Friday, August 15, 2014

Over 600 Entertainment Animations

Animations have become one of the most popular ways to add visual entertainment to what would otherwise be boring presentations and communications.  Sure, static images also enhance simple text, but there's something about animated clipart that is sure to elicit a smile.

Whether it's PowerPoints, eGreetings or a simple email to a friend, if you're looking for a way to make these things a little more fun, you might want to consider giving animations a try. They will highlight your message and make it a little more interesting.

For anyone searching out quality animations to include in their commercial or personal projects, there are great resources online, such as AnimationFactory —  a subscription service for everything from clipart to HD video backgrounds. The possibilities are endless with something for everyone and every theme. 

So as adding entertainment to your work by using animations was the focus of this blog,  here then is a collection that's full of entertaining animations to go along with it:

Entertainment Animations

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Top Tips for Concert Photography

I feel pretty fortunate to have grown up in the 1960s. It was an amazing, admittedly sometimes scary, time — a decade of growth and change.

A lot of that came from the music we listened to and the bands that created it.  They and the songs they gave us were our voice, speaking out politically and emotionally. They protested against violence, oppression and injustice. They praised love, freedom and unity. And we were thrilled to listen.

Concerts were big events for us as we took every opportunity and travelled any distance to see the groups we loved and hear the songs that moved us. Just as they are today these were chaotic places with wildly excited youths crowded into darkened auditoriums. In our version of a mosh pit,  where fans, though loud and boisterous, were usually considerate of everyone's space,  we shouted and sang along to anthemic lyrics, gyrated and swayed to tunes that captured our souls.

What was significantly different than today, however, was the absence of cameras. They were not only too cumbersome, but not permitted. Now, we have the cellphone and  trying to stop people from taking pictures or shooting video is almost impossible, so we all have the potential to grab that "I was there" photo, once the exclusive right of professionals.

Not that they're usually any good.  Lighting conditions and sitting too far back in a room filled with thousands don't contribute to award-winning pictures. Even if you're lucky enough to be in the first row, it can still be a challenge.

If you have managed though, despite the interesting conditions, to get some great shots and think it might be something you'd like to pursue more seriously (it is, after all, an excellent way to get into shows free) here are some expert tips:

DPG Photograph Rock Concerts

DPS Rock Concert Photography

Exposure Guide Concert Photography

How to Get a Photo Pass for Concerts

Picture Correct Live Music and Concert Photography

Getting the Right Camera Setting for Concerts

photographyblogger 7 Tips for Stunning Concert Photography

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tips for Portrait Retouching in Photoshop

The entertainment industry is all about smoke and mirrors.

The bold and the beautiful are made up and airbrushed to perfection, with skin smooth as satin and not a wisp of hair out of place. In their photographs, there is only agelessness.  Even the few older celebrities who have not become plastic surgeon junkies seem to have avoided Father Time when we see them in pictures.

Accomplished makeup artists and hairstylists are only part of the equation. Let's face it, the rich and famous must love Photoshop, in which every leftover line or dark circle can be smoothed away or brightened.

What's also nice about image editing software such as this, however, is that it at least evens the playing field somewhat for us normal folk.  Sure, we know that living up to ideals isn't necessary, that we need only to be happy in our own skin. But, everyone likes to look as good as they can. While we may not have stylists and aestheticians at our disposal to smooth away reality,  we can take away the years a bit in our pictures. We too can be blemish free, lifted and lightened without scrapes or surgery. No botox is necessary to plump a lip, no expensive salon treatment to peel away dead skin.

Here are some great tutorials to show you how:

Five-Minute Portrait Retouch

Retouching Portrait Training Tutorials

YouTube Portrait Retouching Tutorial

Then, after you know how to give yourself a virtual facelift, you can have even more fun checking out a few celebrity before and afters. Good to see that some of them are human too.

23 Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

Stars and Celebrities Before and After Photoshop

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Collection of Entertainment

The world lost an amazing talent yesterday with the death of Robin Williams. While the Academy-Award winning actor and comedian had the ability to make so many people laugh, it was no secret that he battled many demons.

To be able to entertain as he did, though, is a rare gift, one of which we are the grateful recipients. Sharing their talent of humour and music is work to  the people who have it, to us it is a pleasure.

Though it was no help to him, Williams was one of the lucky ones, able to make a living making us smile.  For most people, having the talent doesn't necessarily mean getting to live in the spotlight.

Becoming a celebrity these days relies as much on timing and contacts as it does on  abilities. On a recent trip to a city well-known for its arts and cultural environment, I watched four small children playing classical music on violins while standing on a street corner. The oldest would have been about nine. They were phenomenal, yet I suspect that at best some of them will go on to an obscure seat in a symphony somewhere.

It makes me sad to think of the entertainers (and I use the term loosely) with a modicum of talent and a whole lot of good luck, while watching  truly gifted people struggling to  make a living doing what they were meant to do.  There is more to entertainment than looking good on stage.

Today's photo collection is a salute to that industry and the people who make us laugh, cry and dance:

iPHOTOS.com Entertainment

Monday, August 11, 2014

5 Great Resources for Entertaining Images

Every year, in the summer, communities come to life with various music events. The warm weather draws people to outdoor venues where they can tap to  lively fiddles or  bounce to blazing guitars.  There are genres to appeal to every taste — jamborees under country skies,  blues and jazz festivals in downtown streets and classical concerts in park bandshells.

This past weekend was the time for an outdoor event that my husband and I have attended for many years, a blues festival in an urban centre a short drive away from our hometown.  Joining an estimated 150,000 others over the course of three days to listen to dozens of artists,  we wandered from site to site enjoying great music under sunny summer skies.

But as a dedicated people watcher, with so many others around me, you can be sure when I'm there that I'm looking almost as much as I'm listening.  One of the things that caught my attention was all of the t-shorts being sported,  nostalgic ones have concerts gone by and ones created for this particular event. Working in the image business, I was also interested in the images that had been used in the designs of each.

Any time there's an event, there are promotional materials and products to go along with it, whether it's your favourite band's entourage selling them in the lobby or they're posted on walls and in media to advertise. Creating the projects begins with wonderful graphics, which can be found online. With music on my mind here are some great sources for entertaining images:

Clipart.com Music Images

iCLIPART.com Music Images

Acclaim Images Music

ClipartGuide Music Images

ClickArt Online Music Clipart