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Archive for February, 2013

American Idol “Sudden Death” round 2

Better late than never…

The second sudden death show took place Thursday night. This time, it was the guy’s turn. The judges chose the following men to move on to the round in which the fans will be the deciding factor:

Elijah Liu

Paul Jolley

Charlie Askew

Devin Velez

Curtis Finch

Charlie Askew American Idol


Unlike with the ladies in the first sudden death show, the guys didn’t really impress me all that much. That being the case, for the most part, it seemed like the judges probably had an easier time choosing between who to send through and who to send home.

The big winner of the nice, in my opinion, was young Charlie Askew. The talented  Elijah Liu came across strong as well. I’m really not that big on Curtis Finch at all and I think Devin Velez is a bit over rated too. Paul Jolley seems to fit somewhere in the middle.

American Idol “Sudden Death” round 1

This year, American Idol is trying yet another new tactic to draw in audiences – the “sudden death” rounds.

Here’s how it works…

Of the remaining 20 male and 20 female contestants, the judges are having groups of 10 perform battle things out for the next four shows. For each of those 10, on five will survive the cut and five will go home that same night. Needless to say, this equals lots of drama and the potential for a lot of shockers.

The first such show took place last night. And all in all, I think the judges did a pretty good job. They chose the following ladies to move on to the round in which the fans will be the deciding factor:

Teena Torres

Adriana Latonio

Kree Harrison

Angela Miller

Amber Holcomb

Angela Miller American Idol

My thoughts:

All in all, the judges made a pretty good call. Angela Miller and Kree Harrison where basically a lock for one of the top five slots. Adriana Latonio was a fairly safe bet as well. However, Teena Torres was something of a surprise. In my opinion, it is doubtful that she should have made it through at the expense of Isabelle going home. Another one that could have been in the mix was Shubha Vedula. But of course, when only five spots are open, sadly some talented people will have to be left out.

Harlem Shakes from around the globe

If you haven’t heard of the Harlem Shake, you soon will. It’s a craze that’s taking over the Internet as the latest viral dance sensation. For a lighter hearted post, I decided to include some samples below for you enternatinment.

Disclaimer – Not all videos may be suitable for younger viewers.

Three ways to bring out the color in your photos

As a photographer, I know that a lot of people are looking for ways to bring out the color in their shots to make their digital photos pop. Here are a few tips along with sample shots.

Making color pop

1. Make use of the saturation effect

– Use your photo editing software’s saturation tools to increase the saturation for more vivid colors. Be careful not to go overboard though.

saturation effect in peacock

2. Utilize the dodge/burn tool

– Most likely, your chosen editing software will allow you to either burn (darken) or dodge (lighten) specific areas of your photo. This can really help with bringing out the color in skies and nature scenes as well as washed out clothing or body art.

3. Go with a spot color effect

– Here, you take out the color in a photo and essentially make it black and white with the exception of the area in which you want to showcase a specific color. This takes a little work but is well worth it. My e-book “Making Beauty Photography” has a deluxe edition with links to video tutorial on several of these techniques.

purple hair spot color

Grammy predictions

Just for fun, I thought I’d try my hand at predicting the outcome on the 2013 Grammy Awards which will air this Sunday evening on CBS.

Of course, I’m only going to delve into a few of the dozens of categories that I feel like I know something about.

So without further ado, here goes.

And the Grammy goes to…

Best New Artist


Song Of The Year

We Are Young

Fun band

Best Pop Solo Performance 

Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Maroon 5 – “Payphone”

Maroon 5

Best Alternative Music Album

Gotye – “Making Mirrors”


Best Country Solo Performance 

Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”

Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo/Group Performance 

Little Big Town – “Pontoon”

Little Big Town

Record Of The Year

Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Taylor Swift

Creative Dreamers honoring top blogs – “best blog awards”

As the blogger behind Creative Dreamers, I only think it is right to acknowledge and showcase some of the best blogs out there. So, based on the opinions of CD readers, and the wonderful work of others out there contributing to the ever growing blogisphere, I’m announcing the first ever Creative Dreamers Blog Awards.

blog awards

Here’s how it’s all going to come together

Blog Awards will be given based on the categories below:

Favorite Photography Blog

Favorite Poetry Blog

Favorite Visual Design or Layout on a Blog

Favorite General Arts Blog

Favorite Drawing Blog

Favorite Subculure and Body Art Blog

Favorite Music or Video Blog

The categories should probably be pretty self explanatory but if you’re not sure where a blog might fit in, just ask.

Readers can nominate any blog of their choice by:

1. Liking this post.

2. Sending the URL of your nomination, along with the category you are nominating the blog for, to

You can nominate a blog up until March 1, 2013. Results will be posted by mid-March.

Winning blogs will receive free promotion on this blog as well as bragging rights they can include on their own.

American Idol San Antonio, Long Beach and Oklahoma City audition recaps – sort of

Well, it’s going to be a pretty short American Idol recap this week. The reason is that my cable provider lost the signal for all but the first 15 minutes of so of the San Antonio / Long Beach how. Thanks a lot Comcast. And of course, the Oklahoma City auditions only aired for an hour so as to allow for a new episode of “Glee” at 9 p.m.

In San Antonio, the contestants seemed to start off strong until the aforementioned cable outage. I suspect that both Savannah Votion and Vincent Powell, the first two to make it though, will likely be long-term contenders. As far as Long Beach goes, I have nothing to go off of at this point.

Savannah Votion

The Oklahoma City auditions where a little perplexing considering the talent they showed on air wasn’t that impressive. The only real standout where Nate Tao and Halie Hilburn. Of course, you never know what Karl Skinner and Kayden Stephenson might be able to pull off down the road in the competition. Strange things do happen on AI.

Nate Tao

Speaking of strange things, the show, or at least the judges, took a major credibility hit giving a unanimous “yes” to Zoanette Johnson. Perhaps the worst contestant ever to advance beyond the first round of auditions, she butchered our American national anthem and seemed flat out crazy. If she gets any further, it will be a real travesty.

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