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The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

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The ultimate guide to finding free, legal images online

You may not realize it, but if you use Google to find an image and then use it in a project, you’re likely breaking the law. Unless you’ve been given permission to use the image by its creator, then you cannot legally or ethically use it. Happily, there’s an easy way to find images on Google that you can use, plus a slew of other sources for high-quality images that won’t cost you a dime—either up front or later on in a lawsuit.

Think fast: How to add motion blur in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

To add extra visual interest to a photo, try using a blur filter to simulate motion. Even though your subject is stationary in the picture, the viewer’s brain will experience the movement, which adds an element of excitement. In fact, this technique is a great way to turn a snapshot into something more artistic.Happily, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements make the process a piece of cake (you can do it in Pixelmator, too).

4 things iPhoto can do that Photos can't (yet)

While it’s true that Apple is phasing out iPhoto in favor of its new Photos app, iPhoto is still an incredibly powerful program and includes many features you likely know nothing about. If you don’t plan on moving to Yosemite 10.10.3, or if you elect to keep using iPhoto when you do—yep, it’ll still work!—here are four useful things that iPhoto can do that even the new Photos app currently cannot...click here to read the full story on Macworld.com

Photoshop tips galore on This Week in Photo's TheFIX podcast, episode 2

Recently I had the honor of being a guest on a new podcast, This Week in Photo's TheFIX with host, and fellow Photoshop author, Jan Kabili. We had a blast talking Photoshop and Lightroom. The 36 minute show is filled with tips as well as full-on tutorials on editing with adjustment layers, using retouching tools safely on empty layers, handling multi-layer documents without flattening them, slimming techniques, using smart filters, and how to soften skin using the Camera Raw filter.

Design a sharp typographic logo, even if all you have is TextEdit

Logos are notoriously difficult (and costly) to design, yet they’re mission critical for any business. Instead of using graphics, try a typographic approach instead. Typographic logos, like the ones shown here—some inspired by tips in Before & After—are both timeless and classy.

How to identify a font you see in print or online

With tens of thousands of fonts in circulation, it’s tough to identify a specific font from memory, when you see it. Fortunately, you don’t have to—there are free websites, and an iOS app, that can identify font samples for you on the fly. The process is easy and a whole lot of fun.
From a printed sample

How to place photos inside text in Photoshop

One of the many advantages of an image editor that supports the concept of layers—Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Pixelmator, to name a few—is that you can push a picture through the content of other layers. In this column, you’ll learn how to push a different picture through each letter in the word LOVE. Not only is this technique a fun project, but it also makes a super sweet Valentine’s gift. If you go the extra step of printing it, you could frame it or the lucky recipient can tack it onto their fridge, and then use it as a bookmark later on.

How to assess photos quickly with a star rating system

Assessing photos isn’t the most titillating task on the planet, but it’s mission critical if you ever want to find certain photos in your expanding collection. Happily, most photo management apps—including iPhoto, Aperture, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Bridge—provide you with myriad marking methods such as flags, keywords, colored labels, and star-rating systems.

Free webinar: 8 mistakes you're making in Photoshop

UPDATE Feb. 11, 2015: Unfortunately, O'Reilly canceled the webinar. Apparently we didn't get their required minimum registrations numbers by this morning, so they simply removed the signup page. Would've been nice if they had kept the page up and explained that the webinar was canceled, but they merely took the page down. I'm really sorry everyone! Le sigh.

How to design your own great-looking business cards

Few design projects are as nerve-wracking—and important—as designing your own business card. Just like the clothes you wear, your business card tells the recipient if you’re professional, artistic, or a big ol’ ball of cheese. Aside from the aesthetic message, you’ve also got to pack a ton of info into a tiny-teeny space and keep it readable. To put your best business card forward, try following these essential design tips...click here to read the full story on Macworld.com

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