Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photoshop Cafe

PhotoshopCAFE Presents:

It's been exactly three weeks since the Photoshop World Convention in Las Vegas. I haven't had a chance to write a thing about what I had seen and what products we had a chance to look at and bring back with us from the convention.

I've tested out some of the products we brought back like Fluid Mask 3, the #1 still-image masking tool and SiteGrinder 2 which turns Adobe Photoshop into an easy-to-use and powerful website design and production tool. I'm also going to take a look at LicenseStream, a product by ImageSpan that lets you manage the rights, permissions, and licenses for your photos and videos.

The product I did get a chance to test out and use in depth was the training video that I received from Colin Smith of PhotoshopCafe. The Photoshop and Dreamweaver Integration Tutorial DVD he hand us at the conference has saved me hours and hours of website design work.

This training tutorial has been the most useful tool for me as a web designer. Yes, I've seen videos on YouTube that helped me in certain areas of what I do but the Photoshop and Dreamweaver Integration Tutorial Video from Colin Smith helped me in ALL areas of what I need to do for the Photoshop designs that I created.

Mr. Smith also gave us "Flash CS3 for Designers" to try out and I am excited about this DVD as well since we are finding out more and more that our clients really want to add some Flash on their websites. I have only scratched the surface when it comes to Flash, but I know that Mr. Smith will teach me quite a bit more of what I need to know to help our clients!

So, if you are searching for a tutorial video that will help you in your web design skills, I highly recommend Colin Smith's PhotoshopCAFE Training Tutorials. You can find his Tutorials by visiting http://www.photoshopcafe.com/.

Take a look and browse around the site. He has some useful snippets of videos for products like the new CS4 products, CS3, Lightroom and much, much more!

Friday, August 22, 2008

New Website Launch


Highlighting the Rider Gear is featured in this Launch of the Renegade Classic Gulf Breeze Florida Site.

August 20th 2008 - (TUCSON ARIZONA)

RENEGADE CLASSICS GULF BREEZE takes its vast product line and personal touch to the web with the official launch of the brand new website for the biker and those that shop for them.

Visitors to www.renegadeclassicsgb.com will find a site the compliments the different jackets, vest, leathers, boots, helmets, gloves and other fun accessories that Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze offers. The riding community is a tight knit group and Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze maintains the service to the riders with its large inventory and now website which features product numbers on descriptive content with photos and an easy navigation to easily find what the shopper is looking for.

RENEGADE CLASSICS GULF BREEZE is not just a place to shop, the company mission of the owners Bob and Petra Wigley is for the store to be a friendly, local meeting place where you can get information on local runs, biker-related events, and meet new friends, that happens to also have first quality brand named products at great prices. The buying power of the 44 other Renegade locations across the country help manage the cost, keeping them affordable; reaching out to the community with a retail location and friendly staff and now informational website will continue to drive business through the store. Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze is located in the Blue Water Plaza, Just off the 98 at 4100 Gulfbreeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze Florida.

Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze looked towards Tucson Based "A Fresh Approach Media" after seeing its work on the Tucson Renegade Classics location which was launched early this year. The goal was to develop a web location that provided information and a great idea of the products carried in the store but also reached out to the Gulf Breeze community. Working together with content sent via the Internet, A Fresh Approach Media turned out a custom look and feel that worked for owners Bob and Petra.

"It's exciting to start with an idea and build on it to develop a site that the owners and myself have a passion for." stated A Fresh Approach Media Designer, Carol D'Andrea. "The distance between our two cities was not an issue at all and we are excited at the growth we will continue to see on the Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze website."

Bob Wigley, Owner stated his feelings of working with A Fresh Approach Media "It has been a pleasure working with you on our website! Thanks for all of your work on our site and the personal professional touches that are obvious. You came through with flying colors."

Congratulations to Renegade Classics Gulf Breeze on the Official launch of the website., We look forward to the centerpiece of your marketing with this website continuing to grow. Thank you for allowing A Fresh Approach Media to be a part of it.

Written by:
Andy Taylor
Creative Services
A Fresh Approach Media

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My First Video!

I've been working pretty hard these last couple of weeks putting together this website for a client who is in Florida. The site is about 100 pages. It took me rougly two weeks to get it done.

So, tonight, or should I say this morning... I decided to take a much needed break... I was browsing around the net to find out how I can add some 80s music to my myspace page... I found a really cool player that I could just add music too and upload to the myspace... I wanted to post the player in the myspace blog, but realized I couldn't do it. So I came to blogger and realized I couldn't do it there because it was only for myspace...

Then I saw that you can post videos in blogger. Andy is pretty much the "video" guru around here. So, I wanted to see how easy or hard it was and what better video to make then a video that includes "music"... The music, of course, that I grew up with and I love... the 80s!

Then I thought, well, I don't think I have a program on my computer right now that can do it... I looked around the home office and saw that I could load one program or another on the computer but then I wanted to see if they had anything free I can download quickly.

I found out that Windows XP includes a free video program called "Movie Maker" so I decided to take a stab at it... I only did about 5 songs and added some video effects and transitions.

It took me about 3 hours and about 25 minutes to encode the video, but here it is, My First Video...

Thoughts and comments are welcomed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

National Association of Photoshop Professionals

The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) is a dynamic trade association and the world's leading resource for Adobe® Photoshop® education, training, and news. It is led by a world-class team of Photoshop experts, authors, consultants, trainers, and educators whose focus is to ensure that NAPP members stay on the cutting edge of Adobe Photoshop techniques and ahead of their competition.

The idea for forming NAPP grew out of feedback received by instructors on the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour (which we founded in 1993). Students asked for direction on continuing education but at that time there was no central resource for Photoshop instruction. It became apparent that there was a tremendous need for this type of association, and with the urging and input of industry leaders, the groundwork was developed for what would become NAPP.

With Adobe System's help, NAPP made its debut at Seybold New York in April of 1998, along with the premiere of the first issue of Photoshop User magazine. The organization was met with an immediate flood of support. Within just a few months NAPP had already enrolled thousands of members and quickly grew beyond the borders of the U.S. to become a truly international organization that now has 70,000 members in 107 countries around the world.

Today NAPP maintains its focus on its members so that it can continue to address the techniques, issues, and concerns that Photoshop users share. It is this relationship that has propelled NAPP to become one of the largest, most respected organizations of its kind, and the worldwide central resource for Adobe Photoshop training, education and news.

Click here to visit NAPP's website.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photoshop World

Photoshop World 2008 in Las Vegas is just around the corner... I'm excited to see what new classes they have scheduled for this year. I believe it's going to be bigger and better than last year...

Photoshop World is a great time to explore new ideas...and I always enjoy the opportunity to talk to people about the creative and technical challenges they face on a day-to-day basis. This is just incredibly rewarding because I know it makes a big difference in how much people enjoy their jobs. - Richard Harrington, Photoshop World instructor

Below are a list of some of the instructors that will be at this year's Photoshop World & Expo.

Scott Kelby
Editor, Photoshop User magazine

Scott is editor and publisher of Photoshop User magazine and Layers magazine (the how-to magazine for everything Adobe). He also is the president and co-founder of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) and president of the software training, education, and publishing firm Kelby Media Group.

Scott is a photographer, designer, and an award-winning author of more than 40 books, including Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers, The Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers, The 7-Point System, The Photoshop Channels Book, Photoshop Classic Effects, and The Digital Photography Book.

Since 2004, Scott has been awarded the distinction of being the world’s #1 best-selling author of all computer and technology books, across all categories. His books have been translated into dozens of different languages, including Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Taiwanese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish, and Portuguese, among others, and he is a recipient of the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award.

In addition, Scott is training director for Kelby Training and technical chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo. He’s featured in a series of Adobe Photoshop training DVDs and has been training Adobe Photoshop users since 1993. For more information on Scott, visit scottkelby.com.

Richard Harrington
Editor and Motion Graphic Artist

Richard Harrington is a certified Project Management Professional, Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop and After Effects, and Apple Certified Trainer in Final Cut Pro. Additionally, he has completed Avid's Master Editor Workshop and the Avid Certified Instructor program. His visual communications consultancy, RHED Pixel, creates motion graphics and produces video and multimedia projects. He is the author of Photoshop for Video and Understanding Adobe Photoshop as well as a moderator of DV Magazine’s Photoshop for Video forum. You can find out more about Richard and his blogs at http://www.rastervector.com/ and http://www.photoshopforvideo.com/.

Matt Kloskowski
Author and Educator

Matt Kloskowski is the Education and Curriculum Developer for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. He has authored and co-authored 5 books on Photoshop and Illustrator and teaches an advanced Photoshop course for Sessions.edu. In addition to being an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, and Macromedia Flash Certified Developer, Matt is a regular contributor to Photoshop User and Layers magazines and writes weekly columns for several digital imaging websites. Check out Matt's Blog by clicking here.

Bert Monroy
Author and Contributing Columnist

Bert Monroy is considered one of the pioneers of digital art. His work has been seen in many magazines and scores of books. He has served on the faculty of many well known institutions, lectured around the world, written many books and appeared on hundreds of TV shows. Bert hosts a weekly podcast called Pixel Perfect for Revision3.com.

He co-authored The Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook, the first book on Photoshop plus many other books since. His latest books, Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy: Digital Painting has gotten critical acclaim around the world. Bert writes a column for Photoshop User and Layers magazines.

Bert serves a client list that includes Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, AT&T, American Express, Pixar Animation, Disney Animation and Lockheed/Martin. Bert has also worked in the motion picture industry for Industrial Light and Magic, Pacific Data Images, and R/Greenberg.

In 2004, Bert was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Visit his website, http://www.bertmonroy.com/.

Moose Peterson
Wildlife Photographer, Author, and Educator

A Nikon Legend Behind the Lens, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program, published in over 130 magazines worldwide, author of 23 books, and lecturing across the country to thousands upon thousands of photographers barely covers the work and goals of wildlife photographer Moose Peterson. One of the original Nikon shooters to receive the D1 in 1999, Moose embraced this new technology becoming the only wildlife photographer in the world to shoot strictly digital in the early years. A beta site for all the major hardware and software manufacturers, Moose continues his main goal of photographing the life history of North America's endangered wildlife and wild places using the latest tools. Creative innovation of new techniques, both behind the camera and the computer, is the driving force behind his photography and goals. Visit his website, http://www.moosepeterson.com/.

Taz Tally
Author, Teacher, Consultant, and Contributing Columnist

Dr. Taz Tally is President of Taz Tally Seminars, a computer publishing, consulting, and training company. Taz is the author of numerous books including his most recent book Acrobat and PDF Solutions, as well as Electronic Publishing: Avoiding The Output Blues a textbook on electronic publishing fundamentals and Postscript file preparation, and Avoiding The Scanning Blues a comprehensive guide to desktop scanning, which was chosen as a featured selection of the DoubleDay book club. In addition, Taz has published the UMAX MagicScan Manual, and SilverFast: The Official Guide, which are distributed worldwide. Visit his website, http://www.tazseminars.com/.

Ben Willmore
Author, and Instructor

Ben Willmore is author of the award-winning, best-selling book, Adobe Photoshop Studio Techniques and co-author of another bestseller, How to Wow: Photoshop for Photography. His hit seminars, "Photoshop Mastery" and "Photoshop for Photographers", have established Ben as one of America's favorite Photoshop instructors. He has personally helped over 30,000 design and photography professionals make the transition from blindly following step-by-step techniques, to "Aha! I finally GET Photoshop!" His breakthrough teaching style of "not-just-how-but-why," has made Ben the in-house instructor of choice for companies such as Mercedes Benz, Adobe Systems, America Online, and Fisher-Price. He's a member of the Dream Team for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), a featured speaker at design and photography conferences in America, England ,and Australia, and writes for numerous digital imaging publications, including a monthly column for Photoshop User magazine. In 2004, Ben was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Ben has several different websites: http://whereisben.com/, http://www.digitalmastery.com/, http://www.thebestofben.com/.

For more information on how to register, visit our website by clicking here.

They Say, "You Get What You Pay For!"

As a web designer and a website company, I'm constently looking on the internet for fresh ideas, new things going on in the "web" world, tools for the web designer, and various other things.

So last night in the early hours of the morning, I decided to see what other competition in my market was out there and how we compare to them.

I couldn't believe some of the companies I came across and how they can actually call themselves "web designers". What I couldn't believe even more is that businesses have actually paid these companies to design their websites. How can they call themselves "Web Designers" or even a "Website Company"? How can they even charge the rates they are charging? and How can a business owner use their services?

I believe that your "website" is an extension of your business and who you are as a company. So, therefore, I believe it should be "clean" looking, easy to navigate and informational.

If I'm looking for a particular product or service on the Internet, and I come across a businesses website that I cannot find information quickly and easily, I'm gone.

Now, I might be a bit "impartial" since I am a web designer, but I have to say again, "Your website is a reflection of who you are as a business."

I can remember when we first started our company... We were "cheap"... I mean really "cheap"... and we kept thinking, "How come we are not getting any clients"... We knew we were good at what we did... We had the design eye and the creativity and the resourses to give businesses what they were looking for in a website, but we couldn't understand why we were not getting clients... After a very short time, we figured out that they were not wanting our services because we were "too cheap." So we raised our prices... and it worked...

So, if you're a business and are looking for a website, search around, see what the best company will be to make your website a reflection on your business... and if you can find a company that will meet your needs at a reasonable price, then you have yourself a great "Web Design Firm!"

Sometimes cheap is NOT better and as they say, "You Get What You Pay For"...