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Living the Creative Life by Rice Freeman-Zachery

May 16, 2010 - - 9:12 AM

I have highly enjoyed this book. Let me tell you why:

  • The author has a way of explaining the complex subject of creativity so that you can understand it in detail and relate it to your own process of creating.
  • The content was very rich in information and gave me many insights. The exercises help you to actually transfer these insights into your life.
  • The design elements on the pages might not appeal to everyone’s taste, but they are done with a lot attention to detail and do not conflict with the presented works.

What could be improved:

  • The photographs of the artists’ projects could have been better with some images. However, the scans are excellent.

For these reasons my overall rating is 4 out of 5 points.

The book communicated one very important message that I wanted to share:
It is not enough to dream something into being, you actually have to work on it to make it real.

“If every idea that popped into someone’s head was realized, we’d be constantly bombarded with wild leaps in fashion, amazing music unlike anything we’d ever heard, and other things so different from anything we’d seen or tasted or heard or touched that our mouths would drop in wonder. It’s not like that, though, because most ideas never come to fruition. They’re there, in someone’s head, and then they’re gone. Sometimes they get as far as being written down or sketched on a bar napkin, and sometimes someone will tell his best friend about this terrific idea he just had. But mostly, it’s just an idea, a little spark that isn’t fanned into life. And therein lies the fundamental difference between those who have ideas (and that’s everyone) and those who are creative: the act of bringing the idea to life.”
(page 21)

(4) Vintage Photo Looks: Random acts of “Vintageness”

May 2, 2010 - - 6:40 PM

Making your image look “vintage” can mean many different things. In this last part of the series I simple want to show different beautiful vintage looks that did not fit in the categories featured so far.

1. Webbased tools

There is an application I liked by Anymaking that creates a lovely old photo effect. I only increased the contrast slightly (with a curves layer set on the blending option “luminosity”) in Photoshop.

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I also liked PhotoFunia’s vintage photo approach a lot. The logo inserted at the bottom of the frame was removed (with the Spot Healing Brush) in Photoshop.

=> View original image

2. Free (or cheap) software

There are many free photo editors for Windows or the ones available for Mac you can use to turn your image into a black&white version, apply a sepia color tone or add a frame. However, unless the editor offers layers and other more advanced options (e.g. levels and curves), it might be difficult to try more complex tutorials and add paper textures or signs of age – like cracks –  to your photo.

3. Photoshop

a) Actions

I almost cannot believe how many useful and beautiful vintage Photoshop actions there are on the web for free. Just google for “vintage” or “retro” and “photoshop action”!

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From the top left to bottom right corner:

1. Old Photo Action by shagagraf – applied with an opacity of 50%
2. H.D.A.-soft elegance by H-D-STOCK – applied with an opacity of 40%
3. Vintage effect by photoshop-stock – Option 2
4. Cross-processing action1 by untitledhope
5. Vintage by Roy Adkins
6. Vintage action by lassekorsgaard
7. Dim and Jade by davidnanchin
8. Photoshop actions 41 by night-fate – Option 6 with first curves layer to 80% (Julia Starr actually offers many pages of free actions!)
9. Retro Action by marissaxxx

Two other actions I also especially liked were the “Hand-colored Vintage Photo” and “Vintage Photo” actions by Jenny W.

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=> View original image

b) Tutorials

Hongkiat has compiled a list of very useful vintage and aging photo effects tutorials.

Gerardo Carrillo came up with an approach I just had to try. The texture I used is from the “Vintage Grunge Textures” package by Princess of Shadows. If you are looking for textures try these recommendations or the links on this website.

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If you want to try a soft and dreamy look then try this wonderful tutorial and look at the actions by CoffeeShop, e.g. “Soft Autumn Glow” or “Butterscotch Vintage“.