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Lots of excellent surfers were out on Saturday at the Juno Pier surf spot in South Florida. Hurricane Irene left plenty of great waves in her wake. Waves of this size are not a regular occurrence in South Florida so everyone comes out, surfers, observers and photographers…I had a great time watching and shooting. Pura Vida!

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier on Saturday in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Lots of surfers came out to the Juno Pier to surf the waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Lots of surfers came out to the Juno Pier to surf the waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Lots of surfers came out to the Juno Pier to surf the waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Lots of surfers came out to the Juno Pier to surf the waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Big waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves at the Juno Pier brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing at the Juno Pier in South Florida on waves brought by Hurricane Irene.

Riding the great surf brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Riding the great surf brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Good conditions brought lots of surfers out to ride the waves brought to Juno Beach Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Good conditions brought lots of surfers out to ride the waves brought to Juno Beach Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Good conditions brought lots of surfers out to ride the waves brought to Juno Beach Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Good conditions brought lots of surfers out to ride the waves brought to Juno Beach Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The conditions were great for photographing the surfers that came out to ride the waves left in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Photos of the surfers riding the waves brought to South Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Great waves came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Great waves came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Yikes!

Yikes!

Great waves for surfing came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Great waves for surfing came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Great waves for surfing came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Great waves for surfing came rolling into South Florida compliments of Hurricane Irene.

The surf action was non stop at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

The surf action was non stop at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

It was non stop action at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

The surf action was non stop at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

It was non stop action at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

It was non stop action at the Juno Pier in Florida thanks to waves brought in by Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Surfing the great waves compliments of Hurricane Irene.

Lots of great surf was brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Lots of great surf was brought to South Florida by Hurricane Irene.

Surf's Up!

Surf's Up!

Just in case you want to shoot some of your own pix, here’s what I used. A Canon 5D Mark II body with a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L zoom lens, a tripod (monopod would be better) and a polarizing filter to bring out the color of the water. In some cases I added as much as one full stop of exposure to compensate for the polarizer. I shot in shutter priority mode, and used iso settings between 160 and 300, that gave me f stops between 5.6 and 9 depending on the shot.

You can see more of my work, photography, art and design at my website, G2GVisions.com, and at my Fine Art America Artist website.

winter sunset watercolor painting by michelle wiarda as seen at fine art america.

Winter Sunset Watercolor Painting by Michelle Wiarda

Are you an artist or photographer that wants world-wide exposure? If so, read on.

If you haven’t heard about Fine Art America, fineartamerica.com, check it out. Fine Art America is an online art gallery marketplace that is constantly growing. As of today there are 50,560 members. Here are the latest stats from their site. “There are currently 1,168,080 fine art prints, photo prints, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and other works of art available for sale on FineArtAmerica.com (including 1,253 new pieces which were added today).” Fine Art America was founded toward the end of 2007 by Sean Broihier as a forum to connect artists with collectors and other buyers, and to put the business side of their career on “autopilot”, so they can devote more time to creating art. He is said to refer to FAA as his life’s work. Thank you Sean!

You can see it’s also a great place to network with other painters, photographers and visual artists of all kinds. They comment on your work, you comment on theirs, you can have discussions, send each other messages, and you can see what is selling, what others are doing, and what is new. You can sell your original work, and/or beautiful fine art prints of your work reproduced on canvas, or on a variety of fine art papers. You can also choose from a wide array of frames, and an even wider assortment of mats. As you make your choices, an image of your artwork is shown with the mat, frame, or canvas style applied.

If you are a member, or you have checked it out,  you know how amazing it really is. You upload your work, and FAA handles the business side of things for you leaving you more time to create!

I found the Fine Art America website by clicking on a beautiful image of an osprey, the bird, that a friend of mine shared with me on Facebook, (thank you Lauren!). I noticed that the photographer had many images posted on Fine Art America, and his work was beautiful. I decided that if it was good enough for this excellent photographer, it would be good enough for me. Sure I was somewhat skeptical, Fine Art America offers so much to artists, that it seems too good to be true.

At the same time I thought, why not check it out? What did I have to lose? FAA offers a free account, but for a mere $30 a year, you get an unlimited number of uploads, your own free website, a bunch of marketing tools and widgets, visitor tracking and comment info, and so much more. You can see daily and weekly visitor totals, and you get to see where your visitors come from, and they are all over the world. How exciting is that? Through FAA you can start a blog, e-mail your clients and potential clients beautiful newsletters for FREE (just take a look at what Constant Contact charges for that service), put a shopping cart on your site from FAA that works right there within your own site, post a notification on your Facebook wall each time you upload a new piece of artwork, and your uploads show up in Google search engines almost immediately. All of this is included for a mere $30! Amazing and hard to believe. Here’s a link to my Fine Art America website so you can see what a deal this is. Michelle Wiarda Artist Website.

I joined Fine Art America about six months ago. I decided to write a blog about my experience with Fine Art America, but I didn’t want to do that until I sold something and got paid for it.

A couple of months ago I received an e-mail from FAA congratulating me on the sale of a print of one of my pieces. It turned out that a friend of mine made the purchase. I thought, perfect, now I can ask her about the quality, timeliness, and presentation of the print. She assured me that she was totally pleased with the entire experience right down to the delivery of the product.

Several weeks later I sold another print to someone I don’t know. Again, I received an e-mail from FAA notifying me of the sale. The following month I received a check in the mail for my share of the proceeds from the sales of my work. I can say, I have been full circle with Fine Art America and I am happy to recommend FAA. I am a Fine Art America advocate, and I tell as many people as possible about it, both artists and buyers.

maine lighthouse watercolor painting image.

Maine Lighthouse, one of my most popular paintings on Fine Art America.

One very important caveat, you must upload excellent quality images, if you don’t, Fine Art America will not print your orders. If you do a little research on Fine Art America, you will find that there are some people complaining about Fine Art America, and putting it down saying the artwork is bad and more silliness just because Fine Art America demanded that they give them a professional quality image to work with. I should hope that the good people at Fine Art America would make sure that an image is excellent before printing and delivering it to a buyer. They’re doing me a favor by making sure that the prints that I sell are of the best quality! I guess the complainers don’t trust the experts to decide what is acceptable for printing and what is not. Oh well, that’s their loss.

Santorini watercolor painting by michelle wiarda as seen on fine art america.

Santorini, another of my watercolor paintings that gets a lot of views on Fine Art America.

In order to upload your files they must be in .jpg or .png format, and they can be up to a maximum of 25 MB, and I cannot stress enough that they must be of professional quality. Once your image is uploaded you add the title, and keywords to it and an area is provided for you to write a little something about the piece. Fine Art America also offers a unique zoom feature that potential buyers can use to see the quality of your image easily. You can set up different galleries of your work according to content, style or whatever you want. You can rearrange your pieces as you wish. You can edit them, share them or remove them if you want to. You choose your pricing, and the format and sizes you want to offer, and FAA does the rest. I might add that they do not overcharge for their mats, frames, canvases or cards. The prices are very reasonable. I really cannot say enough good things about Fine Art America. Please feel free to add your comments, and experiences with Fine Art America here.

Go ahead, join today, 50,560 of us can’t be wrong (and are happy we did)!

Here are the images that I’m pleased and grateful to have sold through Fine Art America.

complete lovely mayhem a digital painting that i sold through fine art america.

Complete Lovely Mayhem, this is a digital painting that I sold a print of through Fine Art America.

Marblehead Lighthouse photograph, by michelle wiarda.

Marblehead Lighthouse, fine art photograph by Michelle Wiarda sold through Fine Art America.

Join Today, You’ll Be in Business in No Time! Happy Selling!

Websites for Photographers

This is amazing, take the time to watch, it’s very entertaining….good tune too.

The video seems to play better from the Beautiful/Decay website here: http://beautifuldecay.com/2010/09/17/awesome-video-of-the-day-breakbots-watercolor-orgasm/

Ed Banger Records is happy to announce the release of BREAKBOT feat Irfane “Baby I’m Yours” video!
It was (directed) handmade by IRINA DAKEVA @ WIZZ
It is composed of approx 2000 images in watercolor, painted one after another.

Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours (feat. Irfane) – HD from Ed Banger Records on Vimeo.

adobe illustrator wear and tear texture tutorial image.
I see this worn, distressed effect used all over the place lately. It’s not new, it just seems to be hanging on. I discovered this easy, easy way to recreate this distressed look and a lot more. So here it is, short and sweet. I used Adobe Illustrator CS5 this time, I was also able to recreate this effect in Illustrator CS3 too.

Step One: Set your type (I used Arial Black for this example). You can use a shape instead of type if you want to.

step one image adobe illustrator texture tutorial

Step Two: If you’re using type, convert your type to outlines; select your type, then go to Type; Create Outlines.

step two adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Three: Add color as desired. You can give the outlined text a a stoke too if you like. The shape has to be filled in order for the effect to work.

step 3 adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Four: Choose an image of a texture that you want to use. The image must be at least as large as the shape you are distressing. I used an image I shot for this example. It’s cracked pavement. If you don’t have any texture images you can get some really good images from Wetzel Company, Inc. Wetzel offers great, copyright free, background, texture, and pattern images for use in Photoshop, Illustrator too. GrungeTextures.com offers free high-res textures for digital art and graphic design.

Once you’ve chosen your image, open it in Photoshop, and increase the contrast a bit, and lighten the image if it’s very dark using Image; Adjustments; Brightness Contrast. This will help the texture show up better in the next steps. Save and close your image and go back to Illustrator. Although, not all images will require this step, and it may not be necessary at all given the colors you choose.
step four adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Five: In Illustrator, Go to File; Place, and navigate to the texture image file you have chosen. Scale your texture image as you wish, making sure it will cover the area of your type, or shape. (It is best to have an image that is bigger than your shape, you don’t want to increase the size of your texture image because it’s a raster not vector, and you will lose resolution).

step five adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Six: Now select both the type or shape, and your texture image. Open your Transparency panel (Window; Transparency), then open the fly out menu on the right, and choose make opacity mask.

step 6 adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Seven: Check out your Transparency panel, while both items are selected and you’ll see two image icons. One is your type shape, the other the texture mask. You can click on the texture mask icon in your Transparency panel, and using the direct selection tool, (A), you can move the texture image around as you wish to get the effect that you want.

step seven adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

Step Eight: You can select Invert Mask in your Transparency panel for a result similar to this. Notice that you can click on either your mask image or your original shape from within the panel, be sure to click on your original shape in your Transparency panel when you’re done to get out of mask mode (if you don’t you won’t be able to select anything else). That’s all there is to it.

step eight adobe illustrator texture tutorial image.

You can have a lot of fun with this method by layering textures on top of each other, masking shapes with texture images, and using a variety of textures and patterns. This look is useful for a lot of different applications from logos, to page layout, or posters, video, DVD interfaces. You name it. Your imagination is the limit! Experiment and see what you can do with it.

examples of texture transparency mask applied to various objects image.