Friday, September 27, 2013

What's the Difference Between a JPG, PNG and GIF?

Handling customer service and communications in the image business is seldom predictable. Questions are as varied as the people using them and the projects they create with them.

There are, however, some we get asked on a regular basis. For example, what the differences are between the web-ready files (JPG, PNG, GIF).

Sure, life is about choice, but from time to time it can be a little intimidating when you're moving into unfamiliar territory.  Generally, though, if you're a novice, you can pass the buck on that aforementioned question.  If you are using a professional designer or printer for your project, ask them what image format they prefer.

However, if you're ready to  take on the world of graphics on your own, then it can quite simply come down to preference.  Here are some points to begin your education. JPGs are the most familiar of the formats. Actually, when it comes to photographs, rather than illustrations, they are the only option.  Also, they will have a background 100 per cent of the time as they don't support transparency.  This  link explains why:

wiki.answers.com Why JPGs Don't Have a Transparent Background

So, you see, if it's transparency you are looking for in your clipart images you would be best to try the PNG or GIF.  Keep in mind, however, the latter has less depth of colour so is primarily used for websites, and neither offers a guarantee of a transparent background.  The best option for that is a vector file which will, unless it has been created with a background that's part of the design,  be saved as a new file with a transparent background (where the file format permits it.) This, however, then opens up a whole new topic — the need for image editing software, such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW, top open vectors.

So, you can see that while there are a number of things to take into consideration, once you know about them and understand, the choice is simple. Here are some sites for more information on the web-ready illustrations:

Digital Inspiration JPG Versus PNG

How To Geek Differences Between JPGs, PNGs, and GIFs

WebDesign When To Use JPGs, PNGs, or GIFS for Your Web Design

Thursday, September 26, 2013

All for the Love of Cellphones

Privacy and personal time are important to me. Sometimes just being away from everyone and everything is all that's needed to recharge the battery.  The problem with that is it's almost impossible these days.

Several years ago when our daughter was married at a lodge on the beautiful French River, it didn't take long to notice the peace and quiet — not just a result of the area's rugged naturalness, but also because there was no cellphone service.

Stepping out of the car the first day we could feel the seclusion lift our shoulders as our deep, contented sighs whispered over the quiet.  For three days, there was no ringing or buzzing, no music, no vibrating. People had no alternative but to talk face to face and re-acquaint themselves with pastimes that didn't involve technology.

What is it with cellphones? Since when does every message need to be answered immediately? When I'm away from home my answering machine fills without me giving thought or care to how long the callers might wait for me to get back to them.  Yet, when that cellphone alerts me to a text message, for some peculiar reason I am compelled to respond almost immediately, even as I'm thinking how unfortunate it is that I can be found at any moment of any day.

On the other side, I do appreciate the convenience, the comfort and security. A flat tire on the side of the road late at night is not nearly the concern it used to be. Ensuring that loved ones are safe and away from danger when a significant event happens or concern is raised is peace of mind that can't be measured.  Being lost, needing information, giving someone a heads-up when running late,  finding someone in a crowd — these all remind me that cellphones do serve a practical purpose.

So today's clipart collections are all about cellphones — as well as the good and bad that goes with them.

iCLIPART.com Cellphone Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Cellphone Clipart

ClipartGuide Cellphone Illustrations

ClickArt Online Cellphone Illustrations

TOONClipart Cellphone Cartoons

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Uphill Climb to Hump Day

It's Wednesday, sometimes known as Hump Day, that mid point in the week when we have climbed to a figurative apex. Now we begin down the gentle slope, ever closer to our reward and respite for a job well done — the weekend. 

Ah, yes, there's something to anticipate. Two  days of catching up with all of the household chores and labours you can't find the time to do during the other five days.

My husband and I do plan to have less to do on our days off.  Week nights we cram in appointments and smaller odd jobs that can be accomplished relatively quickly in the dying hours between supper and bedtime. This week for example there's been so much on the schedule we've barely seen each other.  Yet, it still looks like we'll be fast forwarding through a weekend full of plenty to do.

For reasons I don't quite understand, we seem to live a rather hectic existence for empty nesters. We've tried to think of ways to get off the treadmill, or at least slow it down, but can't find any alternative.  Like most working people, there's a lot of personal life to be crammed into a Saturday and Sunday.  The bottom line? The weekdays are crazy busy, the weekends worse — filled with tasks and socializing.

I sometimes thinks it's the busyness of the weekend that makes Monday and Tuesday feel like such an uphill climb.  So I do appreciate Wednesday and my promise of a relaxing weekend in the foreseeable future, before faced with the reality.  In celebration of that, here are some of amazing photos of the grandest 'humps' of all, majestic mountains:

 National Geographic Mountain Photos

iCLIPART.com Mountain Photos

iPHOTOS.com Mountains

Mountain Forecast Photos From Around the World

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When is Being a Poser a Good Thing?

So, I started taking yoga classes a couple of weeks ago.  The creaking and cramping going on in my body seemed a good indication that life wasn't going to get better if I didn't take some steps to slow the physical downslide.

The problem, however,  was what to do as many of the activities I had been doing to try and stay heart and weight fit, actually seemed to be contributing to the problem.  My feet and hips were sore from walking, my calves tight. Life in front of a computer too had resulted in a weak back as well as shoulder and arm problems that made motion difficult.

Ultimately I decided that yoga, with its strengthening and stretching, plus focus and concentration, would be the right choice. Also, I thought with its cool Eastern vibe it would be a good fit for the old hippie in me.

I love it. The class is compromised of, and led by, women of a certain age  — mine. It's a small group so there are fewer people to feel intimidated by.  So far, while I have been challenged by some of the poses, I haven't had to transform my body into a pretzel.

And the best part yet?  The positive effects have been almost immediate. There is of course a long way to go, but my flexibility and strength have noticeably improved. I feel calmer, more grounded and am sleeping a bit better.

So in celebration of the beneficial turn I've taken, and to inspire me to stay on course, here are some great photos of people practising yoga:

iPHOTOS.com Yoga Photos

Acclaim Images Yoga Photos

iCLIPART.com Yoga Photos

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bouquets of Birthday Balloons

Autumn is here. The lush verdant foliage fades, replaced by the bold vibrancy of the season's crimsons and golds.  That beauty is short-lived, however, and the leaves' impending descent will be the precursor to the barren landscape of snowy winter.  We can already feel the future in the chill of the lengthening nights.

Yet, though I love the bursting heat of summer, the glorious colours of life that emerge and thrive in gardens,  my heart is in a happy place at this time of year. The reason? Family and so much to celebrate.  With the exception of my oldest,  who's a July baby,  my other three kids, my husband and myself are autumn birthday celebrants. 

Though some might question my enthusiasm for being another year older, birthdays have been and always will be a big deal for me. How can you not celebrate your arrival into this wonderful life? And the annual revisit of the days on which each of my children entered the world means more to me than it does to them I suspect.  But, even though they're all grown up and away from home, I can't imagine not seeing my babies at least close to their special day.  And I like to think they would be disappointed should I not show up on their doorstep.

Also, while we are getting to an age that many others would prefer to ignore their birthday,  my husband and I have cherished traditions surrounding ours, not fancy or elaborate, but important to us.  They will continue for as long as we are able to continue them. 

Oprah Winfrey has said, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." If you can't manage that any other time,  you should at least find a way to honour your life on the day it began. 

Here are some birthday balloons to get the party started:

iCLIPART.com Balloon Illustrations

iPHOTOS.com Birthday Balloon Illustrations

ClickArt Online Balloon Illustrations