Hello, and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly-talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.
This week, the spotlight is on Aki Zo of Akizo Designs. As one of our newer designers at TDP, this is actually the first time she’s been featured here on the blog.
I asked her to share some of her Favorite Things with us, and here’s what she had to say…
“I’m spending crazy busy time recently. I’m going to move abroad (Bangkok, Thailand) this month because of my husband’s business.
My favorite thing is cats! I love to take photos or movies of cats I find on my journey…”
Here’s a short video she took of a cat that lives in the Yougenin Temple in Kyoto, Japan. I love that you can hear her talking sweetly to it in Japanese!
She goes on to say, “I also love playing and watching tennis games. I’ve been a fan of Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori for a long time.”
When I asked her about what she liked to eat, she replied, “My favorite food is Japanese food, like sushi!”
If you’re not already familiar with Akizo Designs‘ product offerings at The Digital Press, she has a lot of amazing kits and templates in her shop at TDP. Her templates feature large geometric shapes, perfect to show of your photographs… and her papers and elements are always very bright and colorful. I also really like her black and white kits, elements, and word art — perfect to compliment vintage photographs, or those you’ve color-corrected to be grayscale, etc.
And here’s a handful of examples of projects that use Akizo Designs‘ products, so you can see how lovely and versatile her designs are…
Hopefully, today’s edition of Friday Favorites has helped you get to know a little more about Aki Zo, and has introduced you to some of her amazing products!
And last but not least… because it’s Akizo Designs‘ feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use the following coupon code(s) when purchasing products (this code/sale will be valid through next Thursday night). Don’t miss it!
[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = AK1ZO-S4V3-2 . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = AK1ZO-S4V3-5 ]
About the Author No need to adjust your computer screen, it really is a GUY hanging out here at The Digital Press! Sean is a native New Mexican who fell in love with a Utah girl 25+ years ago and never went home! He is the designated scrapbooker in his family, preserving the memories of his wife, two sons, and dog Muffin. He loves all things Disney, Harry Potter, and anything related to his favorite animal, the duck! When he’s not scrapbooking on his phone or computer, he develops curriculum to teach people how to use dental practice management software. He joined the Creative Team at TDP in February 2019.
Welcome another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! This is Part 4 of our 4-part photography series all about the exposure triangle. If you’ve happened to have missed this series throughout the past few weeks and you need a recap, you can find the other parts of this series HERE –> PART 1 — PART 2 — PART 3. To refresh your memory, in the first post we introduced the idea that photography exposure depends on three settings: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed… and then we’ve been exploring each of those in the subsequent editions of the series (ISO in PART 2, and aperture in PART 3).
That means that today we’ll be focusing on the final setting of the exposure triangle — shutter speed.
Shutter speed is the time when the “hole” that lets the light come into the camera and hit the sensor remains open. The longer it remains open, the more light gets in, the shorter it remains open, the less light gets in.
As I mentioned in PART 1 of this series, every setting of the exposure triangle has a “side effect.” In other words, each setting has consequences for the exposure… but also on something else in the photo, as well. The shutter speed impacts the way movement will be captured in the camera. Shutter speed indicates how long the action of taking the picture will last. If you photograph a car going from point A to point B with a fast shutter speed, you will freeze the movement because you will take the image instantly. If you use a slow shutter speed, the car will be blurred because the image will be taken while it’s starting on point A, and while it’s 5 feet away from point A, and another 5 feet away, etc.
In this first photo I used a fast shutter speed (1/500th of a second) to freeze the movement. The ball looks like it’s floating in the air. You may have noticed that my ISO was pretty high because I had very little light in the room… thus causing some noise (as we saw in PART 1).
In this second image, I chose a medium shutter speed (1/50th of a second) to show some movement, but the ball is still recognizable.
In this last image, I chose a slow shutter speed (0.6 second) and the ball is so blurry it’s not as recognizable anymore. My hand is blurry as well, even though the only movement I did was to open it to release the ball.
As you can see, one second may seem like a very short time in our regular life, but for our camera it’s considered to be a very slow shutter speed. Whether a shutter speed is slow and will create blur… or fast enough to freeze the movement… will also widely depend on your subject. For instance, you will need a much faster shutter speed to capture a sharp photo of a moving car than of someone walking.
In PART 2 and PART 3 of this series I said that ISO is a setting you can set on “auto” if you are just starting to shoot manually, because ISO doesn’t have much impact on the “creative” part of taking a photograph, but that it’s best if you decide on the aperture. Shutter speed is another setting that can drastically change the outcome so it’s important that YOU decide what it will be.
For example, you might want to freeze the movement and hence use a fast shutter speed.
Having a tiny bit of blur gives a sense of movement, like here with the foot, the dress and the hair:
On the contrary, you might want to purposefully create some blur to show movement, like I did here on those bikes from the Tour de France:
As you can notice, the shutter speed I chose was fast enough to freeze the people standing on the side of the road but too slow for the fast moving riders. I could have done the “opposite” effect called panning: by following the riders with my camera, they would be sharp while the environment would be blurry. Both options give a sense of movement for a dynamic image.
Slow shutter speed is also amazing to photograph moving lights, like fair attractions at night or those fireworks:
Be careful with slow shutter speed, though, as you can create unwanted blur. It can be caused by your subject moving too fast for your shutter speed (but in an unintentional way, unlike the examples above) or by your own movements while holding the camera. To avoid “camera shake”, the rule of thumb is to never go below 1/Xth of a second, X being the focal length of your lens. For example if you have an 18-105 zoom, never go below 1/100th of a second. With a 50 mm lens, you can go to 1/50th of a second. Below that, you will have to be very careful and ideally use something sturdy to support your camera (a tripod, a fence, a car) or for you to lean on (a wall).
Now, how do you change shutter speed? If you’re not comfortable using the manual mode of your camera (where you choose all the settings), you can use the speed priority mode: you decide on the shutter speed and the camera picks the other settings in order to have a correct exposure. This “semi-automatic” mode is often represented by the letter S (Nikon) or Tv (Canon) and it gives good results in most situations. It is a good way to experiment with shutter speed without having multiple settings to worry about and it is a great way to start learning about shooting manual.
This is the last post in this series about the exposure triangle! I hope you learned a few things about this very important concept of photography… and that you will also have fun experimenting with the settings! I cannot wait to see the photos you capture (scrapped beautifully and posted in The Digital Press gallery)!
About the author Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She recently became a very happy mom to an adorable little boy.
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly-talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.
This week, the spotlight is on the creative designer Karla Noél. This is actually Karla’s 4th feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from October 2016 HERE, another from April 2017 HERE (including a peek at her creative work space!), and her most recent one from September 2018HERE.
This time around, in order to learn even more about Karla, we asked her to share some of her favorite things with us, and here’s what she had to say…
” My favorite thing right now is seeing our three month old, Rain, send quality time with his dad… he loves his daddy’s voice and faces. I believe his first real laugh will be in Sekou’s arms for sure. “
Doesn’t she have a great sense of humor?! Well, her fun personality shines through in her designs, as well. I love that she has great word art, stamps, kits, and even templates. She has so many options with something for everyone. Her templates are some of my personal favorites!
And here are some really gorgeous sample layouts that show off Karla’s products, as well (what gorgeous eye candy, eh?!)…
Hopefully, today’s Friday Favorites article has given you even more insight into who Karla is and more about her day-to-day life (and again, if you want to know even more about her — scroll up and use the links to her previous features here on TDP’s blog, where’s there’s lots more good stuff!).
And the best news of all?! …during Karla’s upcoming feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use the following coupon code when purchasing her digital goodies (this code/sale will be valid through 11:59pm EST on Thurs 6/27). Don’t miss it!
[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = S4VE2-K4RLA . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = S4VE5-K4RLA ]
About the author Robin is a member of the creative team here at The Digital Press. A wife of 26 years and a mom of 4 crazy children (3 in college and 1 still at home), she says that her life occurs mostly in the car as she transports said crazy kids to their many, many homeschool activities. When not driving, Robin loves to make her family cringe by pulling out her camera again (and again, and again…).
Hello and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly-talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.
This week, the spotlight is on Dunia Designs. This is Dunia Designs’ fifth feature here on The Digital Press blog (you can find her first feature from September 2016 HERE, another from April 2017 HERE, her Foodie Friday post from January 2018 HERE, and her most recent feature from June 2018 HERE).
This time, we asked Dunia to share some of her “favorite things” with us, and she shared a few of her favorite binge-worthy TV series…
” Right now, I love to binge-watch the following shows…
1. The Mechanism (Netflix)
When you watch The Mechanism you are led to believe it’s somehow related to House of Cards, but the big difference is that all the corruption really happened in Brazil. It’s insane to think most of the things are based on real events. It’s really exciting to watch (if you are not a Brazilian, like me, in which case it’s just sad).
2. Good Omens (Amazon Prime)
I just watched this and I’m in love! I have to say I’m fan of Doctor Who, and if you like this kind of series, Good Omens is just perfect. David Tennant and Michael Sheen are incredible in their parts.
3. Chernobyl (HBO)
For the first time they did a TV series about Chernobyl, and I remember when that happened and I was a kid. I remember receiving the news about it, every day one different and bigger, very interesting approach they have in the series and the photography is absolutely amazing.
The shows that Dunia has shared sound intriguing! I’m going to definitely have to check them out.
If you’re not already familiar with Dunia’s product offerings at The Digital Press, she has nearly 400 products in her shop at TDP. Her style is fun, colorful, and super versatile! Her templates make scrapping a breeze, and her kits are filled with traditional elements, pocket cards, unique doodled artwork, and word art pieces. If you are like me, you will be ooohhhing and aaahhhhing when you visit her shop!
Here are a few fantastic examples of projects that use Dunia’s products, so you can see how lovely and versatile her designs are…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Friday Favorites. I’m sure you enjoyed getting to know Dunia a bit better, and I bet you have found something to swoon over in her shop!
Additionally, we’ve saved the truly exciting news for last… because during Dunia’s upcoming feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use one of the following coupon code(s) when purchasing her digital goodies (this code/sale will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thursday 6/20). Don’t miss it!
[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = DUN14-2OFF . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = DUN14-5OFF ]
About the Author Jill W is a creative team member at The Digital Press and has been scrapping for over 13 years. She resides in Northwest Illinois. In addition to scrapping, she enjoys spending time with her family — especially her three young grandchildren (ages 6, 4 and 2). Retirement is getting closer for her, and she is anxious to travel the country with her husband, taking photos and scrapping them as they journey across the USA.
Welcome another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! This is Part 3 of our 4-part photography series all about the exposure triangle. If you happened to miss it a couple of weeks ago and need a recap, you can find Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. To refresh your memory, in the first post we introduced the idea that photography exposure depends on three settings: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. and we explored ISO in part 2.
Today we’ll be focusing on the aperture setting in the exposure triangle.
Aperture is the size of the “hole” that lets the light come into the camera and hit the sensor. As we saw in the first post, it’s expressed as a fraction. An aperture of f/2, for example, means that the “hole” equals the focal length of the lens divided by 2. As it is a fraction, a big aperture number will mean a small “hole” and hence less light coming in, and a small aperture number will mean a big “hole” and hence more light coming in. Photographers often say they shoot “wide open” (small aperture number) or “closed down” (big aperture number)
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, every setting of the exposure triangle has a “side effect.” In other words, each setting has consequences on the exposure but also on something else in the picture. The aperture impacts the depth of field of the photograph. Depth of field is the “slice” of the image that is sharp, in focus, when everything in front of it and behind it is blurry. How shallow or deep the depth of field will be depends on the aperture. Other factors, such as the lens and the distance, also come into play but that’s a topic for another blog post. For now, let’s focus on how aperture influence depth of field!
In the three next photos, I only changed my settings but didn’t move the camera or the toys. First, let’s start with a big aperture (small f/number, f/1.8 in that case). It will allow a lot of light in and will create a shallow depth of field: the “slice” of sharpness will be very small. For example, here the toys are situated one behind the other and only the one I focused on (the teddy bear on the right) is sharp. The blue bear on the front is further away from the toy I focused on than the elephant in the back, that’s why it’s more blurry than the elephant.
On this second image, I picked a “medium” aperture (f/6.3) and the subject (still the same teddy bear) is still sharp while the other two are sharper, but still blurry.
A small aperture (big f/number, f/16 in my example) will allow very little light and will create a deep depth of field: a lot of the image will be in focus. As you can see here, all three toys are sharp.
See the difference?
In the part 2 of this serie I said that ISO is a setting you can set on “auto” if you are just starting to shoot manually. That is because ISO doesn’t have much impact on the “creative” part of taking a photograph. Aperture, on the contrary, with its impact on depth of field, can totally change the image so it’s important that YOU decide which aperture to use. Do you want to blur the background of your subject? Do you want to create bokeh (this beautiful artistic blur)? Pick a wide aperture.
Do you want to have a very sharp image, where all of it is in focus, for example for a landscape photo? Do you want to create sunbursts? Pick a closed down aperture.
If you’re not comfortable using the manual mode of your camera (where you choose all the settings), you can use the aperture priority mode: you decide on the aperture and the camera picks the other settings in order to have a correct exposure. This “semi-automatic” mode is often represented by the letter A (Nikon) or Av (Canon) and it gives good results in most situations. It is a good way to experiment with aperture without having multiple settings to worry about and it is a great way to start learning about shooting manual.
In two weeks we will end this serie with shutter speed. See you soon!
About the author Chloé is in charge of PR and communication for her small town by day, a digiscrapper “by night,” and a photographer whenever the light is beautiful. She recently became a very happy mom to an adorable little boy and is enjoying the last days of her maternity leave.
Hello, everyone! Kate here with another edition of our Hybrid How-To series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I’m here to show you how to make these cute paper lanterns that are perfect for your next backyard gathering.
digital kit of your choice
lighter-weight cardstock (I found a package of 65 lb that worked great)
plastic or paper cups
eyelet punch (not a plier kind, since you need to reach into the middle of the papers)
LED tea lights
First, choose a digital kit with a theme that suits you. I chose Fun at the Fair by Rachel Etrog Designs for my lanterns, as shown here…
We have a concession stand we built for when we host movies on the back of our house; I thought this kit theme was perfect!
Next, measure around the thickest part of one of your cups. Add 1/2” to that (for overlap so you can glue it together). I chose two different-sized cups for my lanterns; thus, I had one that measured 10” and the other measured 12” after adding the 1/2” overlap.
I created a canvas to those specific sizes in Photoshop because I knew I wanted to design the lanterns using both the paper AND elements from the kit, but a photo-editing program isn’t necessary to do this project. You can also just keep it simple by printing off the papers and cutting them down to size.
After everything is printed, take your punch or x-acto knife (or both!) and make holes or lines in the paper, depending on the pattern. I have two different sizes available with my punch. I used the bigger one on the ticket paper I printed out, and I used the smaller one for the star paper and ferris wheel paper.
I also followed one of the roller coaster lines with my knife so light would shine through. I cut around either side of the carousel so it would pop out a little when I rolled it and then used the knife to cut the carousal poles.
Next is to cut the rims off the cups. You need two per lantern to stabilize them and to help keep their shape. I punched through the cups with my knife and then used the scissors to finish cutting around the rim, leaving about 3/4” of the cup intact.
Make a tube with the paper and glue the seam together. I had two seams for my larger lanterns.
Insert the cup rims on the top and bottom. I was going to to glue them in, but they ended up tight enough that I didn’t have to do that.
Now all you do is place them over the LED tea lights. I really love how easy these were and how impressive they looked once it got dark! It was such a fun project and I hope you’ll give it a try.
About the Author Kate is on the hybrid team here at The Digital Press. She lives on the Utah/Colorado border with her husband, 5 kids, 10 chickens, a dog named Gracie, and a cat named Kit. She’s a city-born girl who found she’s really a country girl at heart. She can be found outside, barefoot, and probably in her garden.
Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our designer feature series on The Digital Press blog in 2019 — Friday Favorites! This year, as you know, we’ve been learning a bit more about each of our amazingly talented designers by having them share some of their favorite things with us each week.
This week, the spotlight is on Rachel Etrog Designs. This is Rachel’s second feature here on the blog (you can find her first feature from September 2018 HERE)
This time, to learn even more about Rachel, we asked her to share some of her favorite things with us, and here’s what she had to say…
“My favorites things? Well it’s hard for me to point on a few because i have a long list, but here are few of them:
1. Music Music Music! I can’t imagine my life without music, all the time music is playing in my apartment. I love all kinds of music from classic music to gothic music and, as you know from my previous designer feature, I’m a huge fan of Depeche Mode – they are my number 1 band. I also love Placebo and a Norwegian band Apoptygma Berzerk.
Every summer I love to travel to Germany with my friends to see concerts of Apoptygma Berzerk and other fabulous bands at gothic music festivals, like Cologne (Amphi festival) and Hildesheim (Mera Luna festival). Every festival is full of great music, vibes, costumes, food & drinks. (It’s been a while since my last time but still remain my favourite).
When Depeche Mode and Placebo go on tour, I love to see their concerts abroad so I travel a lot. I’ve seen them in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Romania and the list goes on!
2. I love to scrap digital and hybrid layouts especially for special occasions. After I’m finished, I print them in an album and give it as a part of the gift.
3. Besides loving to design digital papers and stuff I also love painting on canvas. I never know what i’m going to draw – I just go with the flow of the paint and my emotions.
4. I love to going to the beach like every Israeli person. The summer is already here in Israel and most of the year we have hot and sunny days (we just had a few days of 40 degrees). I love to walk near the water or just sitting on the sand and meditating to the sound of the waves. But most of all I love sitting (alone or with friends) on the sand with glass of wine or a beer and watching the sunset.”
Rachel’s shop is filled with the most gorgeous goodies. She regularly designs monthly collections in stunning colour schemes, and she doesn’t forget about the scrappers who prefer pocket or travel journal style pages, as well (you’ll find heaps of cards especially for them in her shop). Her products always include unique elements and stunning papers — any scrapper’s dream!
Here is just a small selection of what you’ll find in her shop…
And here’s a look at just a few projects that showcase Rachel’s lovely products…
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Rachel a bit better! I think a person’s favorite things say a lot about them! Remember to have a look through Rachel’s store and see what other gems you find…
…and don’t forget that during Rachel’s upcoming feature week here at The Digital Press, you can enjoy the chance to score an amazing deal in her shop if you use the following coupon code(s) when purchasing her digital products (this code/sale will be valid through 11:59pm ET on Thursday 6/13). Don’t miss it!
[ if you have trouble seeing the coupon image, above, the codes are as follows: “save $2 off any purchase of $5+” by using code = S4V3-2-R4CH3L . . . or “save $5 off any purchase of $10+” by using code = S4V3-5-R4CH3L ]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Christelle is a creative team member at The Digital Press, happily creating for all of the talented designers. She’s originally from South Africa, and has recently relocated to the UK with her husband. She loves scrapping her 3 lovely step-children and 4 beautiful nieces and all of their (mis)adventures. If she could, she’d travel all the time, but for now she makes do with traveling as often as possible. Her other hobbies include machine embroidery and sewing, as well as reading soppy romance!
Hello, and welcome to another edition of our Tutorial Tuesday series here on The Digital Press blog! Today I will be sharing some tips for using color schemes more effectively in your scrapbooking projects!
The importance of color in scrapbooking relates to how significant color is to the human mind. Color plays a vital role in how we respond to the things we encounter every day. As such, using color effectively can make a huge difference in your creative projects. There are four main ways that using color can help you create more eye-pleasing scrapbook projects:
Color conveys emotions and can set the mood for your project
Color establishes a focal point on your page by telling someone where their eyes should focus first
Color defines space and can help you provide differentiation on your pages
Color can create harmony on your project by balancing out the different components of your page
Color schemes are simply associations of colors that can be used to create a particular style and appeal. These sets of colors that work well together can create a unified aesthetic for your project. Understanding these color schemes will give you more flexibility when creating pages that will stand out to the viewer. There are seven types of color schemes that you can use to make your pages the best that they can be.
Monochromatic Color Schemes — use varying shades of one color such as various shades of blue
Analogous Color Schemes — use colors that are next to one another on the color wheel such as green/blue, yellow/orange, blue/purple
Complementary Color Schemes — are sets of colors that are opposite of one another on the color wheel such as yellow/purple, blue/orange, red/green
Triatic Color Schemes — are a combination of colors that are equally spaced from each other on the color wheel such as yellow/red/blue and purple/green/orange
Neutral Color Schemes — are those colors that contain equal parts of the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow) and include black, white, gray and brown
Cool Color Schemes — are colors that give the impression of calm and soothing such as blue, green and violet
Warm Color Schemes — are the colors that are vivid and energetic such as red, yellow, and orange
Each of these color schemes offers different ways for you to create pages that are compelling and eye-catching! Here are 4 easy ways to choose a color scheme that will help guide you when creating scrapbook projects…
Choose a dominant color from your photo(s) for a starting point to guide your color scheme choice. In the following page, there was a lot of red in all of the photos so it seemed like a good place to start. I decided to use a neutral background and used two complementary colors (red and green) to bring it all together…
2. Choose a color that will support the emotion you’d like to convey with your project. In this case, I chose a cool color scheme of violet, blue, and green… in order to help convey the feelings of calm and harmony. I think the color scheme I chose helps reinforce the theme of friendship and togetherness.
3. Consider making a photo black & white in order to allow you more flexibility in your color choices. The colors in this photograph were not cohesive in any way, but it was the perfect photo for this page. Therefore, I edited the photo to make it black and white, which opened up my color scheme options considerably!
4. Another tip is to use the rule of three technique and choose one primary color and two complementary colors as accents. With this next page, I wanted the page to be bold and convey action (since the page is about gymnastics and being strong)… but I also wanted there to be a serenity to the page, as it also focuses on friendship and working together. As a result, I decided to use yellow as my primary color… but I chose blue and grey as my complementary colors in order to find that balance that I wanted the page to convey.
It’s important to work toward finding colors that enhance and coordinate with your photos to make the most memorable pages possible.
I hope these tips and techniques can help you feel more comfortable using color in a variety of ways, to help you create more eye-catching scrapbook projects!
About the Author Amy lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and their 14-year-old boy/girl twins. Their 23-year-old daughter has recently finished up graduate school at Clemson and has started her first full-time job! She has been scrapbooking since the early 1990s, but discovered digital scrapbooking in 2005 when her twins were born… and has primarily scrapped digitally since that time. She is passionate about telling her family’s stories and documenting their life together. She is also a huge reader, a pop culture junkie, and LOVES all things beauty & makeup!