If you’ve been to Faded + Blurred before, you may have noticed a few visual changes to the site over the past couple of weeks. The most obvious change is a reworking of the F+B identity. We spend a fair bit of time online and are always looking at things like site usability and brand message (eg logos, identity, etc). While the ampersand in our original identity was a strong graphic element, it really didn’t communicate “photography” or “visual arts” as effectively as the new one does. The new identity plays on both the focus point brackets and the crosshairs (in our case, the “and”). There’s also a subtle irony in using the symbol for sharp focus as the connector between Faded and Blurred. In addition to the new identity, we have cleaned up the main navigation, making the site easier to move around, as well as allowing us to add a sub-nav for three brand new areas of the site: eBooks, DVDs and Downloads.
Ebooks are a great way to get quick bursts of inspiration when you’re in a creative rut. One of the best eBook collections out there is from Craft & Vision. Started by photographer and writer, David duChemin, the C&V collection includes titles by David, Darwin Wiggett, Andrew S Gibson, Nicole S Young and Martin Bailey. Most of the titles can be read in one sitting and, at just $5 each, you won’t feel guilty buying multiple titles at a time. Our eBook page contains some of our favorites from the 30+ titles in the C&V collection. There’s even a link to download a free eBook filled with 11 ways to improve your photography.
Late last year we reviewed RadLab, a fantastic Photoshop plugin from Totally Rad that has quickly become a staple part of our workflow. We encourage you to read the review, but, in a nutshell, it’s fast, intuitive and allows you to build “Recipes” to style your photos visually, in real time. So far, we’ve created four Recipe Packs (with more on the way) that are all available for free on our new downloads page. Use them as is, or customize them even further. If you do use them, post a photo or two on our Facebook page so we can see what you’ve done.
We have been fans of Karl Taylor for quite awhile. Not only is he an incredible photographer, he is also one of the most dynamic photography instructors we’ve found. His encyclopedic knowledge of photography, combined with his straight-forward, enthusiastic approach to teaching, have come together in his Photography Masterclass. We are excited to announce that we have partnered up with Karl to make his Photography Masterclass DVDs available at Faded + Blurred. More than just another set of photography DVDs, Karl has created an entire Masterclass that will take you from beginning topics, such as Karl’s “six essential elements” to creating an image, all the way through advanced topics like fashion shoots, studio lighting, retouching, HDR, painting with light, remote capture and much more. Two brand new titles include Better Photos With Your Compact Camera and HD-DSLR Movie Making, with a third brand new title covering advanced product and still life photography coming in March. We had the opportunity to spend some time with Karl and his team during the making of these new DVDs and, we can tell you, he is the real deal, and his DVDs are simply the best photographic training we’ve ever seen. You can purchase the DVDs individually or save by picking up one of the bundles. Whether you shoot with a camera phone or a compact camera or a professional DSLR, Karl’s Masterclass DVDs are a great way to learn faster and learn better.
These new sections represent just a few of the changes coming to Faded + Blurred over the next few months. The podcast will return, though in a slightly different format, which we are very excited about. We are also looking at adding content from more of the business side of making images, including site design, portfolios, networking and social media. You’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village”, or a tribe if you are a Seth Godin fan. Basically what it means is we can’t do this alone. As much as we want to build the site that we want to see, it really is for you, the people who come to the site and read the articles. Here is where we need your help. If you like an article, let us know with a comment. If you don’t like an article, let us know that, too. If you haven’t done it yet, head over to our Facebook page and click the Like button. If we post something you find particularly interesting, consider passing it on to a friend or share it on your own Facebook Timeline. We want to bring you content that interests you, so if you have an idea for an article, or a tutorial, or for an interview… you see where we’re going with this? We want Faded + Blurred to continue growing and we are asking for your feedback and interaction to help make that happen. It may sound corny, but we can’t thank you enough for helping us make Faded + Blurred something we are very very proud of. That being said, let’s see where 2012 takes us.
Nikki + Jeffery