7 Beginner Photography Techniques to Try out This Weekend

7 Beginner Photography Techniques to Try out This Weekend

When most people ask me questions about print or digital photography, I quickly realize that they think that all I do is grab the camera, point it at something until that something looks pretty, and then press the shutter button. If you’re just getting into photography, you might think that too. And you know what? That’s OK.

There’s more to photography than clicking a button, though, and it all depends on two things: light and technique. Light is the most important factor in any type of photography, but knowing different techniques on how to harness its power is an essential part of being a good photographer.

Here are some basic photography tips and techniques that you can play around with if you’re just starting out in the photography world.

Long Exposure

One of the most versatile photography techniques to master is the long exposure. It can be used in numerous situations, either to create dramatic effect and show you something your eyes can’t see, or as a tool to better document exactly what it is you can see. The idea is that by leaving the shutter open for a longer amount of time, you let in more light and are able to catch where that light is moving to or from. Things that are moving begin to flow, while things that are stationary stay that way. If you’ve ever seen images of waterfalls with that blurry, flowing water, that was done with an exposure of generally a half a second or longer. If you’ve seen images of stars, those images were usually taken at 15-30 second lengths. Luckily, with modern digital cameras, you can play around with long exposures (or any of these techniques) and get instant feedback on how the image will turn out, without having to do the painstaking calculations that were prominent in the film days.

Tip: For long exposures in the daytime, you’re likely going to need a neutral density filter, which cuts down the amount of light entering your lens. A tripod is also a must, since any camera shake can ruin your shot.

Motion Blur

Related to the long exposure is the idea of “motion blur.” With a long exposure, you need to put the camera on a tripod. In order to capture motion blur, the camera must move while you take the image. Your shutter speed should be slower, but not to the extent of a long exposure. Whereas a long exposure could be a second, ten seconds, twenty seconds, etc., a photo with a goal of motion blur might be just 1/30 of a second, or even 1/60, or sometimes even 1/200, depending on what you’re shooting and how fast it’s moving. The idea is to “pan” the camera along with your subject while the image is being captured, so that the subject appears more still relative to its surroundings. This takes a lot of practice and experimentation with a slow shutter speed, but the results can be interesting.


Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


Macro

The term macro has always confused me. Macro photography refers to the photographing of small things. Tiny things. To me, that should be “micro,” not “macro,” but no one consulted me when coming up with the term. (FYI: Nikon’s macro lenses are called “Micro-NIKKOR.” Food for thought.)

In any case, macro photography is fascinating. In our human-oriented world, we forget that there exists an entirely different world on a much, much smaller scale, and by playing with macro photography, you can bring that world to life.

Macro work requires more specialized equipment than many other forms of photography. You’ll need a special lens — a macro lens — or a lens or camera with macro functionality. If you’re starting on a point-and-shoot camera, look for a little icon of a flower on the camera. Turning that function on lets you focus at a closer distance to your subject, which is exactly what you need to do macro work. A camera with a dedicated macro lens, however, will give you the best results. And not all macro lenses are created equal. Look for one with a 1:1 magnification or greater, and ideally, one with a larger focal length. I have a 105mm macro lens, which is fantastic, but there are also longer focal length macro lenses, which allow you to be less close-up from your subject. This can be especially handy if your subject is a little skittish, such as a butterfly. There are also other macro-specific gear, such as extension tubes, reversing rings, macro-specific lighting, and more, but that’s something to look at once you’ve done all you can with the equipment you have.


Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


Black & White

This one isn’t as much of a technique as it is a style, but there is definitely a technique to shooting good black and whites. With practice, you can start to turn off the “color” part of your vision, and just start to see light. It takes a lot of time to master black & white photography, surprisingly, if you started out shooting color. Many photography students are required to begin their coursework with black and white photography before adding in the color variable, and with good reason.

My best tip for getting good at shooting black and white photography, or for learning how to select which images you want to convert to black and white during post-processing in Photoshop (or Lightroom), is this: if your camera shoots in raw, you can most likely turn on a monochrome setting that allows you to see the images in black and white as you’re shooting. If you have a mirrorless camera, you can do this and see the world in black and white in real time. This will quickly start to shift your mindset and allow you to more easily look for light instead of being distracted by color information. And by shooting in raw, once you get back to the computer, you’ll still have all of the color information at your fingertips. The monochrome image on the back of the camera is just a JPEG preview, but all of the color data is preserved. Give it a shot.


Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


Light Painting

One of the most fun photography techniques is called “light painting.” The name photography itself breaks down, in the Greek, to “writing with light.” So, “painting” with light is a fairly accurate term for this technique.

To give light painting a whirl, you’ll need two things: a tripod, because this will be a long exposure, and a light source you can control, such as a flashlight, candle, glow stick, etc. Find a dark place (this is also a good opportunity to dabble with night photography), put the camera on a tripod, stop down the aperture to f/8 or smaller (you’ll have to play with the camera settings a bit), and then set the exposure to either bulb mode if you’re using a remote shutter release, or to a longer exposure of 15-30 seconds, depending on what you’re shooting and how you’re painting it. Then hit the shutter, and paint!

You can do this a couple of ways. The first is to aim the light back at the camera, and the other is to shine it on whatever it is you want to paint. Here are a couple of examples.

This will take lots of practice and patience, but the result can be fun.

Silhouettes

Silhouettes have a rich history. They started out as paper cutouts and were an early form of faster, cheaper portraiture in the 1800s. Today, we can recreate their style easily with our cameras.

I always enjoy practicing silhouettes, though I don’t do it very often. In my client work, usually people want to see the subject, not just an outline of the subject, but throwing a silhouette into the mix can show that you’re able to think about the world a little differently, and knowing this technique can also help you translate what you’re actually seeing in the real world into a photograph.

The basic technique is to place your subject against a brighter background, and expose so that the outline of the subject is dark against that background. Profiles of people work better than straight-on portraits when doing silhouettes, because you’re better able to see the outline of their face.

Combining Light Sources

One of the more complex photography techniques that you’ll start to experiment involves combining multiple sources and types of light. If you’ve used a camera flash, you’ve already done this — combining the flash’s light with the light of the sun, or the interior lights of a house, etc. Once you start to play with light, you can experiment even further with that idea. Mix a constant light source, such as a lamp, with the flash of a strobe. Use the flashlight in coordination with the light of the moon when doing a light painting. The potential for this is limitless, and when you master using different kinds of light in your images, you’ll truly be living up to the intentions of photography.

After you’ve mastered some of these techniques, the next step is to start combining them. Try long exposure photography, but turn it black and white. Do macro work, but as silhouettes. The combinations of techniques are endless in photography, and by learning and practicing these techniques, you can take your skills up a notch and begin to develop your own style.


Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


The post 7 Beginner Photography Techniques to Try out This Weekend appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article

What is the Best Lighting For Photography? A Beginner’s Guide to Lighting Gear

What is the Best Lighting For Photography? A Beginner’s Guide to Lighting Gear

If photography means writing with light, then lighting gear is a photographer’s pen. Adding lighting gear to a photography kit opens up endless creative possibilities to play with shadows, create a glow, or add that sparkling light source. But understanding lighting is also one of the trickiest tasks for new and intermediate photographers to tackle. So what is the best photography lighting?

We’ve rounded up all those newbie lighting gear questions to help you not just find the best lighting for photography, but the best lights for your photography.

best lighting for photography

What’s better, a speedlight or studio lights?

One of the first questions photographers need to ask before investing in lights is whether or not those lights need to be portable. Studio-based photographers are going to pick up different lighting kits than photographers that need to not only easily carry the lighting gear far from any electrical outlet.

speedlight or flash is often the best photography lighting that’s on-site because of the portability. With an off-camera wireless flash system, speedlights can do much of the work of studio strobes. Wedding and sports photographers tend to favor speedlights because of that portability, as well as the flexibility since the same light can also be mounted on-camera. Speedlights aren’t perfect though. They don’t reach as far as studio lights or light stands, the light isn’t as strong and they can take longer to be ready for that next flash of light. (That last one is a tech spec referred to a recycle time).

Studio style lights are larger, but with battery packs, many of them can be used in the studio or on site. Continuous or strobe lights are significantly larger than speedlights because along with packing the actual light, many require separate battery packs to bring along as well. But these lights answer many of the negatives of using a speedlight because they offer more power and have faster recycle times.


Push yourself to incorporate new photography lighting techniques to expand your photographic style. Join photographer Chris Knight to learn more. 

cinematic photography lighting with Chris Knight


What’s the difference between strobe lighting and continuous lighting?

If you’re leaning towards those studio-style lights, you have another decision to make: strobe lighting or continuous lighting? A strobe light has that traditional camera flash with a quick burst of light, while continuous lights are on all the time. Because strobe lights are only putting out light for a short burst, they tend to be more powerful than continuous lights. When shooting portraits, strobe lighting will also make a subtle difference in the subject’s eyes because the burst of light won’t make the pupils larger, leaving more of the color of the iris in the image.

Continuous lights may be less powerful, but they are often affordable — and a must if you are shooting videos rather than stills. For beginners, continuous lights are often easier to work with because you see the light in real time, rather than adjusting, taking a picture with flash, then adjusting again. (Some strobe lights, however, do have a continuous mode to use while setting up the position of the light). Continuous lights are often popular for product photography.


Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


What about light strength or wattage?

Speedlights, strobes and continuous lights all tend to have varying strengths, that is, they put out a different amount of light, measured in watts for studio lights and in the distance the light can reach for speedlights. But just how much light do you need your lights to actually put out? The answer depends largely on what you shoot.

The most powerful lights are used for shooting with a telephoto lens, photographing large groups and creative lighting tasks like overpowering the sun. Photographers often tasked with those shoots often pick lights with at least 600 watts per second, and for flash, some of the more pricier options.

But more isn’t always better. Powerful light is hard light with harsh shadows. Many photographers favor the soft light and will largely shoot with a light modifier and that light turned down to just a fraction of its power — which means spending the extra cash on that souped-up light isn’t really necessary.

What about modifiers?

Lights are just the beginning. To really get the most creative possibilities from your lighting kit, modifiers are necessary. There are a few different types of modifiers, and no, you don’t need every type, at least not right away. Here are the options:

  • Softboxes or diffusers: Light is powerful. Softboxes and other types of diffusers soften the light, creating a more gradual transition between the light and dark areas of the image. Diffusing the light makes it possible to take an image without that obvious flash look, yet still creates a catchlight, prevents a silhouette or any number of different scenarios. If you don’t know what type of light modifier to get, get a softbox or diffuser.
  • Umbrellas: A shoot through umbrella is a type of diffuser, similar to the look of a softbox. Using a reflective umbrella, you point the light away from the subject and the umbrella sends a more concentrated beam of light back to the subject.
  • Beauty dish: Most often used in portraits in fashion, a beauty dish creates a more vibrant light than a softbox, but doesn’t have the same extreme, hard shadows of a naked light.
  • Barn doors: By placing doors or panels on all four sides of the light, you can leave the doors open and get a wide light or focus the light down by closing any combination of doors.
  • Grids and snoots — These types of modifiers focus the light down to a smaller area. The light hits the subject but then quickly falls off to leave the rest of the scene dark.
  • Gels — Gels give light color. These can be used to troubleshoot — like making a flash match the orange of the sunset in the scene — or to get creative and add unexpected color.

Get ready for gifting season with up to $150 off our top selling classes for a limited time! Shop now.


So what is the best lighting for photography? Recommended lighting gear

Now that you have an idea of what you need, what kit should you put in your cart? There are many great lighting brands out there at many different price points. But, to get you started, here are a few favorites with a moderate price tag.

Speedlight: Nikon SB-700 or Canon Speedlight 430EX II, with the Phottix Stratto II receiver and transmitter for off-camera flash.

Continuous Light: Look for affordable options from Lowel or Impact, or try ikan’s LED panels.

Strobe light kit: Try the Profoto B2s, or options from Wescott, Elinchrom or Bowens. For tighter budgets, look at the Impact brand.

Modifiers: For modifying a speedlight, try the MagMod diffuser or kit, or, if you are on a tight budget, a small inexpensive flash softbox. For diffusing studio light, Elinchrom and Wescott are great, while Neweer works if you don’t have much to spend. For other modifiers, look at what the manufacturer of your studio light suggests to ensure you pick up something compatible.

Learn how to manipulate light, and you can learn how to create nearly any kind of photograph. The best lighting for photography is going to to be the best lighting for your style of photography — one photographer may swear by his flash while the next insists her battery-powered strobes are the best. Armed with information on the types of lights and modifiers and the most essential specs, you can choose the right tool for the shot.


Push yourself to incorporate new photography lighting techniques to expand your photographic style. Join photographer Chris Knight to learn more. 

cinematic photography lighting with Chris Knight


The post What is the Best Lighting For Photography? A Beginner’s Guide to Lighting Gear appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article

How to Design a Logo, in 5 Simple Steps

How to Design a Logo, in 5 Simple Steps

Take a quick glance around whatever space you’re in right now. No matter whether it’s a coffee shop, your office, your bedroom, a subway car, or the park, there’s one thing you’ll certainly find: a logo. Be it on a postcard pinned to a corkboard, emblazoned on a T-shirt or hat, driving by on the side of a truck, or tattooed on the arm of the person next to you, logos are the communication currency of the modern world.

Every brand, whether corporate or personal, has a logo. The bands you listen to, the food you eat, the sports teams you root for, the bloggers you follow — all have logos. Logos surround you, wherever you are.

And that’s because there’s nothing more important for a brand’s identity than its logo. A visual symbol, when executed well, expresses so much more than words can about the company, product or group it represents. And the best symbols express so much, in turn, about you, the consumer. Iconic logos like Apple’s, LEGO’s and Levi’s didn’t cement themselves in our culture just because they’re cleanly designed or boldly colored or eye-catching shaped, or just because they contain a company name; they’re icons that consumers are proud to tout in their homes, on their clothing, and in their hands.

Blog_561x170-logodesign (2)

So, if you’re new to this work, how do you go about tackling logo design, given how high the stakes are? Maybe you want to add heft to your graphic design portfolio, or create a personal logo for your own brand, or simply challenge yourself creatively. Regardless, adding logo design to your toolkit will serve you well given how critical these assets are across every industry. Below, your ultimate, step-by-step guide to designing a logo.

Step 1: Deep-Dive Into the Brand

First things first: do a close study of the brand for which you’re designing a logo. Read any materials you can get your hands on, peruse any design guidelines that are available, scroll through the brand’s social media feeds if they exist, talk to people who work for or consume (or would consume, if it doesn’t exist yet) the brand. A powerful logo encapsulates the essence of the brand, so it’s critical to begin the logo design process with an airtight understanding of what that brand stands for, who its target audience is and what its core values are. Collect all of this information into a thorough design brief that can guide your creative process as you begin exploring ideas.

Step 2: Gather Inspiration

The world around you is teeming with examples of great logos. Before you dive into design, assemble a mood board of logos — either physical or digital — that resonate with you and feel relevant for the brand for which you’re creating a visual identity. Check out sites like PinterestDribbble, and Behance, and browse the portfolios and Instagram accounts of designers you admire. Page through magazines, art books, and even catalogs.

Step 3: Start Sketching

Using the inputs from Step 1 and the inspiration from Step 2, start playing around with ideas using paper and pen. Sketching by hand is quicker than jumping right into Adobe Illustrator; you won’t get bogged down in the tiny details and the quantity of your creative output will be greater. You don’t need to be excellent at drawing, either; the sketching phase is just about churning out all stripes of ideas efficiently. As you begin, you’ll want to determine the right aesthetic that fits the brand in question — quirky? classic? retro? — as well as the colors and typography that best communicate the brand identity. In addition, you’ll need to decide what type of logo is most suitable: wordmark, monogram, combination, brandmark or emblem. It’s up to you as the designer to determine the creative direction of each of these elements in combination. At this stage, no ideas are bad ideas. Don’t erase or throw out anything you come up with; you never know what creative fruit may be borne from your early thoughts when you take stock of your work, even if it’s for a future project.

Step 4: Tighten Your Concept

Once you start to get a sense of a few solid options for your logo, hold each up to a strict checklist to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. A great logo must be:

Simple: Is it clear at first glance what the logo is communicating? Is it not trying to do too much? Does it not overwhelm the eye? Will potential customers understand what this brand does?

Memorable: Is the logo impactful? Does it leave a good visual impression?

Versatile: Logos are used in all manner of branding materials, both print and digital. Can this logo design be adapted across a variety of media? Is it scalable, up and down?

Relevant: Does the logo match the aesthetic and personality of the brand? Does it have meaning that’s appropriate to the company or product it’s representing?

Timeless: Will the logo still be effective in 2 years? 10? 50?

Unique: Does the logo take too many obvious cues from similar brands’ logos? Does it have an individualized visual voice?

Use the above criteria to narrow down your designs to 2-5 finalists to show your client, or to consider yourself even more closely if the logo is for your own project. It helps to take a breather at this stage — even just a day — and come back to the designs with fresh perspective in order to select a winner.

Blog_561x170-logodesign (2)

Step 5: Digitize Your Design

There are a variety of ways to digitize your hand-sketched logo, if you want to use your drawing as the basis of the final logo versus designing a new on your computer. The most common route is to scan the sketch, and then convert the image into a vector file in Adobe Illustrator. You’ll also need to export your logo into a variety of file types, depending on the project needs (for example, .ai, .eps, .png and .pdf).

That’s it! All that’s left is to put that logo to use, on everything from business cards, letterhead, email footers and social media profile images to branded apparel, swag and packaging.

The logo creation process can be time-consuming and creatively challenging. But it’s worth the investment of energy and time: a brand is only as powerful as its logo.

Now go forth and design.

Blog_561x170-logodesign (2)

The post How to Design a Logo, in 5 Simple Steps appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article

How Creative Routines Improve Your Health and Well-Being

How Creative Routines Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Smoking, jogging, stress eating, meditating — daily routines play a big role in overall health and well-being. But should creative routines also be on that list? Several studies suggest that creative work and creativity, at a minimum, can boost mental health while others argue that art has a physiological effect on the body. But before you swap the broccoli for chocolate and a paintbrush, how, exactly, does creating something affect your overall health? And are creative people more productive?

Many of the 20th century studies on creativity and health (and insights from authors like Mason Currey and Maya Angelou, artists like Beethoven or Mozart and scientists like Benjamin Franklin) stress a growing number of evidence-backed ways that show our health improves as we create. Like other health-boosting activities, many of the studies suggest that repeated creativity creates the biggest benefit. So how do creative daily rituals boost your health? Here are seven research-suggested reasons.

Creativity can decrease depression.

A growing amount of research focuses on the role creativity plays in psychological well-being, rather than physical health. As studies started to suggest a relationship between creativity and health, two researchers decided to look at 100 existing studies to put it all together. One of the several distinctions from the research, published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2010, was that the studies suggested participating in visual arts from pottery to photography to help reduce depression.

The study suggested that daily creative routines could help with the depression that’s often associated with long-term or serious illnesses. But further research points to creativity as staving off negative emotions even for healthy individuals. If you’ve ever felt a creative high after creating something after work or at your day job, you know creativity can help boost positive emotions and keep the negative ones at bay.


Ready to add more creativity into your life? Join the 11K people who’ve taken Tabatha Coffey’s class to get in touch with their true selves.


Creativity can reduce your body’s response to stress.

Adding creativity to our everyday lives can reduce stress and anxiety, too. Engaging in something creative can have a result similar to meditation by triggering the brain into creating more dopamine, a chemical in the brain that’s believed to be responsible for heightened excitement and productivity. This helps put us in a calmer, deeper state.

Creativity can help boost your immune system.

The effects of creativity aren’t solely in the brain. Creative daily routines are also good for the immune system.

In one study of immune-compromised HIV patients, researchers found that participants that engaged in emotional writing had increased levels of lymphocytes. The test suggested that creativity can have a physical effect on our bodies, too.

Creativity can (sometimes) encourage fitness.

Not all creativity encourages a sedentary lifestyle behind a desk or easel. Some creative routines can boost health by encouraging more physical activity. Dance, long walks (or vigorous walks), for example, are an excellent example of a form of creativity that encourages physical health. Long walks aren’t the only daily rituals that can get you moving, however, with other types of creativity inadvertently encouraging exercise. Nature photography can encourage hiking, too. Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, find some time to incorporate creative routines to your day and increase your heart rate!

Creativity decreases the risks of cognitive impairment as you age.

Studies show that individuals with dementia retain creative abilities longer than other skills. As such, art therapy is a popular aid for patients with dementia. But another study by the Mayo Clinic suggests that regularly engaging in creativity can actually delay cognitive decline. The researchers suggested that crafts from painting to quilting for middle-aged adults and older individuals may be able to help prevent or delay common cognitive conditions seen in old age.

The catch? Health can also boost creativity.

Creativity can help reduce stress and depression while boosting the immune system and decreasing other health risks. But the role between health and creativity goes both ways. While creativity itself can help boost dopamine, research suggests creative moments come from a blend of dopamine and serotonin while stress hormones can reduce creativity.

That means that, while creativity is healthy, other healthy habits can, in turn, boost your creativity. Habits like getting enough sleep, regular exercise and a healthy diet (think more protein and fewer carbs) can help boost creativity. With healthy daily routines boosting creativity and creativity boosting health, creativity and health exist hand in hand. Healthy habits, both in the traditional sense and the creative one, can support that cycle.

You don’t have to look to famous creative people to prove that creativity is a healthy habit. Engaging in regular creative routines, from photography to adult coloring books, can help reduce stress and depression, delay cognitive impairment and even aid in fighting some health conditions.


Ready to add more creativity into your life? Join the 11K people who’ve taken Tabatha Coffey’s class to get in touch with their true selves.


The post How Creative Routines Improve Your Health and Well-Being appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article

Veterans Day, Every Day

Veterans Day, Every Day

Stacy Pearsall is the creator of Veterans Portrait Project.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the “War to End All Wars” was at an end. The year was 1918 and The Great War was declared over. Americans recognized the date as Armistice Day and celebrated world peace while also honoring veterans who fought in WWI. After WWII and the Korean War, Veterans replaced the word Armistice, and Americans began to observe the designated day as we know it today, Veterans Day. It’s a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall


Want to capture authentic emotion in portraits? RSVP to learn how from Stacy Pearsall.


As you may know from my Starting a Personal Project keynote, I began the Veterans Portrait Project while I recovered from combat injuries I’d sustained in Iraq as an Air Force combat photographer. My head was filled with negative words like “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” “restricted.” I felt alienated, helpless and alone. The life I knew and loved seemed to vanish overnight, and all I was left with was a pain-in-the-neck – literally and figuratively. A fellow veteran, who’d fought in WWII, was the inspiration I needed to take up the camera again. I felt his story, like so many other veterans I’d met in the waiting rooms of the VA hospital, was compelling and important to share. Moreover, I wanted him to know that I was thankful for his service and sacrifice. The best way I could demonstrate my appreciation was through my photography.

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

I didn’t have much in terms of professional equipment, or lighting skills, but I figured it wouldn’t matter to the veterans. After all, the gesture was more important than the imagery. With a clear objective in mind, I worked with the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center’s public affairs office to arrange some portrait sessions. I set up my little makeshift studio, comprised of three Nikon Speedlights on flash shoe Spring Clamps and stands, in the common areas and photographed fellow veterans who were waiting for the medical appointments.

Stacy Pearsall is the creator of Veterans Portrait Project.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

With each veteran I met, I was struck by how similar our experiences were. It didn’t matter they were 40, 50, 60 years older than me. Through hearing their stories, I felt validated. I wasn’t alone after all. They too grappled with their experiences, and often expressed feeling the same emotions. I didn’t realize it at first but while providing empathy and compassion for them, they were healing me in return.

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

I set a goal that I would photograph veterans in every state and province from which the United States recruits military members. I figured that would take a lifetime. Thus far, I’ve traveled to 27 states and photographed several thousand veterans.

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall


Want to capture authentic emotion in portraits? RSVP to learn how from Stacy Pearsall.


A portrait from Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall.

credit: Stacy Pearsall

Over the course of my Project, I acquired more equipment, refined my lighting techniques and raised awareness about veterans’ issues. Most importantly, I learned more about human nature and myself. The Veterans Portrait Project has been a journey of discovery, healing and growth for me – a truly personal project.

From the first veteran’s portrait I took in 2008 to the veteran’s portrait I took yesterday, they all mean something deeply personal to me. When standing in front of my brothers and sisters, I’m reminded that Veterans Day isn’t one day a year. Because it’s a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their service and sacrifice, for me, every day is Veterans Day!


Want to capture authentic emotion in portraits? RSVP to learn how from Stacy Pearsall.


The post Veterans Day, Every Day appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article

The Cure for a Blank Canvas: How to Get Creative with Adobe Stock Illustrations

The Cure for a Blank Canvas: How to Get Creative with Adobe Stock Illustrations

Staring at a blank canvas is one of the hardest parts of beginning a new project. Whether you need inspiration or a ready-made solution—Adobe Stock makes the fear of a blank canvas disappear with a single click.

Adobe Stock offers thousands of possibilities in a matter of seconds, whether you’re searching for photos, vector illustrations, video, templates, or 3D renderings. Adobe even goes as far as to provide you with navigation options, online at AdobeStock, or within Adobe Applications like Illustrator, where you can search and license assets from right within the Libraries Panel (Window>Libraries).

Design Assets

Design assets are the unique artistic components that come together to support your project. These could be anything from watercolor bees to abstract shapes and patterns.  As designers, we’re in constant need of assets to bring a project to life and unless you have the time to complete them all from scratch Adobe Stock will serve as a useful asset.


Learn how to navigate the Adobe Stock platform and use Adobe Illustrator to quickly and easily customize stock vector files for your projects.


Let’s say you’re working on a project and you’ve chosen a watercolor theme—but you’re not a painter. From the ‘Libraries’ panel in Illustrator, you can simply type “Watercolor” into the search bar to instantly find ideas and assets to make your project a reality. To narrow down the results to vectors specifically, expand the option next to “Results from Adobe Stock” and click to select ‘Vectors.’

The best part is that when you find something you love but it doesn’t quite fit your project (wrong color, etc.) — you can easily change it in Illustrator, customizing it exactly as you see fit.

You can get specific with your search, too. Let’s say your watercolor project is about bees. If you type “watercolor bee” into the search bar, you will find that someone has already created a variety of watercolor bees for you to choose from. How cool is that?

If you’re having a hard time deciding which file(s) you want to license, it’s easy to drag a free comp into your document to use for placement and testing. (The comp is a low-res JPEG, so while you won’t be able to edit it as a vector until you actually license the file, it’s still very helpful for composition and layout.)

A Creative Jump Start

In addition to simple assets like watercolor design elements, you can find entire concepts ready to use (and customize) in whatever ways you need.


Learn how to navigate the Adobe Stock platform and use Adobe Illustrator to quickly and easily customize stock vector files for your projects.


In my course, we’ll be using a collection of Paris themed assets from a single file to build a menu for a restaurant. We’ll juggle around the different design elements, changing their size and in some cases, their color. In this way, the original design is repurposed for a specific design need. This is a  simple way to incorporate design elements in your project even if your illustration skills are below average.

All-in-One Solutions

Looking for a ready-made wedding invitation? A simple search for “wedding invitation” brings up a number of different templates, each one ready to print with just a simple edit to the specific details. Simply license an invitation file, swap out  the information for your own, and print!

Become a Contributor

“Who? Me?!” You ask. Yes, you! Even if you don’t know a stroke from a fill, or a vector from a pile of pixels, I’ll show you how easy it is to create a simple, seamless pattern and how to upload to Adobe Stock—which could actually earn you real money.


Learn how to navigate the Adobe Stock platform and use Adobe Illustrator to quickly and easily customize stock vector files for your projects.


The post The Cure for a Blank Canvas: How to Get Creative with Adobe Stock Illustrations appeared first on CreativeLive Blog.

————

The content for this post was sourced from www.creativelive.com

View the Original Article