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15 Project Ideas to Spark Your Creativity

Photography has never been as popular as it is today. People of all ages learn photography in various schools and online universities, and lots of talented photographers have a wonderful opportunity to reveal themselves not only as artists, but also as teachers.

Alex Eylar

By Alex Eylar

Like all creatives, photographers can sometimes experience creative block or a lack of interesting ideas, no matter what side of the school desk they are sitting on. One way for photography mentors and teachers to fight this problem is through the use of creative assignments.

In this article I’ve put together 15 creative project ideas to use in your photography class (if you are a teacher) or for yourself. When completed properly, a student assignment is a great teaching tool. If it’s well-designed and structured, it enables students to develop their technical skills and artistic vision, as well as improve their general thinking abilities and subject knowledge. So whether you’re a photography teacher looking for effective assignment ideas or a self-taught photography student focused on training your eye and critical vision, this roundup will surely come in handy.

15 Photography Ideas to try as we head into 2015

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, 25% off deal

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A fast simple 25% off deal today! On the fifth day of Christmas, you can get 25% off everything in the Graffishop!

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in the Graffishop, share a page for 10% off

And you can increase that just by sharing on your favorite social network.

On the left side of every page, you’ll see these social media links. Click one, and out will pop a dialog page that allows you to post your thoughts – and receive an additional 10% off coupon code!

Review1But wait – there’s more: there are also reviews. You can write a review and receive 10% off, then you can SHARE your review for another 10% off – 20% off just for writing a review and posting it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.!

The only reason I do this is because it’s the only marketing I use. I don’t buy GoogleAds or Facebook Ads, I don’t troll online forums and chatboards, and i’m betting you have never received a single non-solicited email from me, ever – because I don’t spam, either.

But also, thank you for your support, and more goodies will be available tomorrow and through Christmas Eve!

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Reviews are written by real people, so you know they aren’t just planted.

 

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, How About Some Color?

the first day of Christmas the second day of christmas free download the third day of Christmas free download the Fourth Day of Christmas Free Download the Fifth Day of Christmas Free Download the Sixth Day of Christmas Free Download the Seventh Day of Christmas Free Download the Eighth Day of Christmas Lightroom presets Vintage the Ninth Day of Christmas Coupon Code

Christmas Color! Today, on the Fourth Day of Christmas, I have for you a mini-bundle of color for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements!

Christmas Colors for the 12 Days of Christmas

the Colors of Christmas!

Caribbean Color Swatch

A sampling of Caribbean blues

This free download includes Christmas Colors for the 12 Days of Christmas, some colors sampled from the most beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Ocean, and a collection of Christmas Gradients.

The Colors of Christmas swatch (in .aco format for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements) has a collection of colors sampled from reindeer, evergreen trees, a star in the eastern sky, snow, some chimney soot, royal colors of blue and purple, and even old Santa Claus himself!

The Caribbean Winter set (also in .aco format) includes blues sampled from my collection of tropical photos taken in the most beautiful places in the world. They’re perfect for announcing that holiday cruise, or as a reminder that we’re even closer to summer than we were just last week.

Finally, there’s a collection of Christmas gradients, perfect for making candy cane text or decorating your image of a Christmas cake – or whatever else you can think of to use them for!

Photoshop gradient featuring the 12 Days of Christmas colors

Christmas Gradients for making Candy Canes and other fun Christmas stuff!

Get the Colors of Christmas mini-bundle!

All three pieces are included in a single download, below:

Christmas Color Collection Wow! Downloaded 22 times so far!

The files in this mini bundle can also be installed into Photoshop Elements with a click-and-a-drag using Add-O-Matic, the #1 utility tool for Photoshop Elements. Get your copy in the Graffishop, or get it hassle-free by using one of the links below (the download link will be emailed to you immediately upon checkout)

Add-O-Matic for Photoshop Elements 11-12 & Lightroom

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Add-O-Matic for Photoshop Elements 6-10

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On the Third Day of Christmas, a Lightroom Presets free download

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Christmas Lights free download Lightroom preset

With Christmas Lights Lightroom preset

Christmas Lights free download - unedited

Unedited Christmas Lights

On the Third Day of Christmas Graffi gave to me – a free download! Today you can grab a Lightroom presets free download that improves the look of your Christmas Lights photos by adjusting blue tones and exposure. It also adds your camera lens profile, so that’s one component of this preset that you can consider tweaking once applied.

It took a little bit of adjusting to get the exposure correct. On my samples posted here, I shot the photos using a Nikon D3100 or D3300. The settings I shot with for outdoor lights are below (inside lights camera settings are slightly different) – the first two points below are possibly the most important:

Lens Correction Panel

Lens Correction panel in the Lightroom Develop module

  • Manual mode (so I could make the adjustments below)
  • Manual focus (turn off auto focus on your lens, and use the display on the back of your camera to zoom in on a single light for tack sharp focusing)
  • Shutter speed 1/15
  • f/5.6
  • ISO 1600

I used either a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 or a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, both prime lenses. The camera lens adjustment in Lightroom will reflect this, so if your images come out looking a little distorted, check that setting to make sure the lens you used is reflected in the profile.

Try it out and see if it can help improve your Christmas Lights photos. The mini gallery below shows some before and after samples as a reference. The preset is subtle, so I encourage you to try and get your shots correct in the camera right off the bat, using as a starting point the settings I posted above.


Christmas Lights Lightroom Preset Wow! Downloaded 40 times so far!

Cheers, and see you tomorrow!


Add-O-Matic can help load a lot of presets to Lightroom with just a drag and a click – grab your copy hassle-free below or in the Graffishop!

By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.

On the Second Day of Christmas a Free Download!

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Snowdrift Layer Styles Free Download

10 Snowdrift Styles for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

Snowdrift Layer Styles Free Download

10 Snowdrift Layer Styles for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

A free download from me to you!On the Second Day of Christmas Graffi Gave to Me… a set of 10 Snowdrift layer styles!

This set of layer styles adds 10 snowdrift layer styles to your Photoshop layers palette. The free download link is below, and if you want to add them fast and easy to Photoshop Elements, be sure to grab an Add-O-Matic, too – the quick no hassle way by clicking the button (there’s a version for Photoshop Elements 11 – 12, and another for Elements 6-10)

The video below shows possible uses for these layer styles – instead of drawing a gradient as in the video, simply add one of these layer styles to the “snowdrifts” that you draw (just be sure to put each drift on its own layer).


Snowdrift Layer Styles Wow! Downloaded 28 times so far!

Add-O-Matic for Elements 11-12 & Lightroom

By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.

Add-O-Matic for Elements 6-10

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On the FIRST Day of Christmas – a Free Download: Snowfall Action Effect!

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Snowfall_Effect free download

the Snowfall Effect in the Elements Effects palette

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, Graffi gave to me – a free download! This Snowfall action is slightly different from the version included n Photoshop Elements in that it leaves the snowfall layer intact so you can manipulate it however you want it.

Note: It works best on images that are roughly 1200 – 1500 pixels on their long edge, so you may want to try resizing your image if the effect isn’t what you were hoping for. The smaller the image, the fatter the snowflakes will be..

The Snowfall action was previously available only in the (now discontinued) FunFotoFXaction pack.

Included in the download are the action, a .png thumbnail, a metafile.xl, and installation instructions


Snowfall Wow! Downloaded 42 times so far!

If you use Photoshop Elements 6 – 12, you can add this and many other types of add-ons with just a click and a drag with the Add-O-Matic, the #1 utility for Photoshop Elements! Find it in the Graffishop, or grab yours hassle-free with one of the links below:

Add-O-Matic for Elements 11-12 & Lightroom

By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.

Add-O-Matic for Elements 6-10

By clicking the button below, I agree with the Terms & Conditions.

Use Lightroom to Set Custom White Balance

Are you looking for a quick way to instantly improve your photography? Aren’t we all? Phil Steele has some great tips for taking it up a notch by understanding how to work with and customize white balance in the following video:

Steele says that if you want accurate color in your photographs, you need to know how to set white balance. He gives us two ways to do so: setting white balance directly in your camera while shooting, and altering white balance in post-production.

Customizing White Balance in the Field

5 Ninja Tips to Speed Up Your Lightroom Workflow

DSC 8831 Edit
Here are five things that will make a huge difference to your Lightroom workflow by making you more efficient and saving you time.

1. Solo Mode

Solo Mode

Do you get frustrated scrolling up and down the panels looking for the right adjustment or setting? If so, then your frustration is over. Right click on one of the panels and in the drop down menu, select Solo Mode. Solo Mode only allows you to have one panel open at a time, so every time you open a panel the last one you had opened, closes. This allows you to easily see all the panels at once and find what your looking for quickly.

How to Create Natural Looking Photoshop Snow

Want to capture the perfect snowfall in your photos? For clear, crisp snow that falls around your subject, rather than intruding and creating blotches over the model’s face or over the beautiful scenery, you might want to consider Photoshop snow:

Aaron Nace offers us another great tutorial that is incredibly helpful. It’s actually possible to create natural-looking snow from scratch in Photoshop. And, it’s easy; you just need to make a custom brush and use some blurring methods.

Using Levels in Photoshop to Image Correct Color and Contrast

Notice the difference some quick adjustments in the Levels tool can make

Image editing is an important part of making your good images look spectacular. Photoshop and Lightroom are packed with tools to help you get your images to look great after you have downloaded them on to your computer. While there are many different tools in Photoshop to enhance your image, there are really only a handful of tools that you will use on just about every image; one of those is the levels tool. Photoshop has a levels tool, Lightroom doesn’t unfortunately. Each photographer has a different workflow when editing images, my suggestion is to follow a process that is the same for each image. When you open up an image in Photoshop or Lightroom, the first step is to look at the exposure. Is the image over or underexposed? At this stage of the workflow, you could be looking at a tool like the Shadow and Highlights adjustment, the next one to use would be Levels.

What is the Levels tool?

Levels tool in Photoshop

Levels does two things in one tool, it corrects the tonal range in an image and it corrects the colour balance. Adjustments made using the Levels tool are not only about getting the exposure on your image correct; it also has a second function and that is, it can correct for colour too. Yes, there are other tools within Photoshop that can do this, but the Levels tool can make it really quick and easy.

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12 Days of Christmas coming soon!
Both here in my Blog and in the Graffishop, special things will be happening during the 12 Days of Christmas! Stay tuned!
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