Oct 30, 2010

More Experimenting

I've been messing around with layer styles lately...
Yes, the 3D looking text is created using text (non-rasterized) and Layer Styles. Except the shadow, the shadow is a rastered layer with some blur and I'll explain how to do this soon, when I perfect a few things here and there. Here's the first one I did:

I'm sure you can get an idea of how this was pulled off... anyway, stay tuned for more tuts :-D

Oct 29, 2010


So, I finally got back on my Delicious account and decided to make it my official repository for bookmarks (since I don't use Firefox's Sync and StumbleUpon isn't good enough).

In case you don't know, Delicious is an online site that lets you save sites (bookmarks) and pages and you can add tags and notes to help you find them later.
Perhaps it's biggest advantage is that it allows you to share your findings on the web (for those of us who stumble a lot) and also is great as a backup, and when you find a link and want to view it on another computer... there you go!
There's also a Firefox extension for it!

Anyway, I have created an "inspiration" tag which I update regularly, or rather whenever I stumble. It'd be a good RSS to add to your collection! Though the hugely inspiring stuff does come to Ideas to Creations, sometimes I don't get a chance to talk about it, but with the inspiration tag you can see the stuff anyway.

So check out MY DELICIOUS http://www.delicious.com/davdalx/
or check out the INSPIRATION http://www.delicious.com/davdalx/inspiration/ tag


Oct 26, 2010

Kenyan ISPs - How You Let Us Down

So yes, it's been a week since my last post and I'm kinda feeling like I'm letting my good people down... well, a thousand apologies:

It's with good reason though... if you've been reading my Flickr photo descriptions, you'd know that a lot of the time I'm facing issues with internet connections. In fact, I'm typing this out in a cyber cafe :-S Which is something I promised myself I wouldn't do but here I am...

If you've been keeping track of technology you'd know that a few months ago they promised that with the arrival of fibre optics, internet would become much cheaper and faster. Just look what they said about West Africa.
It's depressing how as much as we've been promised some really reliable and fast internet, our ISPs have come around and said "Hang on a moment, faster internet... they should PAY MORE!"
Which is sad, because we had that the fibres would make things much faster than satellite and be much cheaper... but contrary to that we're facing faster internet at higher prices.
And to make things worse, some are now charging by content, or rather per MB, which in this day is the most crap I've ever heard. Why?


1. Paying by how much you use only works on platforms where not much bandwidth or downloading is going on. Like on mobile phones (at least) or back in the old days when the web was still young and transferring of data only occured when you clicked "Play" or "Go" or "Continue" or whatever button. Today, your current page is transferring data (very small but over time it starts to count), and let's not forget that every OS and software out there is no longer taking such connections into consideration, and now we have Windows Update which silently and secretly downloads the latest updates which can be over 100MB in size! Let's not forget that our browsers like Firefox check for updates frequently, including updates for extensions, and when an update is found it downloads (which tends to be at least 10 MB in size)... Of course, you can turn all this off, but to the user who's not very good with computers.... it's a wonder where all those MBs are going.

2. It's just unfair! When working with fast internet, you always end up remembering stuff you wanted to watch, or stuff you wanted to check out. When working per MB, watching videos is MURDER! You're on Youtube for 10min and the next thing you know, you're disconnected! That's messed up! Not only do we have to worry about what sites we're visiting and what we're downloading, we also have to avoid watching videos and - come to think of it - flash content. Newgrounds is a site you'd never visit if you're paying per MB, because a descent game/movie is about 5-7MB in size.

Also, these same people have started to offer various packages such as "Fast Internet" 5,000 per month, "Internet Plus" 10,000 per month, "Super-Fast Internet" 16,000 per month.


Okay, before my comment section gets something about being biased, I'd like to point out that indeed there are companies that offer unlimited internet, but also I'd like to point out that in spite of getting fiber optics, their prices are pretty much still the same since back then....

...unless I'm the one mistaking the saying of "cheaper internet" that is not directed to the individual but rather to the companies and corporations... then this post is pretty much rendered void (except for points 1 and 2 above, their totally valid regardless)

Anyway, that's a big rant on my side. Let out some steam!

On other news, check out my Flickr profile (http://www.flickr.com/ photos/davdalx/) some cool stuff to be seen there.


Oct 17, 2010

Random Find - Optical Illusion

Who doesn't love a good optical illusion every once in a while?
Here's one to tickle your brain... and eyes... and any other place it probably will!

Stare at the center of this animation for 30 seconds, then look away, like look at your hand or scroll down the page and look at some text...


It's crazy! Weird, huh? Yea, welcome to my world of 2-minute entertainment!


Oct 14, 2010

Experimental Week - Update

No, Experimental Week didn't suddenly end, I lost my internet connection AGAIN!
But I did do some images, so I'll be uploading those soon. I must say I've learned a lot from the last week and I can't wait to start uploading.

On other news, this was posted via my phone :-D You gotta love it!

Oct 5, 2010

Blogger Sharing

To my fellow bloggers! You know I like to throw out a tip every now and then, and here's one for all you bloggers out there.

As you may have seen, there's buttons at the bottom of the post that let you retweet or like the post. It's pretty cool and is a nice way to bring in traffic as well as let people fav stuff and so on.

You can do this simply by going to http://www.addthis.com and getting yourself a button.

AddThis adds these buttons to posts or the sidebar that let users share what they're viewing via hundreds of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and even e-mail.

AddThis works with the major hosts: Blogger, Wordpress, actual www sites and more. They let you select what site you're using and then what buttons you want from a variety of about 10 different buttons. After choosing to get your button, there's detailed instructions on how to get it on your page! Awesome!

You can also customize and create your own (I was too lazy when I went on but I will eventually to include Google Buzz). If you select the Analytics button, you also get traffic statistics and who is clicking and what exactly they are clicking (Facebook/StumbleUpon/Mail to... etc), but you need to create a free account which takes a few seconds (you don't have to verify via email).

Check it out, it wouldn't hurt to have it, and it shouldn't affect your workflow or posting processes... :-D

Experimental Week - Adjustments Day 2

So it's Day 2 of Experimental Week. I had some fun with Gradient Map yesterday!

Today was going to be Levels and Curves but unfortunately I'm relatively busy today, so I won't get time to Photoshop except perhaps in the evening, so I decided to make today adjustments that aren't so complex (in case I'll be too tired later): Threshold and Posterize!

If you've seen my Flickr Photostream, I've worked a lot with threshold before. In fact I used it yesterday with my KICC image to give the colors their sectors. In fact, I'll post up a tutorial on that, it's a great technique. Here's another I used Threshold on a while back for the SiB collection:

I also have a few ideas to use with Threshold and since I've never used Posterize because I found it very limiting, but today I shall see once and for a while exactly what I can achieve with it.

Anyway, have a good day, people! Some work will be up here sooner than later

Oct 4, 2010

Experimental Week - Adjustments

So, I've decided to dedicate this week to experimentation in Photoshop. What I'm doing this week is Adjustments.

I always used Levels and Curves and Gradient Map, but I've never really delved deeper into it's controls. I recently did a tutorial on how to create a vintage effect and the guy only used the Curves adjustment! No fancy tricks, just messing around with the graph and achieving something awesome.
I also messed around with curves once and ended up with some cool images while playing with the Red channel, so the question came up: What else don't I know about adjustments?

So I've dedicated this week to messing around with various adjustments in various types of images: dark, light, varied, designs, brushes... and also tweaking some adjustments in any Action (in my set in the Actions pallet) that may use adjustments.
Basically, I'm going NUTS!!

Starting today, I'm gonna work with my most favorite adjustment: GRADIENT MAP!! :-D

If you saw that coming +10 points to you!

Off I go then, and here's (already) the first result:

From my Flickr.

And this as well:

If you've read my Gradient Map tutorial, you'd know that I usually map the brightness of the color stops to their location on the gradient, so I get a uniform brightness in those areas. This time around I decided to mess around with those brightness values. Here, I was a bit conservative as I increased the brightness of the first blue-ish stop to something that makes the image look weirdly over-exposed. It's pretty cool! :-D

More to come!

Oct 3, 2010

Turning Color to Black & White in Photoshop


So, have you noticed that the process to turning a photograph into black and white is not always as simple as many may make it seem. I'm especially directing this to the users of "Hue/Saturation", because I made an interesting discovery that'll make you reconsider your Color to B&W processing in Photoshop!!

Photography Info - Link

What the heck is aperture?
How do I get me some Depth of Field?
How does a camera's sensor work and how is it constructed?

If you've recently started photography (especially all you self-taught people out there) and you've started delving into bridge cameras or dSLRs, you will (if you haven't already) find yourself asking such questions.

Photography has lots of terminology and strangely confusing stuff. I was recently messing around on a dSLR and I was trying on my own to figure out exactly what aperture is. So off I went, set the bugga to Aperture Priority ("Av" or "A" depending on your camera), and started messing around. All I understood was that the Aperture pretty much just set the shutter speed for me... which didn't really make sense... then I went on to think that why would I have such a feature if there was already Shutter Priority. So off I went to Google and Wikipedia and all the photography sources I knew. Eventually, after much reading, I finally learned exactly what it was, and that it actually affected Depth of Field!

Example from Flickr

Depth of Field, btw, is that effect you get where the subject is in focus and everything in the background is out of focus.

Anyway, I found a great source for all that information! It's got a simple layout but tons of information, and it'll save you a few wasted days of experimentation (at least it would have for me.)

Check out Cambridge in Colour!

Oh yea, btw I've decided that when I'm giving out a link, I'm going to give the URL as above (unless it's REALLY LONG)!


Well, if I was to type something like "Click HERE", then you'd go to that site, see what you need to see and leave, and later (this is the part that matters) you'll wonder "what was that address again? Was it a .com or .org?"
Well, basically what's happening is that I'm making it easier to remember the address to that place, because for all you know if it was CLICK HERE you would've ended up at www.cambridge-in-color.net and 3 days later you'd forget... well there's Google but still...

Also, I've noticed the tendency of someone pulling something like this:

Check out the very awesome Ideas to Creations site HERE!

Yes, the link actually sends you to Google Japan! Anyway, it also facilitates to my laziness coz adding the whole link-to-text thing can (on bad days) feel like such a long process!

Anyway, check out Cambridge in Colour and comment below on how I just saved your life.... lol no really, have fun!!