working on their project.

Once you’re able to recognize these clients, it will make it easier for you decide whether or not you’re willing to deal with taking on their project. Should you accept business from one of these problem clients you should do your best to remain professional and to provide the agreed upon services.

The article goes on to say, “remember, being a design professional is not about trying to be friends with everybody, but by being clear and upfront with clients you can ensure that in your dealings with them there can be no emotional manipulation…Clients that are responsive, engaged, and (most important of all) pay on time, are to be treasured. If you have them, hold on to them, cherish them, and don’t forget to tell them once in a while how much you appreciate them.”

  1. The Reluctant Client
  2. The False Client or ‘Hoop Bringer’
  3. The Hidden Client
  4. The Helicopter Client
  5. The Broke Client
  6. The ‘Weasel’
  7. The Entrepreneur
  8. The ‘Buddy’
  9. The Client From HE-double-hockey-sticks