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Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • App Review: Enlight

    Enlight App review

    I've come to realize and accept that I am...an app hoarder. Dozens of photo apps sit in boredom, collecting dust until its time perform a single task, then its back to the shelf for them. With this epiphany, I've set out to find the "Does It All" photo app, that would free my phone of storage space and me from my hoarding problem. From what I've heard about the new photo app, Enlight, I think I may have found it. Only one way to find out.

    If there’s one thing that I’m always on the look out for in a new app, it’s ease of use. Telling right away by its interface, Enlight is the most user-friendly photo app I’ve downloaded so far. Yes. THE most. Why? Well, for one, most apps, set multiple screens, long menus and blazing rings of fire to jump through in order to to get to the camera roll. Enlight conveniently places your photo stream right below the editing page so scrolling through photos is a breeze. Pleased with the option to easily select a saved image, I went with a quick picture I took while on a hiking trip.

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    If you’d rather capture a new photo than scroll through your photo library, There’s an in app camera for you to use. The in-app camera is a bit limited when it comes to functionality.  Options like exposure adjustment aren’t featured but with the ability to edit the image later, I’m not too bothered.

    Once you have your photo, you can swipe right to reveal a menu of the categories; Canvas, Image, Filters, Tools, Artistic Brushes, Text, and Finalize. Each tab expands to a multitude of options when tapped.

    Enlight App Review options

    You’ve got your basic tools like exposure, color and tone adjustments and filters. And you've got creative tools like pens, brushes, and an urban tool that adds filters that that pretty much makes your photo completely unrecognizable.

    Enlight App Review filters

    One thing that's really abound in this app is variety. In addition to providing the ability to adjust filters to your liking, the app has a number of presets for any type of tone. for instance, there's a high key black and white filter, a low contrast one and much more. I found a number of the filters to be heavily saturated but again, they are adjustable.

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    One of the features that causes Enlight to really break away from other apps is the “Refit” tool.  This allows the user to crop from inside the photo, bringing objects closer together without losing any detail. This may work best when you have a photo with actual subjects or focal points. I tried it on this landscape the tool simply flattened the photo.

    When you click the finalize button, there's even the option of creating a collage with photos from your stream. This is option something I haven't seen before and found pretty convenient. To finish off this app review I decided to go with a light filter, clarified the image a little and there it is, ready to be uploaded and become a wood print!

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    I'd give this app a rating of three wood logs. With a sleek, minimalistic style, Enlight allows for the photo to be the main focus sans distractions and tricks.

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    However, I found that there was one little distraction. Every tool  I clicked on to use began with a “how to” tutorial. This may just be my stubborn self-wanting to figure it out, without help or instructions. Needless to say, I buckled and found myself carefully perusing the directions for foreign tools such as “Refit.” Nevertheless, this app does get a thumbs up from me. Fairly priced at 3.99, Enlight could definitely act as a one stop shop for all your photo editing needs.

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    For more information on Enlight please visit:  http://www.enlightapp.com/

  • Chopping Block: Thomas Fuchs

    There are few things that pass up Oktoberfest in my list of things the US is entirely grateful to Germany for. The work of Thomas Fuchs is one of them. With illustrations appearing in most US publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone and many, MANY more, the illustrator and graphic designer has weathered the constant storm of trends and changes in the illustration industry. For his work, Fuchs has received numerous awards like The Society of Illustrators (Gold Medal), American Illustration, and the SPD award (to name a few) Currently residing in Berlin, Thomas Fuchs continues to create an array pieces that are both eye-catching and mentally stimulating.
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    POW: How did you get your start in illustration?

    FUCHS: Right after art school, I moved to New York and started shopping my portfolio around, mostly to magazines and newspapers. It’s fairly easy to get appointments with art directors there, as everybody is keen on discovering new artists. I guess I got lucky and scored a few assignments, which in turn got my work noticed and resulted in more assignments. It is of course a great motivator to move to the most expensive city on the planet with nothing but your work in your pocket…

    Civil Liberties by Thomas Fuchs for Boston Magazine

    POW:  You’ve done a lot of work for notable companies. What would you say your favorite type of commercial project is?

    FUCHS: My favorite type would probably be the really fast turnaround newspaper ones – where there’s just not enough time to do any kind of elaborate tryptich-type painting, so it’s mostly about coming up with a really tight concept, and then choose the style that best transports it.

     

    Heart Failure Through Emotional Stress by Thomas Fuchs for Time Magazine

     

    Heart Failure Through Emotional Stress by Thomas Fuchs for Time Magazine

    POW:  Were there any specific motives behind your delving into the 365 a day project?

    FUCHS: Not really, other than feeling a bit stuck in the daily routine of illustrating for clients.  While that is fun, it doesn’t really give you any room to evolve or improve, as under deadlines you rarely have time to venture out of the tried and true.  So projects like this give me you the opportunity to try new things and avoid standing still. And I’ve found the best stuff usually happens if the whole thing revolves around one topic.  It seems limiting at first, but invariably produces the best, weirdest or most unexpected results if you really dig your teeth into it.

    Autobiography by Thomas Fuchs
    Autobiography by Thomas Fuchs

    POW: If you could provide three golden rules for the aspiring artist to live by, what would they be?

    FUCHS:
    1. Work.
    2. Work.
    3. Work.
    Persistence is a much bigger talent than talent itself. The more work you produce, the more good things will happen – to the work itself and therefore to your career.

    Think Rat by Thomas Fuchs
    Think Rat by Thomas Fuchs

    POW: One might call you the world-renowned one-man band of illustration for your many focal areas such as paintings, portraits, digital works and logos. Is there one area you favor most?

    FUCHS: That is probably the thing I enjoy the most, and that I’ve worked rather hard on – not having to limit myself to one area. I find that utterly boring.
    There are so many artists out there who do the same image over and over again in red, or green, or sometimes blue, and call it a “style”. Most teachers will tell you of the importance of having a “look” and to never ever venture from it, as that will confuse people. While that has some truth to it, I’d like to think that style and recognizability can be just as much based on a way of thinking, a conceptual approach or the way an image is put together. And it's much more fun on a daily basis.

    http://www.printsonwood.com/artists/thomasfuchs/musical-healing-wood-print
    Musical Healing  by Thomas Fuchs for the New York Times

    POW: What are you currently working on that you might be able to give us a bit of info on?

    FUCHS: Apart from the regular, quick turnaround editorial gigs, one of the longer term projects I’ve been working on is a book project for Leica, the German camera manufacturer. It’s a compilation of sixty-four “rules" for their employees, representing the history, philosophy and future outlook of the company. Every one of these is illustrated, a little conceptual drawing incorporating Leica specific symbolism. I can’t say more than that, but it’s another one of those “one symbol, a thousand variations” kind of things. Right up my alley.

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    For more information on Thomas Fuchs please visit: http://www.thomasfuchs.com/

  • Woodlands Church - wood print collage

    Giving back is a huge aspect of being part of your community. Whether you are a profitable company donating money to local charities or just volunteering a few hours when you get the chance, giving back makes your community a better place. Some of the best communities to live in became what they are just from people of the community giving back in some shape or form. Your community can be your block, city, county, or the whole world….either way make the effort to give back to it in some way!

    Wood print collage

    Almost every company finds some way to give back, and a lot of companies are built around donating to the community. Warby Parker, for example, donates a pair of glasses to someone in the developing world for every pair purchased on their website, making a significant contribution to their community and improving the lives of over half a million people and counting. While larger companies can make larger contributions such as Warby Parker, giving back to your community in any magnitude makes a difference.

    The people at Woodlands Church have grasped this and have set up a mission program in order to give back to their community. Rather than just focusing on their immediate community, the mission program at Woodlands Church has local and global missions, giving back to both their direct and global communities. Some of the countries they have served in include Haiti, Honduras, India, Guatemala, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. Our global community has received a great deal of help through the missions at Woodlands Church, and they wanted to show how their work contributes to our daily lives.

    coffee beans wood print collage

     

    With one of the coolest concepts I’ve personally ever seen for a custom print on wood, Woodlands Church created a collage of 5 pictures, showing the process of where we get our coffee and the source of the beans. Now, instead of this print being one piece of wood, it is paneled into 6 different pieces of wood, giving it an amazing visual effect. This print results in a collage of 5 pictures, split into 6 different wood prints. Complicated? Possibly….Brilliant? Undoubtedly. This print is a great, artistic representation showing where we get coffee from which is a reminder of the work done in our global communities by Woodlands Church.

     

  • Mother's Day Gift ideas

    It’s right around the corner! The day we honor the women who bathed us, who fed us, who wiped our poop until we could do it ourselves. Let’s be real, we owe our mothers a damn good Mother’s day present.  Now, this year, you could send flowers or take her to a nice Sunday brunch-y’know the usual.  But after all the years of Cheesecake Factory reservations and wilting flowers, a unique, timeless gift sounds pretty refreshing.

    Now, what might that gift be? Well, a custom made wood print of course! And I’ll show you why.

    To start, we are offering 30% off Create Your Own wood prints just for Mother's Day. Mothers-Day-2015What is Create Your Own wood prints?  It's a picture of anything you can think of printed on wood, BUT it has to be your picture.  (or a picture you have permission to print)

    If you don't have any pictures handy, try this "Fantastic Family Photo" by Cuddly Rigor Mortis.   An interesting work of art is never a miss.

    Fantastic Family Wood print by Cuddly Rigor Mortis Fantastic Family Photo by Cuddly Rigor Mortis

    Relive the first moment she laid eyes on you, something she will never forget.

    Baby print on woodShown in Natural Gloss Finish

    mom and baby print on wood

    Shown in Bright White Finish

    With a wood print, there wouldn’t be any doubt about her liking her gift. The simplicity and elegance of a wood print makes it the perfect gift, suitable to anyone’s taste. Whether in a cool and contemporary room or rugged and rustic space, a wood print can be placed, hung or mounted to complement EVERY sort of decoration.

    red bird on a branch wood print

    These are sure to be special because in each print, there’s a certain craftsmanship that can’t be paralleled by a paper photo slapped in an expensive frame.

    Falling in Love wood print by YetilandFalling in Love by Yetiland

    If you’re stuck on ideas of what to print, why not give her the gift of nostalgia with a print of her hometown.  Austin Texas by Jazzerberry Blue, perhaps?

    Austin city map wood print

    Or a cool cityscape of Philadelphia if she's from the City of Brotherly Love.

    Philadelphia skyline wood print

    Philadelphia Pennsylvania by Bribuckley

    Whatever the image may be, your wood print is sure to be an unconventional Mother's day gift. One that she won't have to water and one will she definitely cherish. Check out our current fine art wood prints or send your very own photo that you would like to gift as a personalized token of your love and appreciation for Mom.

  • app review: photoblend

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    What’s better than one picture? The answer to that is two pictures, of course. Even better yet, two pictures in one. For this week’s app review, we decided to give photo blending a try with the help of Photoblender Pro, an app that lets you mix and match your photos with different overlays and even text. Lets see how it did….

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    The app itself is designed in a very simple fashion and is immediately very easy to navigate. The first screen you’ll see is that of a white canvas where you can start choosing your images. What’s helpful is that each icon will display a message that tells you where to start first. Initially, you’re prompted to select your bottom image. When you do this you’ll get several options such as camera roll, take a photo, quotes, and backgrounds. Because I usually use my own photos for app reviews, I decided to try something different and use one of their existing backgrounds, which were actually quite nice.

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    One thing you’ll notice is that the app lags a bit and is not as sensitive to touch as one might hope for, but just give it some time and little patience and it’ll be fine. I chose the image of a tree landscape as my bottom image and then went ahead and started looking for a top image. Again, you’re given the same options (overlays, quotes, camera roll, and take a photo). I chose the overlay option to see what was available and ended up choosing a geometric flower pattern to go on top of my image.

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    Once you’ve chosen both images you are then taken to the customization home page where you can make several adjustments including adding frames, filters, erase, pan and zoom and more. At this point the app will alert you about the ability to edit each layer individually at the top of the screen, with the first square and a bottom bar being the top image (overlay) and the second square with the top bar being the bottom image (trees).

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    The adjustments tab is a little tricky to work with but again, time and patience. There is also a filter option where you can choose whether or not to add a filter to both images of just one image. Once your satisfied with your image you can click the done button at the upper right hand corner, which will expand and let you share on social media, email, and save to your camera roll.

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    Once I saved it to my camera roll the next step was to upload it on the Create Your Own page to select the perfect size and finish for my print on wood.

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    I chose 6x6, 1/2" thick wood print with natural gloss finish, I really like how the wood grain shows through the light blue sky.

    In the end I would give this app an overall wood rating of two and half logs.

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    The app had decent tools and selections in overlays, backgrounds, etc, but it was slow and would often crash one me while I was working. At $2, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

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    For more information on Photoblend please visit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photoblend-app/

  • Exclusive release with nick walker

    Hailed from the infamous Bristol graffiti scene, Nick Walker, a self proclaimed "Vandal" whose work has become a "blueprint for hundreds of emerging artists" is stopping by our shop this week to sign his exclusive release of "Paint the Town Red/Hong Kong Street Scene Two".

    The fine art wood print is 30" x 40" (76.2 x 101.6 cm), printed with UV cured ink on 3/4" sustainable Birch wood with Bright White finish.  A limited edition of 25 prints, each will be signed, numbered and include a Certificate of Authenticity.

    Nick Walker signing print on wood

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    Make sure to set your clocks, the print will release on Friday, April 3rd around noon PST.  Don't worry if you live in Europe or Asia, we got you covered with international shipping.  But what we don't cover is the duties and taxes each country charges.  We don't charge these fees, the destination country does, so get mad at them not us please.

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    For more information on the print release or to see the cool countdown clock, click here.

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