27 January 2012

Love Story

Until the day i die, love is a mystery
Until the clouds roll by, my life is agony
Until right here you lie, there is no harmony
Until for you i cry, there is no melody

When on the ground i fall, i live in misery
When it's your name i call, the silence suddenly
When only and alone, haunted by you my dear
When will you be my all? Blue heart beats barely

The one true love is gone, six thousand miles away
The heart will be torn, pieces and bloody day
The blue eyes and dawn, the pain will always stay
The king on his throne, soon is a dog astray

18 January 2012

Create Your Own Lightning with Photoshop

This tutorial will give you the basics to learning how to create lightning using photoshop.
We start with a blank page of your preferred aspect ratios (You can use a rectangle or square shape, I am using the Web preset 1600X1200 with transparent background.)

Once you have the new file, make sure your preset foreground and background colors are black and white. Choose the gradient tool (linear or reflected work, but for this tutorial, we will use linear.) Now make a horizontal line in the middle of the page to get this gradient:

Now use this effect only once: Filter > Render > Difference Clouds
Then Command (or Ctrl) + I to invert
This is what we have so far:

To make it darker, bring up the Levels box by clicking on Command (or Ctrl) + L
I used these presets to make the most realistic lighting, but what you need to do is bring the middle gray cursor to the right so that you can darken the mid-tones, and also darken the shadows (the black cursor on the left) a little bit.

We are almost done, all we need to do is to bring this thunder to life through a hint of color. To do so, go to Image > Adjustment > Selective Color. Choose the Neutrals colors, here, it is completely up to you to choose the color of thunder that is most pleasing to your purpose, and these are the setting I used to colorize my lightning:

Click OK, and you have lightning.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and hope to see you rock the earth with your own lightning and thunder.

Social Media Specialists Needed For HR Positions

Do you know how to use Facebook effectively, send tweets, and search for specific information using Google? Well then, you may have a job. According to WANTED Analytics, a firm that collects hiring-demand information, more than 1000 job offerings required applicants to have social media skills between May and August 2011, and increase of 160% from offerings in 2010.
There are many skills required to be a candidate for social media HR. as such is to be able to “develop new recruiting strategies and source talent by using the Internet and social networking sites,” according to Aliah Wright from SHRM.
Candidates need to be aware of sourcing techniques and know how to use search engines, apps, job boards and social media sites for community creation and leads generation. There is more to these HR jobs than tweeting job openings or looking through LinkedIn and Facebook accounts for possible candidates. According to WANTED, companies are offering HR positions for those who can:
• Direct traffic to corporate sites via social media channels.
• Proactively identify and attract passive talent through inexpensive sources such as social media.
• Build and maintain a pipeline of prospects through networking and social media research, while maintaining a “robust LinkedIn profile.”
• Learn and create Boolean search strings and perform advanced search techniques.
• Assist in placing employment ads to appropriate sources, to include websites, social media and other sources
Although companies are looking for HR candidates with social media skills, a recent poll from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that very few businesses use web-based resources in recruiting possible candidates. The top reason for companies not using web-based resources to screen applicants is because there are legal risks and ramifications. Another top reason is the lack of verifiable information found through these mediums, as well as lack of job-related information.
“One of the traditional concerns about allowing HR or any decision-maker in the company to look at social media sites is that they will have exposure to information and knowledge about an applicant’s or employee’s membership in a protected class or their participation in protected conduct,” said David H. Black, an employment attorney at Jackson Lewis LLP in Seattle, who is also the legislative director for the SHRM Washington State Council and the Seattle chapter of SHRM. He also mentioned that HR professionals should be cautious when they look at applicants’ or employees’ social.
The CEO of WANTED, Bruce Murray, said, “we’ve heard the ‘buzz’ about social recruiting, but the facts are showing that forward-looking companies are now expecting their recruiters to have mastered this core competency. Social recruiting has moved beyond ‘buzz’ and is definitely mainstream.”
The top five metropolitan areas with the highest demand for HR professionals who have social media skills are New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, with New York on top of the list. However, Philadelphia is the area that faced the greatest increase, a 400% from that of the year before.

How to Design an Effective Newsletter

Since we all live in the new digital world that barely existed 25 years ago, people seem to enjoy the comfort of having computers and email accounts. Indeed, email accounts serve as the new mailbox that uses ones and zeros instead of papers.
Businesses of all sizes need to use this tool in a way that does not harm their business, or reduce their profits because of a bad newsletter design or meaningless text, so here are a few tips that will help a business’s newsletters get read, business-to-business or business-to-customers:
  1. The layout is one of the most important aspects of a newsletter email. The layout should not be too simple (just text or just an image) nor too complex (too many images and text.) This makes your newsletter look spammy, therefore, try to find a middle ground that suits the type of business you perform. Here are a couple of very useful techniques:
    1. Try using two columns where the left column takes one third of the page and the right column takes the remaining two thirds. This makes text much easier to read than using the whole width of the page, which makes text look too long. Use the left column as a table of content and links to articles or related links to your topic, and don’t forget to give this column a background color to make it more appealing to the eyes. Use the right column for the content of the newsletter, including these three elements: title, images, and content.
    2. Colors matter. If the business is food or a restaurant, make your newsletter colorful using red, green, and yellow for these are the colors of most foods. Also, use the colors of your business’s logo to make your newsletters unique. Don’t forget to use the darker colors for the left column’s background with a complimentary light color for the text, while using the lighter colors for the right column’s background with the darker complimentary color for the text (this makes it more comfortable for the eyes to look at and easier to read.)
  2. The title is indeed the most important aspect of a newsletter for it is what separates your email from those of junk mail and spams. Try to use the title as an attention catcher. Many businesses use the name of their business in the title. In many cases, this is a big mistake because some readers might not be aware of this business and disregard the newsletter based on that. Another reason why using the business’s name in the title is a bad idea is because it tells the reader that this is a useless update, or even spam. Therefore, use a shorter version of the title of the content for it is very relevant and grabs attention, or just be creative and straightforward with this section. An example for Applebee’s coupon: 3 Appetizers for 2 only at Applebee’s (this is one of the cases where using the name of the business is relevant.)
  3. The content definitely depends on the type of business performed. However, a general rule of thumb is to never forget the human aspect. The following are some useful tips and techniques for the content section of the newsletter:
    1. Imagery is indeed important to this section. It is possible that the image gets the attention before the text, even sometimes the title. This also depends on the type of business you are performing. For example, a food chain might focus on adding more images than text for it opens up the appetite and possibly grab more customers to the restaurant, but many images can be too much for a business-to-business newsletter for the focus is on text rather than images. However, use at least one image in this section that is most relevant to the topic in discussion.
    2. Yes, readers do judge a book by its title. They want the title to tell them what the content is all about. So if your newsletter is about marketing for college students, do not confuse your readers with an irrelevant, vague, or overgeneralized title that makes the reader believe your content is about marketing in general. Be specific and write a title that can be considered a relevant title for a scholarly article (because your content is that important.)
    3. As for the content itself, there are many things your business can do to make this section readable:
      1. Make it in the form of a third-person rather than using the “our products,” “we are the best,” and “the award is for us.” Using first person form can be confusing, and makes your business sound selfish, so try avoiding that as much as possible. Using the third person form lets the reader know what you are talking about, especially when speaking specifically of a product or a service unique to your company.
      2. The style of writing is an aspect your business needs to understand, as such is to write using friendly language, and use simple words that everyone understands instead of long complex ones that only a few people understand. Basically, try to avoid jargon, for it is a language only those in a certain profession understands.
      3. When using abbreviations, explain what they stand for in the first reference, for many people just have no idea what a certain abbreviation stands for even within a profession.
      4. Proofreading is essential. There might be some typos and grammatical errors that the writer did not pay attention to the first time, and proofreading helps detect these typos and errors. It also provides the chance to improve the overall quality of the content and makes it sound more professional when read.

Trippy Twisted Swirly Thingy

This tutorial will teach you how to create an abstract background of twisted swirly lines using Adobe PhotoShop, something that looks like this:

Let us start with a new file of your preferred aspect ratio (try to have a square, but a rectangle is fine just do not make it stretch too much because that won’t give the intended results.) I used the preset web with 1600X1200 for this one.

Set the foreground and background colors of your choice (I used black and white for additional effects.)

Then, Filter > Render > Clouds.

Then, Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint.
Choose Medium Strokes for best results, press OK, and this is what you get.

Now choose Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.
Choose the following settings:

Amount: 100, Blur method: Zoom, Quality: Best

Press OK, then click Command (or Ctrl) + F to apply the filter again. This is how the image should look like:

Command (or Ctrl) + J twice to copy the layer twice.
Choose the third layer and apply this filter:
Filter > Distort > Twirl
Set the Angle to a positive angle, somewhere between the range of 80 to 360. I chose 360 but it is up to your artistic rendition, then press OK. This is what you have for the third layer:

Click the eye on the third layer to hide it, choose the second layer and apply the same filter, this time with a negative number, preferably the same number as the third layer, then press OK.

Now show the third layer and select it. Change the blending mode to Lighten, and do the same thing for the second layer, this is what you should end up with:

Since you chose the colors of your liking in the beginning, you are almost done, all you have to do is to right click on one of the layers and choose Flatten Image then save the file and you are done.

However, I chose black and white colors for a small addition to the process. If you did so, do NOT flatten the image, we are not done yet. This is just an extra.

Select the third layer, then go to Image > Adjustments > Selective Color.
The Method I chose is Relative, and personally I prefer that.
We are going to change the following Colors: Whites, Neutrals, and Blacks.
Choose each one of the colors and adjust to your taste and liking, and you can always keep the colors as they are. This section is all up to you, boss, so be creative. Click OK after you have adjusted the colors to your liking.
This is what I have so far by changing only the Whites and the Neutrals of the third layer:

Apply the same to the second and first layer and adjust each of the colors to your preference. When you have the results you like, right click on any of the layer and Flatten Image. You can now save the image. This my final result:

(Optional addition) After you have flattened the image, Command (or Ctrl) + J to create a new layer, and change that layer’s blending option to, again, your preference, to create the effect you seek, flatten the image and save the final progress. I chose the blending option Color Burn to end up with this:

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Don’t forget to leave your comments.

03 January 2012

Close Eyes

I feel pain in my eyes
I see black on my white
There is darkness across the sky
Passions burn my heart

Here i stay for your lie
When my enemy is not that far
With its swords, stay alive
I wait for you to arrive

Like the stars in the sky
You're the moon, oh my God
You're so close, yet too far
I love you. Yes, I cry

I will bleed, pain inside
No, I don't want to survive
Take it now, here is my life
Kill me, please, before i die

I feel pain in my eyes
When my enemy is not that far
You're so close, yet too far
Kill me, please, before i die