Tag Archives: creativity

Epic Styler Contest Winners and Download

Download the Epic Styler Package

I’ve been putting this one off for way too long. If you remember back a few months, I announced the 8th Epic Edits project: “Action and Preset Extravaganza“. The deadline was over a month ago, and we had 6 people contribute 15 different Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets.

Neil Cowley of Make Light Real, sponsored the project and gave out three grand prizes to the best entries. He’s also hosting the package of presets and actions as a free download, so don’t forget to jump over to his site and grab them!

THE WINNERS

  1. Tasha Schalk with her Rock Concert Photoshop Actions.
  2. Martin Kimeldorf with his Photoshop Action for exposure blending.
  3. Phill Price with his monochrome architecture pink Lightroom Preset.

The other entries included a color pop Photoshop Action from Tom Weeks, a Flickr resizer Photoshop Action from me, and a 300 movie style Lightroom Preset from Mike Lao.

THE PRIZES

  • 1ST PLACE: LIGHTSPEED WORKFLOW PACKAGE
    Valued at $290, this prize includes a Nostromo n52 left-hand keypad, “ONE” Lightroom/ACR preset, “ONE” Photoshop Action, and tutorials. This is an awesome package! This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 2ND PLACE: PHOTOSHOP LIGHT REAL VIRTUAL COURSE
    Valued at $250, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” workflow scripts plus a 4 hour training course covering the workflow scripts and working in LAB color space. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 3RD PLACE: ONE ACTION AND GOLDEN TOUCH PACKAGES
    Valued at $79 and $49, respectively, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” scripts and presets for Photoshop and Lightroom, plus extra training materials along with additional Photoshop actions and 30 textures.

A BIG THANK YOU!

First of all, I want to thank all the participants that took the time to post their actions and presets for the greater good of the community. It’s great to see people willing to share their knowledge and their tools with fellow photographers.

I’d also like to thank Neil for sponsoring the project and hosting the final download package. He’s had a very active role in this project, and I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Don’t forget to download the actions and presets from the project entries. And if you’re into free stuff, check out Neil’s other free downloads.

Link Roundup 01-10-2009

A few selected links from this week…

  • Ambrotype Photography
    Photocritic
    If you think film photography is a pain-in-the-butt, check out this stuff! I think I found my next personal challenge!
  • How to Photograph a Convention
    digital Photography School
    Conventions can be a great place to photograph some interesting characters — here’s a good set of tips for doing just that!
  • Creativity Ideas for Photographers
    My Camera World
    We all hit creativity blocks from time to time. Here are some ideas for getting past those blocks and getting back on track.
  • Four compact photo printers under $150
    Photodoto
    Printing is becoming a long lost art among photographers. So check out these four (inexpensive) photo printers if you want to actually see some photos on paper.
  • Playing With Fire – How to Photograph Fire
    digital Photography School
    Fire can be a tricky subject in photography. Here are a few good tips for getting better fire photos in a variety of situations.
  • Chase Jarvis’ 5 Tips for Exceptional Photographs
    silberstudios.tv
    An Interview with Chase Jarvis as he gives out his 5 tips for exceptional photographs.
  • “Share-a-Link” Saturday
    LeggNet’s Digital Capture
    Rich opened up the floodgates for people to leave comments with links to their favorite photography sites. Check out the list, and leave a few of your own favorites!
  • City of Lost Carts
    Doc Challenge
    An interesting documentary on a photographer who primarily photographed a very specific subject for an extended period of time.

PROJECT: Action and Preset Extravaganza

Action and Preset Extravaganza
Creative Commons License photo credit: ►Voj►

I’m pleased to announce, in the spirit of the holidays, an open source software development: The Epic Edits Action and Preset Extravaganza.

In our last project, we did reviews of cheap film cameras. But in this project, we’re going completely the opposite direction — it’s all about Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets (or whatever other software you happen to use). In the end, our collective creativity will be pooled into a large Styler Package and be distributed freely.

The Stylizer entries will be judged for creativity and prizes awarded after the January 12 Deadline for entry. Read on for more details on the concept and prizes. The entry form is at the bottom of this post, so be sure to bookmark it if you plan on participating.

THE CONCEPT

Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets are great tools for the digital darkroom. They can save a ton of time and they can give you awesome inspiration. Since we have a great community full of knowledgeable photographers, I want to put our heads together and generate a good resource that elevates our collective expertise and creative consciousness.

This resource will include the actions and presets with written instructions from the creators on their use.

THE SPONSOR

We’ve got a great sponsor for this project, and the prizes fit right in with the theme. I’m pleased to present Neil Cowley from Make Light Real as our sponsor and judge.

Neil is a photographer, an artist, a post-processing guru, and an educator. His photos are unique and his post-processing techniques are equally unique. Neil offers many Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets, along with tons of great textures in various themes. The actions emanate from his experiences teaching and sharing through his creative journal at www.MakeLightReal.com.

THE PRIZES:

UPDATE: The top 3 prizes include the ONE Action set and I’ve just reviewed it here on the blog. Read more.

  • 1ST PLACE: LIGHTSPEED WORKFLOW PACKAGE
    Valued at $290, this prize includes a Nostromo n52 left-hand keypad, “ONE” Lightroom/ACR preset, “ONE” Photoshop Action, and tutorials. This is an awesome package! This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 2ND PLACE: PHOTOSHOP LIGHT REAL VIRTUAL COURSE
    Valued at $250, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” workflow scripts plus a 4 hour training course covering the workflow scripts and working in LAB color space. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 3RD PLACE: ONE ACTION AND GOLDEN TOUCH PACKAGES
    Valued at $79 and $49, respectively, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” scripts and presets for Photoshop and Lightroom, plus extra training materials along with additional Photoshop actions and 30 textures. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
  • 1ST AND 2ND RUNNER UP: $39 CREDIT
    The two “honorary mentions” will each receive a $39 credit toward the purchase of any item from Neil’s offerings.
  • 5 RANDOM WINNERS: $39 CREDIT
    Just to shake things up a bit, we’ll select another 5 random winners to receive the $39 credit toward any item of their choice. So anybody could be a winner, you just have to participate!

So… basically we’re looking at over $1000 in prizes given out to 10 different winners. Not bad!

THE REQUIREMENTS

If you’re planning on participating and having a chance at some of the awesome prizes, be sure to read the following requirements very carefully. I’ve provided some useful links to appropriate resources, so don’t overlook them!

  1. CREATE AN ACTION OR PRESET
    The first important part of the project is actually creating the action or preset. The choice of software is up to you — whatever you happen to use. The action(s) and/or preset(s) that you choose to create and share are also totally up to you — they could be workflow timesavers, creative tweaks, or whatever else you can dream up. If you’re not familiar with creating these things, you can read up on creating Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. And the creations must be your own — no swiping somebody else’s work!
  2. MAKE YOUR FILE ACCESSIBLE
    This is the hard part, but we’ve got some options for you. You’ll need to upload your action/preset file to the web so others can download it. If you have your own blog or website, this is no problem and you can host the file yourself. Some forums also allow files to be attached to posts. But sites like Flickr don’t allow this, while they do allow you to link to external files. To accommodate those of you with fewer options, Neil has offered to host your project files on his site. You can email him at action@makelightreal.com with your file. He’ll upload it to his server and send you the URL so you can link to it in step 3.
  3. WRITE ABOUT YOUR CREATION
    Once you’ve created your tool and made it accessible to others, you’ll have to write about it. There are many forms of self-publication, so don’t be intimidated. You should tell us what the action/preset does, how it works, and any special instructions for using it. You should also link out to your file from step 2 so others (including me) can download it and use it.
  4. SUBMIT YOUR LINK HERE
    When your written post is complete (with the link to your action/preset), come back here and fill out the form below. Just plug in your name, the location of your write-up from step 3, and your email address so I can contact you if needed.

DEADLINE: JANUARY 12, 2009

Multiple entries are fine, but each participant will count as a single project entry. So you could either put all your stuff in one post for the written portion, or you could do multiple posts. Either way, you get one entry into the contest and we’ll point readers to your whole collection at the end of the project.

Once the project comes to an end, I’ll gather up all the actions and presets and make a single collection (for each software) that can be downloaded by others. I’ll also link out to your write-up so people can learn how to use the tools you’ve created.

THE CONTEST

As mentioned in the sponsor section above, Neil is giving away a ton of cool prizes. The two of us will be judging the entries based on several criteria: usefulness, usability, creativity, execution, explanation, thoroughness, etc.

Basically, we’re looking to reward the individuals who put a lot of thought and effort into their project entry (and this certainly includes the written portion). We realize that not all actions or presets are big and flashy, and we’ll keep this in mind as we go through the entries — so don’t feel like you have to come up with some huge elaborate thing to be eligible for the prize.

Three winners will be chosen for the 3 grand prizes, and two runner-ups will be chosen for honorable mention. All five picks will also receive the $39 credit for textures.

In addition to the top five selections, we’ll choose an additional five entries at random to receive the $39 credit for textures!

THE ENTRY FORM

UPDATE: This project has been completed — see the results here.

Link Roundup 07-12-2008

I’m almost a full day late with this post… I picked up 7 rolls of developed film this morning and I’ve been busy scanning all day. By the way, does anybody out there have a good solution for scanning 110 film?

What Should Our Next Project Be?

I’ve been feeling the urge to run another project here at Epic Edits. We’ve had decent success with past projects such as 66 Faces of Photography and 28 Ways To Interpret A Photo. I want to do another one that’s just as exciting and inspiring. Here are three ideas I had for the next project:

[UPDATE] I’ve added links to the project results because we actually completed them all!

  1. THE $50 FILM CAMERA
    SEE RESULTS HERE
    I’ve been buying old film cameras on eBay lately, and it got me thinking about photography projects. The project would require that you purchase a film camera of your choice from a vendor of your choice for under $50. You’d run a roll or two through it, write up a short review on the camera, and post one entire roll of photos. I figured this would be good motivation for non-film shooters to give it a try, and old film shooters to get back into if for a few shots. The downside to this project is that it would require you to buy a camera and some film. The upside is that you’d have a new camera and possibly a new hobby. The point of buying a camera (even if you already have a film camera) is to show what kind of neat old equipment you can pick up for relatively little money.
  2. EDIT YOUR PHOTO
    CURRENTLY RUNNING
    Similar to the Edit My Photo project, we’d all be asked to process the same raw photo. But this time around, we could break it up into two parts: picking the photo, and processing the photo. In part one, everybody would have a chance to enter an unprocessed photo and you would all vote on which one would be used for the second part of the project. In part two, we’d do the same as last time and distribute the raw file to participants for processing.
  3. THE PHOTOSHOP ACTION COLLECTION
    SEE RESULTS HERE
    Not too long ago I talked about How To Create Photoshop Actions. I think it would be pretty cool if we gathered up all the actions from you guys and put them in a big action set for redistribution. You could use your blog or a Flickr page to describe the steps in the action and show what it does. Then, I could compile the actions in one big set and include a pointer to the web addresses for the tutorial portion that goes along with each action. Might be kind of a nifty way to share some cool actions. We could also do the same with Lightroom/ACR presets — or we could do both.

Ok, so those are three of the better ideas I have rolling around in my head right now. Maybe you love them all or maybe they all suck — I don’t know. Give me an indication as to what you’d be more prone to participate in. Oh, and comments count more than votes on the poll (most of the people who vote on the poll might not actually participate) — so if you feel really strong about a particular project or two, leave a comment and let me know.

{democracy:47}

And don’t forget to check out the results from the last poll: What’s Your Gender? I watched the numbers throughout the entire poll and the shares stayed the same: 33% female, 67% male. That’s 1/3 of you who are female! A bit higher than I expected, but not completely surprising. What IS surprising, however, is that only one out of 14 Fine Art Photoblog portfolio entries came from a female photographer. That is NOT 33% ladies… where the heck are those portfolios?

The “April Challenge” Has Arrived

It’s time again for another “Photo Challenge” — a whole month of photographing a single topic. The April Challenge is all about “entropy”… degradation, devolution, and things falling apart. Below are some examples of photos that would fall into this category, and Trevor (the guy in charge of the challenge series) has already posted his first photo for the month.

These challenges are great sources of inspiration and a clever way to unlock some hidden creativity – I would encourage you to participate if at all possible. I’ve completed the October Challenge (sort of), the December Challenge, and the February Challenge. I’m really glad I did, because I learned a lot by participating and I added several skills to my arsenal.

With that being said, I regret having to say that I won’t be participating in the April Challenge. I’ve got too many other things happening this month and I don’t want to feel stressed over taking photos and posting them. That’s not to say I won’t take some “entropy” photos this month with the challenge in mind, but I’m not signing up for the 1-a-day part of it.

But don’t let that stop YOU from participating! Just make sure you tag your photos with “aprilchallenge”, “aprilchallenge2008″, and “photochallenge” so Trevor can find your photos for the end-of-month recap.

Destined for Retirement
Creative Commons License photo credit: auer1816

detroithouse.jpg
Creative Commons License photo credit: groovnick

Please Open Door Slowly
Creative Commons License photo credit: splorp

. . to flickr riddlers
Creative Commons License photo credit: jef safi

Link Roundup 03-15-2008

WAY too many good things out there this week! Here’s a sample:

Link Roundup 01-12-2008

PROJECTS

  • February Challenge
    PhotoChallenge.org
    The month of February will be dedicated to colors! Pick a color a week and shoot at least three photos of that color during the week.
  • You’ve Got a Project? I’ve Got a Wiki!
    ADIDAP
    Antoine is putting together a photography project wiki to keep track of all the ongoing projects that can be found amongst the local blogs. If you host projects, I’d encourage you to contact him and help build up the structure of the site — it should be a great resource if we get a lot of folks on board.

READING MATERIAL