Photography Bootcamp 2016

July 11th dawned bright and sunny, so the tweens set out on their photo adventure! During this Photo Bootcamp our young patrons learned about photo composition and using the rule of thirds to take better pictures. Their objective was to complete a photo scavenger hunt. Laughing and jumping, dancing and making silly faces, they spent the morning having fun while learning to be better photographers.

The afternoon was sweltering so as the heat index rose, the teens explored the library with its comfortable A/C. The teens learned how to compose pictures and to apply the rule of thirds. With their scavenger hunt they explored the four floors of Fountaindale Public Library.

Both groups did a phenomenal job and had fun while learning photography techniques. Take a look at some of the great photographs they took that day by visiting our Flickr site.

IMG_0339 IMG_0661 IMG_4263

 

Digital Date Night

Dads joined their daughters in Studio 300 for our inaugural digital date night program. The families worked together creating a variety of media projects: photography, Photoshop, TV production, podcasting, music, animation, and more. Enjoy these photos that highlight the evening’s activities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mommy-Son Digital Date Night is May 16. Sign-up here.

Photography Camp 2015

19953337031_5063ef3bec_zOur Tween patrons were busy snapping and Photoshop-ing pictures at this year’s Photography Summer Camp. The Tweens took many pictures and applied new techniques to make their own photography better. Follow this link to the Studio 300 Flickr page to see the results of their creative work. We hope you agree that there are some amazing pictures in the group.

 

Flickr

 

Stock photos

Sunflower isolated on white

The popular GraphicStock.com recently added 10,000 stock photos to their already extensive library of stock media. Fountaindale Public Library cardholders get free access to this stock media in Studio 300. Having access to royalty-free stock photos is often requested by our patrons, and we are happy to offer these additional choices. You can browse the media available at GraphicStock, but you can only download the images in Studio 300.

If you need video stock footage and royalty-free music, check out the other sites we provide: VideoBlocks and AudioBlocks.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 4.26.55 PM

 

Fixing Pixelated Printing Problems

Why is it that a picture that looks nice on your computer screen doesn’t look as nice when you print it? This degradation will happen if the resolution of the picture is lower than the size you want to print. Here are some tips to help prevent these kinds of printing disappointments.

Before you print a picture, check out its original size. To do this save your picture to the computer, right click on it, then click on “Properties” if using a PC or “Get Info” if on a Mac. See the pictures below:

imagepropertiesMacGETINFO

For PC users, click on the “Details” tab and scroll down to “Image”. For Mac users, click on the “More Info” arrow. See below:

imagesizeMACscreensize

In both cases, the Width and Height of the image displays. In the examples above, the PC image (left) is 480 pixels for width and 359 for height — or 480 x 359. The Mac example shows 1243 x 902.

Two variables for printing are image Pixel size and the Dots Per Inch (DPI) of the printer which for most printers is 300. Using the formula:

Pixel Width / DPI
Pixel Height / DPI

yields the maximum width and height of your image (in inches). For example, if you want to print a poster-sized image with 18″ x 24″ dimensions, the formula says that your image needs to be 5400 pixels x 7200 pixels — a rather high resolution. It is acceptable to scale down an image but scaling up will result in a distorted, pixelated print. In short, always use higher resolution images when printing.

Tweens & Teens Photography

This week Studio 300 hosted two Photography Summer Camps for Tween and Teen patrons. They learned tips and techniques for taking better photos and manipulating them using Adobe Photoshop. They took photos outside, portraits inside, and product shots using the Studio 300 photo tent. Below are just a few  examples. See more of their work on our Flickr page by following this link.

Animation Essentials

flash_cc_splashHave you always wanted to make your own animation? Studio 300 can help. We have several free software programs available to use. Also, we regularly offer classes on how to use this software. Check out these ideas.

  • Stykz – This is free animation software that works on Macs and PCs. You can create simple stick like characters and backgrounds to make fun and easy animations to show your friends! There is even a website where you can see what other characters and animations are available. See work made by Fountaindale Public Library patrons on our YouTube Channel.
  • Adobe Flash – This is a professional animation software that you can use to create movies, website animations, and 2D game animations. It works using drawing tools (similar to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) and uses both vector and raster graphics that you can animate in a variety of styles! Flash classes coming this summer.
  • Blender – A free 3D software you can use to create 3D models from rigging to modeling, make 3D Animations, and it even has a game engine.
  • Toon Boom Studio – This animation software is similar to Adobe Flash, however it is more so optimized in a user friendly manner. This is a great program to start with for making your own 2D characters and animating.

Studio 300 can also recommend other resources that you can use to explore your creativity via animation.

Stock images and graphics available

GraphicStocklogoNeed to enhance your digital media work? Studio 300 now gives you access to thousands of non-exclusive stock images and graphics … FREE! Our partnership with GraphicStock.com gives you access to:

  • Backgrounds
  • Icons
  • Patterns
  • Textures
  • Templates
  • and more

Click here to go to the GraphicStock site and browse what’s available. Find what you need and then let the Studio 300 staff know and we’ll download your selections for use in your projects.

Need video footage and music instead? We also partner with VideoBlocks.com.

GraphicStockExamples

Samples of stock media available for Studio 300 patrons.

Image Formats

file4411234628810What is the ideal file format for your completed images? First, decide the purpose of your image. Are you posting it to the web? Printing it? Does it need to be large or small? Is detail and line quality important? Here are some suggestions about formats you might use for a given purpose.

JPEG

Works best for color photographs where keeping the file size small is important. It does not work very well for text and large blocks of color that have precise lines as it will cause some blur. There are three ways to save a JPEG: Baseline (Standard), Baseline Optimized, and Progressive. Baseline (Standard) is recognized by all web browsers while Baseline Optimized has better color and compression but will not work on earlier web browsers. Progressive on web pages loads immediately but starts out blocky then clears up as the upload progresses.

PNG

Use this format when you need smaller file sizes and transparency. It was developed for a replacement for GIF.

TIFF

This large file type has no quality loss and also has transparency support. Due to its larger size it is not the best option for web graphics.

GIF

This simple format works best for black and white line images. It only does 256 colors but it does support very simple animations. It works well for buttons and charts.

Unsure how to proceed? Ask us in Studio 300 and we’ll help you optimize your image saving.