Hip to be Square: Creating & Using Mosaic Backgrounds

Filed under Good News & Bad News: The good news is that Shutterstock, one of the largest stock photography companies, has accepted my work to sell on their site! Yes, I’m already selling some of my images on my own site (in the Digital Graphic Files collection), so why sell on Shutterstock too? Well, primarily because they do the work of formatting my images in a range of sizes, making it easy to find just what you need, and also because they reach a huge world-wide marketplace. Good news, indeed.

Original rose photo on Shutterstock
One of my rose photos that’s now available at Shutterstock. (Click the photo to go directly to it.)

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The All-New Colormusing Shop is Live!

This is the biggest newsflash item I’ve had the pleasure to post about so far: I’m actually creating my dream of a color-centric business, by combining several different areas of interest under a single name:Colormusing logoYes! Knittique (yarns, knitwear patterns, samples, & jewelry), Photo/Graphic Design (art on canvas, tutorials, & graphic files), and The Bratelier (lingerie sewing kits) are now all part of the Colormusing family— a reunion of sorts, where all the various relatives play together nicely because they all have one thing in common: color palettes.

Simply put, my photographs and montages inspire color palettes, which I apply to a constantly-growing range of projects, from dye recipes for hand-painted yarns and lingerie materials to travel wardrobe planning and custom-printed fabrics.

And the color palettes themselves, in their graphic-file forms, can be used in so many different ways, whether you need a great color scheme for your blog or website, a cohesive look to incorporate into a presentation, a background for your family’s holiday greeting card— I’m sure you’ll think of lots more!

Going forward, I’ll be adding new color palettes virtually every day, as well as more graphic files, yarn colorways, knitted samples, and more— plus downloadable tutorials for you to DIY many of these projects to make your world not only more colorful, but truly unique, an expression of you.

Colormusing: It’s all about hue!™

Equipment: Do You Have the Right Stuff?

Bizarre moment #67 in the photo/graphic part of my life: A while back, I was happily snapping pictures in the Portland Rose Garden with my trusty little point-and-shoot, when a man said to me, “You need a bigger camera.”

?????

Ironically, I don’t have a photo of this dubiously memorable moment, so let me try and paint the picture for you: Here’s a complete and utter stranger, sporting an enormous camera complete with over-compensatory long telephoto lens, who has absolutely no idea what kind of photography work I do— and he’s telling me I have the wrong equipment!

Pink & Gold Rose
Pink & gold rose photo, taken with my apparently inferior camera. (It hasn’t been retouched at all.) For the record, my camera is a Canon PowerShot 2000 IS. Click on the photo to see more rose photos on my Photo/Graphic Design website.

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New Photographic Backgrounds: Impressionism & Reflections

In addition to my first collection of photographic backgrounds, I now have two new collections: Artistic Impressions I and Reflections I. Like the first collection (Colorful Leaves I), these are high-resolution JPEG files, perfect for incorporating into almost any online/electronic design project*, from blog headers to e-book covers and illustrations. Here are some samples from these beautiful and versatile image collections:

Artistic Impressions I, montages created from my photographs of marble and stones, with an Impressionistic feel.

Artistic Impressions I sample
Artistic Impressions I sample. This collection includes a free header design tutorial! (Click on the picture to see this whole collection in my Etsy shop.)

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Resolution: Photograph less, live more!

Today my daughter invited me, on about an hour’s notice, to join her at the Portland Japanese Garden; apparently this is the first time in its 50-year history that they’ve opened this magnificent garden on New Year’s Day! So, since it is one of my very favorite places in Portland, I decided to go. It’s a clear and sunny day here today, but quite cold and frosty in the morning, so I couldn’t wait to get there and start taking pictures.

Problem: in the rush to get out the door, I simply could not lay my hands on my camera. Aargh. (I had my iPhone, which takes decent pictures, but I like to take extreme close-ups, and for great quality, I really needed my “real” camera.) After some frantic searching, I gave up, sighed, and left for the Garden.

On the way there, I thought about this, especially that sense of “Ooh, can’t wait to take some pictures!” I was going to the Japanese Garden, reputed to be the finest and most authentic of its kind outside of Japan, but all I was thinking about was snapping away with my camera. I wondered: When does photographing an experience actually take over the experience? Continue reading

My first collection of photo backgrounds!

I’m so excited— I just finished my first collection of photo backgrounds, Colorful Leaves I, and it’s now available in my Etsy Colormusing shop! There are 3 images in this set; I always feel that with a larger collection, you’ll not only pay more, but almost certainly end up with some images you will never use. And as a bonus, I’m including a FREE tutorial (tips and illustrations for creating titles and text boxes on these backgrounds) with the purchase of this gorgeous collection.

Here’s what they look like:

Dark Leaves Background
Dark Leaves Background (click on the photo to see the collection on Etsy).

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Photoshop or PS Elements: Which will work for you?

A friend asked me the other day what I thought about Photoshop as compared to Photoshop Elements. I’ve been using Photoshop myself since its very early days (think before it had Layers), and have thus had no need for Elements, so I’m not really familiar with it at all. I decided to find out what I could.

If you do a search (I used the term “difference between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements”), you’ll find many pages devoted to this subject, a few of which I’ll talk about here. I started with Adobe’s website, since they make both packages; their FAQ page has only general information, but it’s a place to start. Continue reading

New: Colormusing sets up shop on Etsy!

I’ve just opened my second Etsy shop, Colormusing (natch), just to have a fantastic place to sell my photographic work! Right at this moment, there are 12 of my original photos and photographic montages, already printed and gallery-wrapped for your gift-giving convenience— with sale prices and free shipping if you order by December 12! Here’s one of my canvas images:

Floral Montage
Floral Montage, created by blending over 2 dozen flower and foliage photos! Printed on gallery-wrapped canvas on a 24″ x 20″ frame. (Click the photo to go directly to this canvas in my new Etsy shop.)

And just because I know there are a lot of you out there who like to do your own graphic work (and bravo, by the way!), I’ll soon be offering collections of high-resolution photos, textures, and backgrounds, which you can incorporate into your own masterpieces, from greeting cards to family newsletters, scrapbooking projects to, I don’t know, maybe you blog headers and backgrounds? I’ll be sure to post again here as those become available. And please tell me about anything in particular that you’re looking for, okay?

Click here to go straight to Colormusing’s new Etsy shop!