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Archive for June, 2012

Let’s try this – one more time

So, the first week of our photography contest here at Creative Dreamers was a bust, the second week, we received a lot of entries by some very talented photographers. But this past week made the trend something like that of a heart monitor with spikes of ups and downs. Yes, we had a dud of a week in terms of submissions for the “People and portraits” category.

With all that being said, there is only one week left, one week to show off your skills and win a prize and promotion for doing so. Starting tomorrow (July1) through July 7, the theme will be “Abstract shots.”

Once again, you can send submissions to my e-mail (as indicted in several prior posts) and will retain full rights and intellectual property of your images.

Good luck and we hope to see some great images coming in for our final contest week.

My personal photo book

Once in a while I like to experiment, specially when I have aopportunity to do so at no cost.  Such was the case with a recent photo book promotion. I had the chance to make an 8×8 hardcover book and pretty much customize it to my specifications.  That being said, I did so today. It is 100% black and white or spot color in nature and I think it might just have turned out pretty nice. Feel free to check it out at the link below:

“Attirance”

Submit your photos to our photography contest

This week’s contest theme is People and portraits.

Anyone can enter the the winner for the week will get tons of social media and social bookmarking publicity and the awesome e-book “Making Beautiful Photography.”

Take this chance to show off your creativity. The possibilities are truly endless.

Once again, entries should be sent to trcapromo@gmail.com.

Please read prior posts for specific contest details and rules.

Good luck!

 

 

Creative Dreamers Photo Contest Week 2 Winner

There where several great submissions to our second week of the Creative Dreamers Photography Contest.

This past week, the theme of Nature and Wildlife inspired some wonderful shots from both amateurs and seasoned veterans of the art of photography.

Without further ado, I give you the winning entry for the week of June 17-23:

Turtle” – submitted by Kevin Yacker of Yacker Photography

Congrats on the free publicity for the win and your own personal edition of the “Making Beautiful Photography” e-book of photography tips by Jason Greiner.

Keep those submissions coming for next week’s contest with the theme being People and portraits.

How to convert images to Black and White effectively in Photoshop CS5

Method 1

The fastest method, can also use the shortcut Command+Shift+U on macs, and Control+Shift+U on PC’s

Step 1

Select your layer, then navigate to Image>Mode>Grayscale

Step 2

When prompted, select the discard button. We can always use command+z to undo any steps, so don’t worry.

Method 2

Step 1

By navigating to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Hue/Saturation you can change the image to black and white while maintaining control over values. This method is also referred to as “nondestructive” because it can be reversed at any time (as long as it’s saved as a PSD).

Step 2

With the Hue/Saturation sliders on hand, lowering saturation, hue, and lightness values can give you a customizable black and white image.

Tutorial provided by CJ, a talented Photoshop enthusiast and intern for Three Rivers Creative Arts .

Watch your mouth! – Accounting for cultural differences in word meanings

Native and non-Native English speakers

It has been said that English (which is my first and in all honesty except for a few courses years ago my only language) is among the most difficult to learn for non-native speakers. But there is more to it that just that. Even for native speakers, depending upon your culture and where you live, the same word or phrase can have quite a different meaning.

For example…

“Rubber” 

The basic definition refers to a highly elastic solid substance. However, when cultural slang comes into play, the meanings are quite different. In the United States, a “rubber” is a nickname for a condom. But, you walk into a pharmacy to purchase a rubber in England, you might just be out of luck. You’d be better off going to an office supply store as that a common meaning in the United Kingdom is simply an eraser.

“Player”

While like the aforementioned example, this word has a basic core meaning but when cultural influences come into play things change dramatically. I once had a co-worker from India. In a conversation about sports, she commented that she had been a player in her school days. While she meant that she had been an athlete, the rest of those involved in the chat snickered a little before mentioning the American meaning – a person (usually male) who is a master manipulator when it comes to sexually seducing others.

Quite simply, when either writing or speaking, the same word in the same language can hold an entirely strange connotation for one man in say America and another in Europe or Asia. So watch your mouth, before you speak.

 

Graffiti as art

Yes, graffiti can be ugly…

And no doubt there are times when it is legitimate to call it vandalism. But under the right circumstances, it can be quite beautiful and artistic.

Many who dabble in graffiti are indeed art students or hold jobs related to the arts such as careers in graphic design.

Here are a few examples of some amazing work for your viewing pleasure:

Why every writer needs an editor

From the least experienced writing novice to the author with several books under his or her belt, everyone needs an editor. To some, this may seem obvious but to many the reaction may be quite different.

First off, what I’m talking about here is not an editor in terms of an intermediary between a publisher and a writer but more of a proof reader if you will.

Simply put, proof reading your own work will only get you so far.

In order to help to ensure your manuscript is in tip top shape, you should:

1. Have others review your work for mistakes

- From typos to incorrect grammar and phrasing, getting someone else to review your work can be crucial. Of course, the person doing so should have a good grasp on spelling and grammar.

2. Realize the weakness in our own perception

- Writers often miss their own mistakes by projecting their expectations onto the page while reading their work. We tend read things as we intended them to be rather than as they actually appear, leaving us vulnerable to missing our own errors.

Taking these basic precautions can work wonders for the quality of your final manuscript whether you are Joe Blow the aspiring novelist or have produced worldwide best sellers.

Results (or more accurately non-results) of the first week of our photo contest

Much to my surprise…

and a little to my dismay as well, there where no entries into the first week of the Creative Dreamers Photo Contest. This being the case, there is obviously no winner to announce.

I’m hoping things will chance this week with the theme of the contest being “Nature and Wildlife.”

If you’re so inclined, please enter for your chance to win the Deluxe version of my E-Book “Making Beautiful Photography: A Guide for the Novice and the Enthusiast” which even comes with several awesome video tutorials.

Good luck to all who choose to enter and I look forward to seeing the work of some very talented photographers.

Music review – We see a new side of Carrie Underwood in “Blown Away”

Carrie Underwood has been a mainstay on the country and pop music charts since her rise to fame as quite possibly the most successful winner of American Idol to date.

Her newest release “Blown Away” does feature some classic Carrie elements but also seems to venture into new territory with mixed results. Several songs include some surprisingly electronic beats and some have lyrics of a deeper, darker nature than anything else we’ve seen from Underwood in the past.

The most notable tracks on the album include “See You Again,” “One Way Ticket,” “Do You Think About Me,” Nobody Ever Told You” and “Who Are You.” Between these songs Underwood delivers a little bit of traditional country but mostly a mix of fun and uplifting music and lyrics with a lot of pop.

The lesser quality tracks would have to include “Two Black Cadillacs,” “Thank God For Hometowns” and “Cupid’s Got A Shotgun.” The first has a fairly traditional country vibe but is extremely dark. The other two go the extreme country route as well with the first being too basic and the second coming across a bit cheesey.

The rest of the tracks are pretty decent but nothing outstanding.

All in all, “Blown Away” is probably not one of Underwood’s best efforts but it is still far better than most of the music out there. I would give it a grade of a B-.

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