7 Hidden Ways to Get Better Sleep

 

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As a college student, I had my fair share of sleepless nights. But as I matured (and learned from the adverse affects I suffered because of those late nights), I began to realize that at the core of a healthy, long life is good sleep. Surprisingly, what we hear about health usually revolves around exercise and nutrition; the truth about sleep—one of the most important factors to attaining vitality—is often left out of the mix.

Losing sleep is certainly not something to be taken lightly. An occasional night of tossing and turning is normal, but continued patterns of this behavior can cause real problems in your ability to function normally. Research shows that inadequate sleep can have disastrous effects on your weight loss efforts, impair your concentration, and even mimic the symptoms of impaired glucose tolerance (which can lead to diabetes and hypertension). Continue reading  

Brad Pitt’s Hair: Love It Or Hate it?

 

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Brad Pitt got himself a haircut that I can only hope he was forced to do for a film, because holy mother of God, yikes. But perhaps I’m overreacting. There it is from the back (above). Now click to see it from the front… Continue reading  

Essential Photoshop Color Settings For Photographers

 

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Written by Steve Patterson. Adobe Photoshop is the world’s most powerful (and popular) image editor, trusted by both amateur and professional photographers everywhere to help their photos look their very best. With that in mind, it may surprise you to learn that Photoshop’s default color settings – that is, the settings that determine the range of colors and tonal values we have available to us when editing and retouching our images – are actually preventing our photos from looking the way they should, both when viewed on screen and when printed. In this tutorial, we’ll learn why the default color settings are not the best choice and which settings will give us better results. Continue reading  

53 essential photo ideas for winter

 

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Just because it’s miserable outside doesn’t mean you can’t take great winter photos. With a bit of imagination and perhaps some warm clothes, there is no reason your photography has to hibernate for the winter.

Winter offers some wonderful picture-taking opportunities, both outdoors and in, and we hope this list of 53 photo ideas inspires you to crawl out from under your duvet. Snow, rain and frost make great subjects, and the constantly changing light can be both a challenge and a revelation.

Of course, the short winter days mean you might only have a few precious hours of light to work with, but there are just as many photo opportunities after dark, whether you’re out in the city streets or in the comfort of your own home.

With our collection of winter photo ideas, shooting tips and gear guides, you’ll soon be wishing that this cold spell will last forever… OK, maybe not! Continue reading  

Photoshop Clipping Paths – The Best and Worst Ways to Create Image Cutouts

 

What are Photoshop Clipping Paths?

As with so many things in graphic design there several ways to achieve good quality image cutouts in Photoshop. The best way to describe an image cutout is visually, so below you’ll see two versions of the same image. On the left is a flat, unmasked image; and on the right is an image cutout:

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If you’re designing something that requires an image cutout of some sort, there are several ways of achieving the desired result, depending on the type of image you’re working with and the background onto which it’ll be placed. The most common method is to use Photoshop clipping paths to cut out the image.

This tutorial explains how to use a vector path to mask off areas of a picture so it can be placed within InDesign or Quark XPress as an EPS file. Only an EPS (encapsulated postscript) image file can contain vector data. A path created in Photoshop is very much like an Adobe Illustrator path – it’s a vector graphic which defines the edges of an image using Bézier Curves.

In Photoshop you can create a vector shape using paths, tracing over the top of a photograph. You can then tell Photoshop to save the file so that only the part of the image contained within the path will appear in your layout program (InDesign or Quark). These vector paths are called clipping paths. So what are the worst andbest ways to create them? Continue reading  

Photoshop CS6 New Features – Background Save and Auto Save

 

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Written by Steve Patterson. Photoshop CS6 brings with it two great new features designed to improve your workflow and minimize annoying interruptions.The first of these new features, Background Save, lets Photoshop save your file quietly in the background so you can continue working on the image even as it’s being saved. The second and more important new feature is Auto Save, which lets Photoshop CS6 save a backup copy of your work at regular intervals so that if Photoshop happens to crash while you’re working on an image, rather than losing everything you’ve done and starting over, you can recover the file and continue working from where you left off! In this tutorial, we’ll learn how both of these new features work. Continue reading  

20 easy winter health tips

 

Follow these easy tips and boost energy and wellbeing this Winter.

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For optimum health it is vital to eat a well balanced diet that is high in fibre and includes all the major food groups.

For optimum health it is vital to include both soluble and insoluble fibre daily. Soluble fibre is found in foods such as psyllium husk, apples, oat bran and legumes (chickpeas, lentils). Sources of insoluble fibre include whole grains, broccoli, nuts, seeds and vegetable skins.

Including fibre in your diet will offer benefits beyond your bowel. Fibre plays an important role in helping to prevent serious health conditions. Fibre can also help manage the digestive complaints associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

The easiest way to boost your fibre intake is to eat foods in their most natural state i.e. fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains (steel cut oats, rolled rye, brown rice, whole-wheat), legumes, nuts and seeds. If you are struggling to reach the recommended 25-30g of fibre per day, you may wish to boost your intake with a fibre supplement made from psyllium husk. Continue reading  

How to Quickly and Easily Remove a Background in Photoshop

 

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This article was written in 2009 and remains one of our most popular posts. If you’re keen to learn more about web design techniques, you may find this recent article on lorempixel of great interest. Continue reading  

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Michael Jackson trial witness lists: star-studded, include his kids

 

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This is it: On Monday, the wrongful death civil trial pitting members of Michael Jackson’s family against tour promoter AEG Live is set to begin in Los Angeles. Depending on any number of legal factors it could end up being a long slog, dipping into the darker side of fame and celebrity. Continue reading