Stock Photography: A Graphic Designer’s Friend

Changing Trends in Photography and Design

In the field of Graphic Design, finding the right “look” and “feel” is everything. Designers works tirelessly sketching thousand of thumbnails, an idea roughly drawn, to find that perfect idea, that perfect look and feel. A picture can do that. A perfect picture can convey exactly what a designer need. There are two ways in which they can get that perfect picture: one, hire a photographer; two, buy a stock photograph. The first option is often expensive and time consuming. With the current market and technology available, a stock photograph can be a Graphic Designer best friend. As Tom Vanderbilt put it fittingly, “And that, I found, is the joy of the new breed of stock photo sites -getting an image you wouldn’t have know how to find, or even know what you wanted.” Stock photography is one of the best tools for Graphic Designers to find what they need quickly and cheaply.

Stock Photographs used to be of very poor quality. Graphic Designers only take them on as a last resort. Originally, images from stock are secondhand. Photographers send left over photos from previous commissions to stock agency to make a quick buck. As time progresses, things change. At the beginning of the 1990s, when times are hard and the country is at the brink of Depression, many companies can’t afford to hire photographers. They turn to stock images. With more clients, competition rises. With competitions, demand for better images also rise, and with demand came supply.

Such is the ways of a capitalistic society!

Photographers keep sending in better and better quality images to stock agencies. To date, photographers only send their best images to stock agencies.

Stock agencies are the people that market and sell images sent to them by various photographers. Traditionally, stock images come in catalogues. The images are categorized and subcategorized for easy usability. When clients or Designers find the image they like, they will then call up the stock agency and negotiate a deal. Photographers can get royalty with every image sold. Naturally, the prices of the images will varied because of the variety in quality. That changes quickly, however. Stock agencies soon present royalty free images. That means that clients can buy rights to images and do what they please. In the past, clients can only lease images for one specific use. With this, clients can rid of themselves with the thousands of dollars and restrictions that come with a commissioned work. As with all things, quality comes into play. Royalty free images sell for less. Quality is also less than the rights protected ones. Still, as with all things, royalty free now also has as much quality and value.

“Few businesses were so perfectly suited for the new medium as stock”. With the internet, getting stock images is easier than ever. No more browsing through catalogue after catalogue. No more having to call and wait for days for the transparency to come in the mail. Now, they can be downloaded directly from the internet and with perfect quality. The internet is made for stock photography agency.

There are two stock agency giants on the internet; Corbis and GettyImages. One of them is owned by the great Bill Gates. Competition in stock photography is higher than ever. Agencies now force photographers to pay to be in their catalogue. It takes time to bring in any revenue to photographers. Internet is now accessible to everyone, and anyone can learn to use and manipulate it to their advantage. Photographers now can even set up their own stock library for all to use. Even then, breaking into the stock game is very difficult.

Although things may be difficult for photographers, or specifically stock photographers, things cannot be any easier for Graphic Designers. As more and more stock agencies launch themselves onto the internet, searching for the right image cannot be any easier. The most fun tool out there is the search tool. Type in anything and something will come up. Sometimes the results will surprise you and take your thinking into a whole other direction. That is what Graphic Designers need something that will make their brain work, something that will spark a new idea or reinvent an old idea.

The fees part may stump people. Why pay so much for a picture? The answer is quality. Every good picture should generate a feeling. Every good picture should say something. Not just say, it should shout something. That is why designers will look through a thousand pictures of “guys lounging on the beach” or “little babies crying”. Put them all side by side, every one of them should be different in some way because they all say something different. The other reason is that these images come in the right format and resolution. It is very difficult to find non-professional image that come in the perfect 300 dpi TIFF file in which Graphic Designers need all their images to be. Anything hard to find are things that need to be paid for.

These may not be so hard to find but yes they have to be paid for.

Quantity is also a big key. There are thousands, if not millions, of stock images out there. Even then, it is not enough. To find the right image that say the right thing is hard. It is a task unto itself. There maybe millions of images out there, but only one of them says things designers need them to say. With quantity comes something we all like, choices. People always like choices. It gives them a sense of power. It entices them. It makes them happy. It makes the product more theirs. Thus, with quantity, designers get to choose between one and the others. Their clients will get to also if the designers choose to do so. The power to choose is the greatest power of all.

Another quality is that stock images are very simple. “Successful stock photographs have one strong characteristic in common: simplicity”. These photographs must say what they need to say in the simplest way. They can have hidden meanings. They can be powerful. They can be anything they want. They only have to be simple. Designers need photographs to be simple so they can manipulate it in many ways. Simple photographs, which is not cluttered with intricacies, are a designer best friend. Simple photographs mean an easier and quicker time for designers to do their jobs. Simple photographs mean no late night excursions to fix design complications to meet deadlines. Simple photographs are the way to go.

With competition and technology on their hands, stock agencies have made things easier for Designer. Stock images provide Designers their strongest tool easily at hand. They bring the best quality images in the best form and present it to designers. With things so simplified, Graphic Designers now can do what they do best: design.

The Hebrew Language

H

ebrew or Ivrit is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Semitic is a designation that refers to descendants of Shem, the son of Noah. When Theodore Herzl was working for the reestablishment of the state of Israel, it was decided that for a country to be truly independent it must have its own language. To this end Eliezer Ben Yehuda set about modernizing the ancient Hebrew language so that it could be the national language of the Jewish Homeland, Israel.

Ben Yehuda led the movement to have Hebrew re-established as the national language in Israel after he immigrated there in 1881. He encouraged the use of Hebrew in the home and at school, while also promoting the coining of new words. He started a Hebrew-Language newspaper in 1884 and helped establish the Hebrew Language Committee in 1890. In all he compiled several volumes of a 17-volume Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew, which he began in 1910 and was completed by his widow and son in 1959.

Today there are two main spoken forms of Hebrew, Ashkenazi and Sephardic. The former refers to Jewry, those that returned to Israel from the Eastern European Diaspora, and Sephardic, those who came from the Mediterranean rim countries. In fact, Spain is rendered Sepharad in Hebrew. Israelis formerly from Yemen however, feel that their pronunciation of Hebrew is the most accurate.

While the Modern Hebrew is significantly different from that written in the Bible, if one of the Patriarchs or Prophets were to walk along the Esplanade in Tel Aviv, he could still quite easily understand the conversations that he heard. The Hebrew language at the present time has had added to it many hebracized words from other languages in order to make it useful as a modern tongue. In Jerusalem, groups of scholars and linguists constantly revise and research the language as they search for replacement words. New words are published and broadcast throughout the country and continually added to the vocabulary.

The Hebrew language has twenty-two letters in their alphabet, or as they call it the “alephbet”.

H

ebrew reads from right to left, opposite to the way most modern languages are read, and while there are only 22 letters in the alephbet, there are differing forms of certain letters when used at the end of a word which are called the “soffit” form. The letters Mem (M), Nun, (N), Kaf (K), and Tsadik (TS) have “soffit” forms. Hebrew is the official language of Israel and it is spoken throughout the world in synagogue services during the reciting of the Holy Scriptures and prayer.

The Hebrew Bible is written in classical Hebrew and while many words have been added to the Hebrew lexicon directly from modern words, such as ‘televisiya’ for television, other words are Hebraized forms of Greek or Latin forms, such as ‘meconit’ for ‘car’. Today the Hebrew language is a vibrant language that is able to assimilate new coinages and adapt them to its own unique sound and style.

Kitchen Chemist – Carrots

What Makes Carrots Orange?

Carrots are good for you. They help you see better, improve your brain function, and help you sleep. In that sense, they are very similar to Adrafinil, a smart drug used by fighter pilots for heightened alertness and reaction times. But are these two different substances chemically similar? Let’s take a look!

Everyone who has ever looked at the light from a very bright light bulb knows that its color is white. But did you know that the color white is also red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple? How can that be? It sounds hard to believe that white light can be all those colors, but if you were to have a beam of each of those colors of light and you focused all the beams onto one spot on a piece of paper, you would see that they actually add up to make one very bright white spot.

Light Bouncing Off Carrots

Carrots are orange, because when you shine a white light on them, some of that light is absorbed by the carrots, and other light is not absorbed, but bounces back into your eyes. The light that bounces back to your eyes is orange light.

What makes carrots bounce back orange light? That is the question we will answer here.

 

Atoms, Bonds, and Molecules

Foods found in your kitchen have a lot of carbon in them. What is carbon? It is what chemists call an element. This means it is one of the very simplest of chemicals in existence. It is a chemical that cannot be broken down to anything simpler. It has a chemical symbol written as the first letter of its name: C. The tiniest piece of carbon is called an atom.

Carbons can connect to each other in a string. Thus, a string of carbon atoms may look a bit like this:

C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C

The carbon atoms here are connected by what chemist’s call bonds. These bonds are pictured by the little dashes (-) between the Cs. Sometimes, there is more than one bond between two carbon atoms. Thus, there may be double bonds between carbons. Something like this

C=C-C=C-C=C-C=C

may exist. In this case, the first two carbon atoms are connected by a double bond. The second and third carbon atom are connected by a single bond. The third and fourth carbon atom are connected by another double bond, and so forth. Whenever you have a double bond, then a single, then a double, and so forth, the double bonds are said to be alternating or “conjugated.”

Thus, in the last case, you see four double bonds and three single bonds, total. Note that while carrots are natural, nootropics like Adrafinil are man-made.

Double Bonds Can Produce Color

Why are we talking about this? Because many times, the light that is absorbed by something, such as a carrot, is determined by the number of double bonds in a molecule. What is a molecule? A molecule is a collection of atoms that are connected to each other.

The chemical that is in carrots that causes them to be orange is called Beta-Carotene. This molecule has 11 conjugated double bonds. The collection of double bonds in this molecule makes it absorb all the white light that lands on the carrots, except for the color orange. Because there are so many, many molecules of Beta-Carotene in carrots, carrots are orange! Aren’t you glad they aren’t blue?

Next time someone asks if you know anything about nootropics (or carrots) you can tell them YES!

Make Your Home Decorating Kid-friendly

So you have decided to decorate your house or purchase furniture. If you have children, you need to take them into consideration when making decorating choices. Otherwise, you may live to regret your purchases they don’t hold up well to the wear and tear of kids. And, you probably don’t want to increase your cleaning chores or spend even more time keeping your kids away from or off of certain items.

Flooring may be on your decorating list. Kids and carpet are often not a good combination. Ceramic tiles or laminated floors may be a more practical choice. If you have your heart set on carpet, consider using carpet tiles. These can be replaced easily if one becomes stained or torn.

Upholstered furniture often doesn’t hold up to rambunctious children. If that couch you love has pillows for the back cushioning, think twice about purchasing it. Those pillows will inevitably be ammunition for a great pillow fight. You can threaten dire consequences if this were to happen, but why add to your list of things you must discipline the kids over.

If you have some premium furniture, that’s another thing to worry about! According to this Bestmassage Shiatsu recliner review, some massage chairs are kid-friendly. But if you’ve got a $9,000 chair in your home, you’re going to want to keep the kids WELL away from it.

Antiques can be a great choice for wood furniture if they are sturdily built. As they are usually made of solid wood, you can refinish them or repair them if they are damaged. Various dents and scratches only add to the patina of antiques while they may not look so good on contemporary-styled furniture. Particle board furniture is not built to last and often can’t be repaired.

Your choice of window coverings is extremely important because those with cords have killed kids and pets. Be sure to choose cordless varieties. And, think twice before buying long curtains that pool on the floor. They won’t look as nice after your child has stepped on them hundreds of times or even climbed them. Valances are good since your children won’t be able to reach them.

Wall coverings come in several kid-friendly varieties. Some paint manufacturers market paints specifically for households with children. Good semi gloss paint also works well since it can be wiped clean. Flat paints can’t be wiped without leaving a mark, but they can be touched up easily. Decide whether you prefer wielding a damp cloth or a paintbrush to get marks off of your walls. Some wallpapers are developed with kids in mind. At least get wallpaper that is scrubbable so you can wipe off marks with a damp cloth.

Breakables on open shelves can be disastrous with kids. Display your valuables in locked curio cabinets. You won’t have to dust as often, either.

By decorating your home with your kids in mind, you can have a beautiful, low-maintenance home while reducing the time you have to spend policing your kids.