100 Books left this year!

Books left

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Beach Scenes

Revealing the artist…

 So I am finally announcing who the illustrator is for my children’s book…


Please, please check out her portfolio; she is truly a talented and friendly person to work with.

She has been amazing so far with her work and is doing an excellent job capturing the story’s main themes and elements.

Here is the finished cover art:



What do you think?!

We will also be having a pre-order website coming soon so please be on the lookout for that!

ALSO, I will be doing a giveaway sometime this week for the book so watch out for that as well!

More updates coming soon!

Please “like” the Facebook page and pass it on!

My children’s book launch date!

My Little Project

Hi everyone!

I have been working on a book project for a while and here is the sneak peek for it!

It is going to be a children’s series and this is the first book!

This is one sketch and I cannot wait for the final art!

Please forgive me for not posting but I plan to be better at that soon…

What do you think?!

Middle Eastern Inspired Architecture

Photography 101 (creativity part II)

I apologize for not having posted the Mini Kabob recipe yet!  I will do it as soon as I can!  But for now David is back with more tips and great advice for going beyond just snapping pics on your own.


My last post was just a starting point and I didn’t want to overwhelm you with too many tips or info. Let us look at some more steps you can take to improve your photography.

Basking Tulip

Get to know other creatives. Join a camera club, or if you’re unable to join a club, engage other photographers in conversation online. You can meet a lot of nice photographers through blogs or websites like Flickr. Send them an email and start up a conversation. You just might make a friend who will let you pick their brain a bit. They’ll be even more inclined to talk to you if you share some knowledge or experience too.

Pismo at Twilight

Not ready to spend any money? Start out at digital-photography-school.com/. It’s a great resource where you can find almost anything.

Another great free resource is the local library or bookstore. You can walk into any large bookstore and read all the latest photography and photoshop magazines for free. Even local libraries may carry a few photography magazines worth checking out. I used to take notes or pictures of the magazine on my iphone so I could try out new techniques when I got home.

Go to a workshop. Yes, they can be expensive, but you can learn so much in a day at a workshop, and you can network with other photographers there. I do have to add that its very important you choose a workshop that suits your skill level. A beginner is going to struggle in a more advanced setting, and if you take a class that’s below your level, you won’t pick up many useful tips and you’ll probably be bored. If you do go to a workshop, make sure you’ve read your manual a few times and know your way around your camera so you can get the most out of the class.

A happy couple

If you can’t afford a workshop, there are a few websites that offer excellent videos. Kelby Training and lynda.com are both great. Kelby offers 75 24-hour free trials everyday that will give you access to all of their videos.

Rogue River Gorge HDR


If you feel like you’re talented and ready to take photography beyond a hobby, look for a mentor. Call local photographers and ask if they are looking for an assistant. If you do attend a workshop, stick around afterwards and ask the photographer running the class if they’re looking for an assistant. I have to warn that not everyone wants an assistant, and some people don’t pay very much, if at all. But, you will be paid in knowledge of how the photography business works and how a professional approaches their craft.

You can follow me at:

Word Break

A word break is needed so let your eyes rest on some simple images…

Photography 101 (creativity)

Today I have invited David to discuss with us how to put our brain in the mode for taking pictures and how to be creative with them. As you’ll see, David is talented and please make sure to visit his wonderful links! Welcome David!

Improving Your Photographic Eye and Creativity

A Splash of Light by David Pasillas (DavidPasillas) on 500px.com
A Splash of Light by David Pasillas

A few years ago I decided I wanted to take photography seriously and get good enough to shoot weddings and sell landscapes. The tips in this post are some of the things that I believe helped me go form snapshots to art you want on your wall.

First things first, you have to want it badly enough. Carry your camera at all times and take pictures everyday if you can. A 365 project can be a great way to push yourself. I have to admit it’s not for everyone. I only made it to day 32 (or somewhere around there) on my first attempt. There are days when you just don’t feel creative and its hard to force yourself to shoot. Its ok to miss a day, but get back to shooting ASAP.

Lowell Covered Bridge HDR by David Pasillas (DavidPasillas) on 500px.com
Lowell Covered Bridge by David Pasillas

Next, you’ll need to share those photos online somewhere. Flickr is a nice little community for hobbyists and semi pro’s. You can expect the majority of the feedback to be encouraging, but lacking in constructive criticism unless you ask for it.

Take time everyday to look at amazing photographs. Heres the trick though, take time to really look at the images and think about what it is you like about them. Ask yourself what settings the photographer may have used or how they might have edited it. I have a few suggestions for people to follow on wordpress (see the links below.) I also highly recommend 500px.com. The quality of the popular images posted there are unmatched by any other photo sharing site. The good thing about 500px is you can usually see what the camera settings were on the images posted.

Glosoli by David Pasillas (DavidPasillas) on 500px.com
Glosoli by David Pasillas

To me, one of the most important things to master in photography is composition. It’s so easy to learn if you have an iPhone. All you have to do is turn on your rule of thirds grid and use it to compose your images so the horizon is on either horizontal line and the points of interest are at the points where the grid lines intersect. The more you use this, the easier it will be for you to compose images with your DSLR.

Take mental notes and mental photographs. I’m always paying attention to the light no matter where I am. If I see something I like, I remember what time of day it is and what the light was like. The more you pay attention to the light, the better you’ll get at anticipating what it will look like at different times of the day. Taking mental photographs is a great way to improve your photographic eye. While looking at a scene, think about how you would compose it, what angle you might shoot it from, what time of day, and so on.

Green Fields

Remember how I said you should take pictures everyday? Seriously, take pictures everyday. Shoot a lot. When you feel like you’ve taken a lot of pictures, take some more. Try different apertures, shutter speeds, and perspectives of the same scene.

This is one of the most important things to becoming a better photographer, become your own editor. I’m not talking about post processing. I’m talking about knowing which image(s) to share. Don’t show all of them off. Only show the one you want on the cover of a magazine. By learning to cull your unsuccessful images, you will improve your eye and the quality of your work shared.

African Daisy by David Pasillas (DavidPasillas) on 500px.com
African Daisy by David Pasillas

If you want to take your images to the professional level, you absolutely have to start shooting in RAW mode and learn to edit your images. Do you want the tiny processor in your camera editing for you, or do you want your beefy computer with lightroom or photoshop handling them? If your camera can do RAW+JPEG, start out with that while you get the hang of editing RAW files.

These are a few ways to improve your creativity:
• Play with children. They’re more creative than you by a longshot. Try to approach the world with a childlike wonder.
• Draw, paint, color, play an instrument. Look to other disciplines and experiment in combining concepts or styles.
• Study artists you admire.
• Take 500 pictures of a single object. Try making them different.
• Try different genres of photography.

Perfection by David Pasillas (DavidPasillas) on 500px.com
Perfection by David Pasillas

Recommended photographers on WordPress

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Cursing kills creativity

Besides the fact that curse words are inappropriate, disrespectful, crude, hurtful, and un-Islamic, they are completely unoriginal and uncreative when it comes to describing feelings and situations.

It is a lazy man’s substitute for something perhaps greater and more profound but he opts to throw in a lovely curse word.

It is not “artistic” nor “creative” when one uses this vulgarity.

Art is about being specific and trying to create an exact meaning of things. 

The curse words block any attempt for creativity to flourish.

People are unable to extract various interpretations of the art piece (movies, song lyrics, writings, etc.) when a vulgar word takes the stance of something meaningful.

The quality of the artistic expression is lost when it has been wrung through the cursing machine. 

Image courtesy of Brittany Romo (Thank you for creating this!)

Even fantasy creatures do not appreciate such lazy language and will fight to be expressed in a more profound manner…

Art gains its intrigue, originality, and creativity when the curse word is replaced with something more visual and better promotes understanding of the work.

For example, if one was to read about someone who just heard his wife got into an accident, he could replace the cursing the character might say with something significant.

Or the writer can illustrate an image of how much pain and shock the person is going through in his writing piece.

The quality wanes when cursing is involved in a could-be-masterpiece.

Don’t let cursing kill creativity.

What do you think…does cursing lessen the quality of art?  Is it a lazy man’s substitute for something more enlightening?  Why or why not?