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By Megan O. Read | Wednesday, October 07, 2009

New Photo Assignment series teaches technique and urges collaboration

lynda.com producer Samara Iodice with instructor/photographer Derrick Story.

lynda.com producer Samara Iodice with instructor/photographer Derrick Story.

As Jim wrote yesterday, lynda.com has plans for a number of new photography related courses — and just by chance, we’ve just released the first course in a new series for aspiring photographers this week. Photo Assignment: Natural Light Portraits with author and photographer Derrick Story is a really cool new lynda.com course that shows us valuable techniques for shooting portraits in natural (i.e. unpredictable and sometimes unflattering) lighting. These tips are sure to bring your outdoor portrait photography to the next level.

But wait, there’s more…

Derrick has created a Flickr group dedicated to showcasing lynda.com members’ natural light portraits, too. So after you watch the course and pick up some new tips, grab your kid sister, neighbor, or better half, and start snapping shots. Then upload your pix to the public Natural Light Portrait Photo Assignment Flickr group for feedback and to see the photos other members have shot and uploaded.

Derrick shows you how to join the Flickr group within this course, but if you would like more training on Flickr, check out Derrick’s other lynda.com course entirely devoted to the photo-sharing website, Flickr Essential Training.

I’ll be uploading my own photos to Derrick’s Flickr group soon and hope you will join me.

By Megan O. Read | Friday, July 31, 2009

lynda.com author news: Final Cut training, top-secret series, and more

trainers

Top: Abba Shapiro and producer Max Smith in a recording booth. Bottom left: How we get our trainers activated. Bottom right: Derrick Story hard at work on his new series.

This week at lynda.com, Apple-Certified trainer and author Abba Shapiro is in town recording some brand spankin’ new Final Cut training – his first course for lynda.com. The Digital Story’s very own Derrick Story is recording a new top-secret lynda.com training series! Stay tuned for more!

Another luminary in our Creative Inspirations series, Margo Chase, will be featured in the AIGA Los Angeles Fellows Speaker Series to talk about the business of design. Visit the AIGA Los Angeles web site for registration information for this event on August 27.

By Crystal McCullough | Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Got pics? Check out the lynda.com podcast on Flickr Essential Training

In this lynda.com video training podcast, learn to edit photos uploaded to Flickr with Derrick Story, from his title Flickr Essential Training.

By Megan O. Read | Wednesday, July 22, 2009

10 things you should know about iPhoto, InDesign, Bridge, and more

For those of you looking to brush up on a few skills but are limited on time, lynda.com has developed a new “10 Things” series. This series is a great way to get the highlights of a software application before deciding to dive into the full-length training course. We’ve been really excited about these new “10 Things” courses and hope you enjoy them as well! Here are some of the current 10 Things courses with more on the way. Let us know what you think!

By Garrick Chow | Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Things iPhoto thinks are faces

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My favorite new feature of iPhoto ’09 is Faces–a combination of face detection and face recognition technology that lets you sort and organize your iPhoto collection by the people who appear in your pictures. Faces also provides behind the scenes improvements in activities like slideshows, making sure your subjects’ faces stay onscreen if you’re using effects that incorporate zooming and panning. If you’ve used previous versions of iPhoto and have been frustrated when your slideshows zoom in on people’s feet instead of their faces, you know what I’m talking about.

Using Faces is a simple matter of letting iPhoto detect the people in your pictures and typing in their names. iPhoto then goes through the rest of your library, finding other pictures of those people and tagging names to them. And for the most part, it does this incredibly well. You do have to coach iPhoto by letting it know when it’s put the correct or incorrect name to people, but in my testing and real-world use, iPhoto has surprised me with its accuracy. It can tell the difference between twins, and recognize people wearing sunglasses or with other parts of their faces partially obscured.

But if you’ve been using Faces, you also know there are times when iPhoto sees faces that aren’t really there, and those instances can range from making you scratch your head in wonderment at iPhoto’s tendency to find faces in hubcaps and rock formations, or laugh out loud when iPhoto sees a face in a ball of cookie dough or offers a photo of a baseball as a match to one of your friend’s faces.

I was so amused by these quirks in Faces, that I started a flickr group called “Things iPhoto Thinks Are Faces.” I thought it would be a fun way for my friends to share the times when Faces misfires, but it seems to have struck a nerve among iPhoto users and the group now has hundreds of members and submissions. You can check it out here:http://www.flickr.com/groups/977532@N24/

When iPhoto finds faces where none exist, I see it as a reflection of how we as humans are pattern seekers–seeing faces and formations where none may have been intended. As you check out the photos in the gallery, you might be surprised at how many of iPhoto’s finds actually look like faces if you squint or stare at them for a while. In much the same manner as we look to other applications to speed up our work by performing repetitive tasks faster than we’re able to do on our own, iPhoto has become an efficient pattern finder–locating things that look like faces that we might not have noticed on our own.

If you’re a Mac user and haven’t checked out Faces in iPhoto ’09 yet, be sure to give it a spin. It’s surprisingly addictive to go through your library tagging names to faces. And be sure to check out Derrick Story’s “10 Things to Know about iPhoto: Faces” to learn more about how to take advantage of this awesome feature of iPhoto.

-Garrick Chow

By Megan O. Read | Sunday, May 24, 2009

lynda.com author newsworthiness

megan-head-glasses3

Hi, I’m Megan, the Author Relations Manager here at lynda.com. From time to time, I’ll be sharing author news, interviews, and articles that our awesome authors have contributed to. Here’s the first batch of goodies!

Jen Kramer McKibben, author of “Joomla! Advanced CSS” and “Joomla! Creating and Editing Custom Templates”, is highlighted as a Joomla! instructor and community leader who does it all! Check it out here:

http://community.joomla.org/blogs/community/829-jen-kramer-mckibben-helps-others-learn-about-joomla.html

The Joomla! Community Portal recognizes the recent Joe LeBlanc and Jen Kramer McKibben courses on lynda.com:

http://community.joomla.org/featured-articles/740-joomla-training-titles-on-lyndacom.html

Below is a really interesting interview with Maria Langer, author of “Twitter Essential Training”, “WordPress.com 2.7 Essential Training”, “Self-Hosting a WordPress Site”, and “WordPress2.5 Essential Training” who discusses the Twitter experience, and suggests ways to not become annoying online! Ha Awesome!

http://www.macvoices.com/wordpress/macvoices-971-maria-langers-newest-video-course-helps-you-learn-to-twitter-effectively/

Derrick Story, (author of MANY iPhoto & other digital photography courses) interviews printing professional Joseph Stefanchik on his site the Digital Story, and gets some cool insight on making really cool prints!

http://thedigitalstory.com/2009/05/inside_a_pro_printin.html

Hope you enjoy!!

-Megan

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