A fun bit O’ picture takin’

Rob and Sharon are getting ready to have their first child and they asked Paula and me to come to the beach with them yesterday to take some portraits of the happy parents to be.  We had a great little lunch (their treat: thanks guys!) then headed down to the boardwalk to catch the warm tones of the sunset light.  A combination of some great light, some great equipment and great pre-setup by Rob produced some great pictures.  After grinding through over 300 frames I was bound to happen upon something they liked.

This was my favorite:

A portrait of my friends Rob and Sharon

Now, I just need to bill Rob for the therapy I’m going to need to get over using his sweet camera (I’m not sure, but buying my own D2X just might cost less than therapy).

Beautiful Creatures

Some more wonderful web kismet today… wismet, if you will.

I was looking for a link I had tossed in my “interesting” folder in favorites and noticed another link in there I didn’t recognize (it was an old link to an indi comic site).  Through that link I found Andrew Bell’s “the creatures in my head” page.  This site, full of wonderful, expressive creatures, sucked me in.  I highly recommend checking out his site.

You can navigate Andrew’s pictures chronologically, but I recommend hitting the “random” button on the page (go to his site, click on the creature on the homepage to get the navigation, then click “random”). Andrew creates the pictures then ads a delightfully appropriate caption, take the time to read those too (the picture below-right is titled “but… you said no one would get hurt.“)


A great site for the color blind web developer

I’ve built my share of web pages.  I can do the layout.  I can do the CSS, HTML, etc.  I always have problems picking a color scheme.  I’ve now found a site to help me out with that part of the process.

If you aren’t a natural at picking colors and/or were not professionally trained as an artist, you may find getting a set of colors which complement each other is difficult.  I usually use a set of colors from a design book or copy a pretty web.  If, however, I need a specific color… I’m SOL.

Enter ColorBlender.com.  This site is a variation on a tool which has been floating around the net in open source for a while (see “A little history lesson” below).  What I like about this particular implementation is it has a slick interface combined with the ability to export the color blends as a Photoshop Color Tables (great for all the pixel-pushers out there).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Either start with a color in mind our use their blending sliders to construct a color (I decided to go with a nice, bright blue for this run)

  2. If you like your blend, you’re done!

  3. If you’d like to tweak the blend, click the “Direct Edit” radio button then adjust individual colors on your palette using the same sliders from step 1.

That’s really about it, go forth and create.  If you do end up using this on a web site, please let me know, I’d like to provide a link to your creation from this post so others can see how this tool can be applied to web design.

A little history lesson

The original tool was called ColorMatch 5K and was entered by Kim Jensen into a 2001 web competition which required the tools submitted be less than 5, 120 bytes.  Due to the size requirements, ColorMatch 5K was limited and didn’t have a ton of cross-browser compatibility, so many sites took up the code and improved upon it.  ColorBlender.com is my favorite, a quick search could help you to find yours.