Saturday, May 12, 2012

What if Learning to Use Photoshop Was More Like Learning to Play Portal?

Learning to play a game and learning to use Photoshop follow two, very different patterns. In the first you “discover” how the game is played, you fiddle with the buttons, try combinations, have eureka moments and eventually become proficient at it. Learning Photoshop, on the other hand, requires extensive tutorials and help; books are available from thin “easy-to-use” instruction books to heavy tomes many hundreds of pages long. But what if learning to use Photoshop was more like learning to play the video game Portal? That’s the question posed by an article on Rands in Repose, and we have to admit they have some intriguing points. They don’t overlook the fact that the purpose of each piece of software is very different, but instead offer the counterpoint that the basis of “gamification” is really just to make being productive and learning an environment more “fun.” Something that applies as much to a complex editing application as it does to a game. Yes, I’m going to compare Portal and Photoshop. Yes, they reside in two entirely different universes with entirely different motivations. This is about how these two universes should collide and that means what I’m really talking about is gamification. [...] there are a lot of folks who think gamification means pulling the worst aspects out of games and shoving them into an application. It’s not. Don’t think of gamification as anything other than clever strategies to motivate someone to learn so they can have fun being productive. Great design makes learning frictionless. [...] In one universe, you sport a handheld Portal gun that cleverly allows you to interrupt physics. In a slightly different universe, you have this tool called a cloning stamp that empowers you to sample and copy any part of a photo. [...] Game designers and application designers might exist in different universes, but there is no reason one universe can’t teach the other. The idea, ultimately, isn’t to take away functionality and in this way make Photoshop simpler; instead what the author suggests is better, more creative design. And if that design leads to a Photoshop that’s just as functional while also being fun to learn, well, we probably wouldn’t complain. Two Universes [Rands in Repose]

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Destin of Smarter Every Day recently shot some light-painting photographs using an RC helicopter loaded with colored lights. The maneuverability of the helicopter turns the great outdoors into a giant canvas on which you can light paint giant 3D shapes. Published on May 9, 2012 by destinws2 Enjoy it? Please share it with your friends by clicking this: http://on.fb.me/KkKSWd I apologize for the ads. Proceeds go to my children's education. Tweet me now: http://bit.ly/TweetDestin Check SED out on facebook: http://on.fb.me/SED-Facebook Outro music created by "A Shell In The Pit" Download it here: http://ashellinthepit.bandcamp.com/track/black-rhino-2 The wizard pilot is Carl Groover http://www.carlgroover.com/ Carl's Youtube channel is here: http://bit.ly/yqgP12 Sarah Xu created the awesome time-lapse intro.

Erik Johansson: Impossible photography

http://www.ted.com Erik Johansson creates realistic photos of impossible scenes -- capturing ideas, not moments. In this witty how-to, the Photoshop wizard describes the principles he uses to make these fantastical scenarios come to life, while keeping them visually plausible. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the "Sixth Sense" wearable tech, and "Lost" producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/translate If you have questions or comments about this or other TED videos, please go to http://support.ted.com Category: Howto & Style Tags: Erik Johansson creativity culture photography technology TED TEDTalk TEDTalks TED Talk TED Talks License: Standard YouTube License

Test Your Brain On This Shape

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

David Griffin, of National Geographic, on How Photography Connects Us!

The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories.
Hear from the photo editors of National Geographic about what it takes to create some of the most memorable images appearing in the magazine. Name: David Griffin Blog: Editor's Pick David Griffin is the Director of Photography of National Geographic magazine headquartered in Washington, DC. He is responsible for the overall photographic direction of the magazine, working with a staff of photo editors and photographers from around the globe. Previously he was the Creative Director of U.S.News & World Report, Design Director of National Geographic Books, Associate Director of Layout & Design at National Geographic magazine. Before magazines David honed his journalistic skills at a number of newspapers: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Hartford Courant, The Everett (Wa.) Herald, and The Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. David has been honored by the National Press Photographer Assoc., University of Missouri’s Pictures of the Year competition, Assoc. of Magazine Publishers, Ohio Newspaper Photographer Assoc., the Hearst Collegiate Photojournalism Awards, the Washington Art Directors Club, the Society of Newspaper Design, Print, and Communications Art.


Jonathan Klein: Photos that changed the world

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sol: Sun Clock by Juggleware, Solar Alarm Clock for iPhone

THE SUN is a ancient timekeeper whose cycles have governed life on earth for as long as there has been life. Before the invention of the clock, man depended on the the light and position of the sun to tell time. Some of the oldest known buildings were known to be aligned with the position of the sun at the solstice (Newgrange, for instance, in Ireland). These days, few of us are farmers or hunters -- yet we underestimate how much influence the sun still has on our lives and health. SOL: SUN CLOCK is the Swiss army knife of sunlight tools with a design inspired by the simplicity of the sundial. Use it to plan the perfect photograph, time exercise sessions, guide natural sleep cycles, catch the sunrise and sunset, or map out the best times to go fishing. Overview We developed Sol because no other app in the App Store could bring you clear information about the day's sunlight and let you set alarms that would repeat according to your schedule. Be in tune: Sol will tell you how much sunlight you have left in the day or what time the next sunrise occurs. Find sunrise and sunset times, solar midnight and solar noon. Find the beginning and ends of all three twilight (dawn and dusk) periods: astronomical twilight, nautical twilight, and civil twilight, plus the “golden hour (aka “magic hour).
Keep tabs on the next solstice and equinox. Any date. Set a date for the past or the future to see what its times look like. Alarm feature: Have Sol:Sun Clock fire off a reminder tied to any solar event (like sunset, golden hour or solar noon), and the alarm time will adjust gradually as the days change with the seasons. Automatic Location: Sol not only calculates the amount of daylight and sunrise and sunset times, but does so for any location in the world (both Northern and Southern hemispheres) by using your device's GPS... . No network connection needed. Sol: Sun Clock uses pure astronomical mathematics to calculate sun positions based on any location and date. Other locations: Optionally, use the built-in map to choose any location in the world by moving the pin, or search using the name of any city. Optional location-aware alarms. Sol knows when you change with your location; and as you travel it will adjust any alarms you set relative to sunrise and sunset times. Create alarms for multiple locations around the world! Features, Hints, and Tips Unique feature: the only app with audible alarms you can use to set to variable minutes before/after sunrise, sunset, solar noon/midnight, AND dawn/dusk twilight periods only app with sun timers that can be set to be repeatable or attached to a distinct day Sol doesn't need to be running to cancel alarms View solar periods of the day represented in 24-hour circle in zoom-out mode Location-aware using your phone's GPS Set manual location by moving pin on map or typing in city name move wheel with thumb to see what the rest of the day will look like tap on date to look at a different date tap on time zone to pick a different time zone to use tap on left and right arrows in toolbar to see previous and next sun events tap on info ("i") button to see all today's times in a chart tap on pin to change your location tap on refresh button in toolbar to reset to present time and/or location tap on settings button to hide twilight periods or adjust golden hour elevation double-tap earth (green area) or pinch to zoom out and see 24-hour view (iPhone only) scrolling tickers show times until/since nearest daily event and equinox or solstice Availability Sol is a Universal app (one app for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad) and is available on the App Store.