Old is the New Young

9 Dec

When making a photograph look old, it’s best that there isn’t any modern technology in the photo. Landscapes or historical structures will give the best results.

Plain Jane

First step is to remove all the color. Select IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > DESATURATE (Shift+Ctrl+U).Right-click the layer to duplicate layer (Ctrl+D). Click OK. Set the blending mode to “Overlay”. This gives some amount of intensity to the picture.

Everything Has Gone Blur Shaped

Select FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN BLUR. Set the Radius to about 1-1.5 pixels to give a blurry look. Click OK.

Apply a slight motion blur. Select FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR. Change the Angle to about 45 degrees and Distance of 3-5 pixels.

Get Your Grains

To add grainy effect, create a new layer. Go to EDIT > FILL (Shift+F5) fill the layer with 50% gray. Set the blending mode to “Overlay”.

Too Loud

Then, select FILTER > NOISE > ADD NOISE. Set the amount between 3% – 5% and Distribution to Gaussian. Check the Monochromatic check box. Click OK. For a more subtle effect apply a very slight blur of about 1-2 pixels.

Layer Up

Do you remember the old fashioned camera lens that created these dark corners in the photos? For this, create a new layer. Use the ELLIPTICAL MARQUEE TOOL to select a large circle in the middle of the picture. Go to SELECT > INVERSE (Shift+Ctrl+I) then click EDIT > FILL (Shift+F5) to fill the selection with black color.

Filter That S*!&

Apply FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN BLUR. Set the Radius to maximum 250 pixels and click OK. Drop the opacity of this layer to about 40-50% for a subtle effect.

Brown Noser

Lastly, you can give the photo a brownish tint. Create a new layer. Change the blending mode to “Color”. Fill the layer with yellow-brown tone. Finally, click on IMAGE > ADJUSTMENTS > HUE/SATURATION (Ctrl+U) to change the color tones.

Cat Scratch

Another idea is to scan different textures and open them in photoshop. Apply the layer to the image and you will have a textured look. Here is an example of a texture that is favourable in photoshop. Scratched texture will make a photo look old:

Bagged Lunch

Another popular choice is crumpled paper. This gives a worn look as seen below:

Time Heals All Wounds

It may seem like a lengthy process, but you are able to save these layers and apply them to photos in the future. Putting in the initial work will benefit you in the long run.If you need additional help with this tutorial, consult the website: http://www.helium.com/items/714713.



Chicks Rule

2 Dec


Social Media & the Woman in You

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, RockYou, and Flickr are being dominated more and more by women as the years go on. Statistics show that women are increasingly more likely to join social groups and use these social groups to communicate. Men on the other hand, especially over 30 aren’t even joining social networks. However, men and women in their twenties are just as likely to join these networks. The reason for the drastic decline in men over 30 is because men tend to use the networks as a tool to meet women, whereas women use the networks primarily for communication.

Where is the future going?

Well, by the trend so far, the target audience is women. Have you noticed how the majority of Facebook’s applications are female orientated? The website has applications like “Aquarium”, “Cafe World”, and “Farmville.” Yes, men probably play this, but the majority will be women. Sites such as RockYou are all glitz and glamour-another site targeted to women. The gaming world is mostly Warcraft-style or Grand Theft Auto-style games which aren’t played through social media sites.

Go Us

Making up half the world’s population, “women” is a pretty large group, and not surprisingly, the top activity for women online is shopping.  The third most popular activity is social networking, which is also not a surprise given the stereotype that women just love to talk. As this pattern is pretty evident, should we target our sites to mostly women? In my opinion I think this is a pretty good call. I wouldn’t go as far as adding glitter to your webpage, but applications that are female friendly would definitely be an asset.

Take A Stand

Since women are so valuable in the social media world, it’s surprising we don’t see more female executives targeting this market. Us women need to be proud of our social media skills and step up to the men in power. We are the ones leading this revolution so why not get the credentials for it!

Where is the Future Going?

26 Nov

Is New Media Writing Relevant?

The Reader

Believe it or not, the way we’re getting our information is primarily web based now. Just ten years ago people relied on hard copy books and newspaper. Today, our resources are found on the internet, whether it’s a news website, or through a search engine. Because of this, the way that authors portray their information has to be short, precise and to the point. The facts have to be accessible and easy to find. Readers don’t want to search for the information , and if that’s what they have to do, they will move on even if the content they are looking for is somewhere on the page. The reader will scan the information and take what minimal information their eyes actually grasp.

This Generation

Writing for the web versus print is a hard skill to acquire; however, if people want their information read, this is the way to go. Many print companies are going out of business now because the internet is accessible everywhere you go now, and a lot cheaper than purchasing print materials. The world is becoming faster paced and on-the-go all the time. I always thought my grandparents sat around because they were getting old and tired, but talking to them about my generation has opened my eyes. They simply sit down and enjoy their coffee, enjoy their time reading the paper, and sit down to “take in the day,”whereas our generation sit down to go to the washroom, drink coffee because we worked too late the night before, and read the paper because we missed the hockey game last night. We’re no doubt in a world that is evolving to become more efficient and have the motto get-things-done-quicker, but how fast is too fast?

Web Language

Manners are being jeopardized because speech and grammar is being practiced via the web. Children are typing and texting in short form, communicating with their Blackberry’s, Instant Messengers, and Facebook. Are my children’s children going to know how to spell ‘laugh out loud’? Okay, that was a slight exaggeration, but really, will essays be mandatory in school, or will there be lectures on Proper use of Facebook? I feel already that I am less educated than my parents. Sometimes I sit on the fence with the internet being so easily accessible only because it’s a fabulous resource when you need to know something simple, but it’s also there when taking notes and searching for the information in an encyclopedia can be of great use.

Everyone wants the newest technology and the best gadget. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and competition is fierce (as Tyra Banks would say) but when is it all enough? Will we ever stop and smell the roses again, or is that going to be an application on our iPhone soon?

Print vs. Web

19 Nov

The way information is portrayed varies greatly from print material to Web material.


Web-based content is scannable and quick to the point. The user wants to compile their own segments from various sources to build a knowledge base. The information that is on the internet mustn’t be in depth, have small paragraphs, and placed accordingly on the page to where the user scans the page; which is from the centre first. There must also be headlines, as the user wants to find the information they’re looking for quickly because if the information isn’t there directly, the user won’t spend the time looking for it. Reading from a computer monitor is 25% slower than reading from print; thus, increasing eyestrain and fatigue.


Print based content is lengthier and more in-depth. The user relies on the author to narrate the information to him and more or less control the reader in the direction they will go. The reader usually wants to be engrossed in the text and has more time to digest the information. Print is said to be more concrete as it’s actually printed opposed to posted, edited and reposted on the web by who knows who. Also, print based content can have more in the title and heading because the user isn’t using a search engine to find the information, so it won’t restrict the search ability.

To achieve optimal results, each style of writing requires a unique and distinct style of writing.

Photoshop as a New Media Student

12 Nov


It’s been 4 weeks of Photoshop and I’m pleasantly surprised with the application. I’m not actually sure if it’s the efficient instructor we have, or my passion for photo manipulation. Either way, with the short amount of background I have, I’m able to do so much to a photo I would never have even attempted before. The many applications available in photoshop take practice, however, with patience and persistence, you’re able to create different looks from simple tools. I have had my struggles throughout the program, and some of them I’ve yet to overcome. I find photoshop is difficult to play around with and achieve the look or manipulation you’re looking for if you don’t completely understand the commands. Even though I have the basic understanding, it’s still taking hours of practice to accomplish desirable images.


Tools Within the Application

Some of my favourite tools to use in photoshop are the dodge tool, blur tool, and the clone stamp tool. With the dodge tool, you’re able to lighten areas of the photo that seem too dark. For example, under eye areas are a common place that usually needs adjusting. This tool can also be used around clouds if there’s sun shining through. The blur tool is pretty self-explanatory. You guessed it, blurring parts of the photo. I usually use this to make motion blur behind vehicles or on particular faces that need to be evened out. The clone stamp tool is probably my favourite thus far. It’s used for multiple purposes such as: cloning parts of the photo like clothing, water, grass, and parts of peoples’ bodies. To use this function, hold down ‘option’ while taking a sample of the area you wish to clone, and continue to click where you would like to add the new area. This tool can also remove parts of the photo too. It gets tricky when rebuilding an area of the photo that was originally hidden behind an object as you would have to draw and add in particular aspects that weren’t in the picture before.

As you can see, with just a few tools there is such vast opportunity to create and manipulate photos to any degree. They all take practice and patience, but after being in the course for just a few short weeks, by the end of the year I feel that I will have mastered Photoshop and the possibilities will be endless in photo manipulation

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

22 Oct

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Discussing the pragmatic approach to hard skills versus the dynamic approach to soft skills is the top of today’s blog. There are various black or white technical skills or “hard skills” we are developing throughout the New Media & Web Development program; however, there are numerous “soft skills” we are supposed to acquire as well.

Firstly, hard skills are the matter of fact tasks we learn. These include applications such as Photo Shop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. Programs like these need to be utilized in a specific way. There may be shortcuts within the program, but the overall technicality is universal. Either you know it or you don’t. We are all taking this program to become more familiar, or familiarize ourselves with various software. Actually, that’s a lie; we are taking the program to become experts with the software, not just familiarize ourselves. In this field we’re all hoping to be successful, but without the necessary skills, we won’t go very far.

Secondly, soft skills are a set of skills such as communication, attitude, creativity, thinking, and how we voice ourselves both on paper and in person. A soft skill isn’t something you can learn; I mean, yes you can observe an instructor teaching a class on communication, take notes all you want, but at the end of the day, your voice is your voice.

Furthermore, you do need both of these skills to succeed in the industry, but for some, acquiring one or the other, or in some cases both, can be quite difficult, if not near impossible. Personally, for me to fully understand and comprehend the hard technical skills, I have to completely absorb myself into the application and read and re-read notes and examples. Speaking from a female perspective, and I don’t know if I’m going off on a tangent here, but I believe that most women have more of a understanding of soft skills. To me, it seems like men are more technically inclined, maybe they think more with the left side of their brain, and women the right, I don’t know, but I know for me as a woman, I need to do a lot more study when technicalities come into play than I do when creativities come into play.

I rest my case; my professor just said I needed to work on my technical skills. So, until next week when I know where I’m going wrong. I’m signing off.


T.Coleman is Blogging

15 Oct

I am usually a person that cannot seem to stop talking; however, when being asked to write on demand, I cannot think of a word to say. Here it goes.

I will start with a little background about myself. Before post secondary I had travelled around South East Asia, countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and finishing up in Thailand. I left straight after high school at the age of seventeen and do not regret one minute of the trip. Traveling through third world countries has taught me to be thankful for what I have in life and where I am today. After returning to Vancouver, I enrolled in Psychology and Sociology at Langara College. Big mistake. Turns out I didn’t want to be a teacher or social worker; I wanted to travel some more. Therefore, off to Australia I went.

I left home by myself and flew into Sydney. I continued to travel around Australia, landing a job a a real estate agency. I was doing window cards and brochures, and enjoyed it so much I decided when I returned home I would go back to school and study New Media Design.

I am now a New Media Design & Web Development student at British Columbia Institute of Technology. I am hoping to get into page layout and design as a career post graduation, but I am thoroughly enjoying the entire program, so my career path could soon change.   Even though we are nearing the third week of study I feel that I will end up loving the program.

Having no experience in graphic design or the programs Photoshop, Illustrator, or Flash, it all can be a bit overwhelming; however, with the help of the instructors and fellow classmates, understanding the software has not been an issue. Everyone at the school is very accommodating and even though we’re approaching the end of week two, I feel more knowledgeable already.

Ideally, I would like to become more efficient on the computer, being able to navigate my way through programs seamlessly and have complete understanding of Photoshop at the end of the year. The class I am writing this for is Communications. By familiarizing ourselves with the web and the media around us, we are opening ourselves up to new concepts all the time. New media is forever changing and growing; therefore, we need to stay on top of things, and for me, that is creating a blog or technically speaking, a content management system.

I am not sure what will come out of my blog’s continuous development, but it will allow me to branch out to prospective clients in the future and explain my qualifications in non-resume or portfolio format. As children, young adults, or even old adults, we dream, aspire and have goals in life that are met, and unfortunately some not. My aspiration in life is to do page layout and design for a major magazine. We won’t name any names because there are too many fabulous ones to name, but at this point in my path to a steady career, I would be happy placing the obituaries in the free local newspaper.

Well, this about sums up my blog for today. It’s the end of a long day at school and my stomach is talking to me. I hope you enjoyed “me” in a nutshell.

And to all you future employers, if you hire me, I will not let you down.