Posts Tagged

Creative

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System Review & Rating

If you’re looking for a conversation starter to attach to your camera, you won’t do much better than the Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System ($99.95). It’s an attachment system that screws into the filter threads of your lens, and includes a number of magnetic wand attachments to bend light and create other artistic effects. I’ve had a lot of fun testing it out, and am happy enough with it to call it a PCMag Editors’ Choice. If you’re interested in adding some interesting optical effects to your images, you should certainly give it a try.

What’s That On Your Camera?

The Omni’s main component is a big, round metal ring that goes around your lens. Lensbaby sells it in two sizes, a smaller one for lenses with filters from 49 to 58mm, and one for larger lenses with thread diameters from 62mm to 82mm. We tried both with a few different lenses.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System

The ring is enough to hold a pair of magnetic attachment points. Each has two connection points, so you can directly attach one of the wands if desired. The basic starter kit also includes a pair of extension arms, so you can put more distance between the wand and front element. Everything is held in a gray felt pouch, with velcro strips so you can attach it to the interior of your camera bag if desired. Lensbaby also includes a plastic filter wrench, used to remove the filter or a step-up ring if either gets stuck on a lens.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

The starter kit comes with three effects wands. From left to right in the image above, they are Stretch Glass, the Crystal Seahorse, and Rainbow Film. The Stretch Glass and Seahorse can be employed in a variety of ways. You can use them to add flare and reflections, or change the character of bokeh. The Rainbow Film adds rainbow streaks to your photos.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

If you want more, there are a pair of expansion kits available. The Crystal Expansion Pack ($49.95) includes three new wands—Crystal Spear, Triangular Prism, and Scalloped Window. For $59.95, you can add the Color Expansion Pack, which includes Teardrop and Crescent Multicolor Crystal wands, Crisscross Rainbow Film, and more than a dozen additional color film gels, as well as a wand to hold one of them at a time.

Experimentation Pays Off

I’ll admit, when I opened up the Omni kit, I wasn’t how exactly sure I was going to use it, or what I’d get out of it. I spent a day at a sculpture garden with the starter kit and Crystal Expansion, using them mainly with the Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro, a standard-angle lens with 1:1 focus.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

It didn’t take long to get some good shots—though I’ll admit that there were many more throwaways than keepers. But after a little while I found what worked and what didn’t. Macro shots of flowers were easy enough—I was able to pair the Rainbow Film and Crystal Spear together to capture multiple reflected ghosts of a water lily, above, and adding a bit of rainbow flare livened up still-life shots.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

I got very different types of shots when I paired with a wider lens with a much bigger front element. The Sigma 35mm F1.2 DG DN Art uses 82mm filters, the largest you can use with the Omni without buying additional step-up rings, and snaps wide-angle shots with a very narrow depth of field when used with its aperture open.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

It was a little more challenging to use the wands with such a big piece of glass. I took a different approach, reaching to Stretch Glass to obscure defocused areas of the frame, giving the bokeh a very different look. But it’s still a little tricky—for a long exposure shot of a subway train pulling into the station, I used the glass to reflect the passing train onto the static station floor. But I didn’t quite get it covered entirely, as you can see in the uncropped photo above.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

It was the only time I found the wand not quite up the task of perfectly covering up the front of Sigma’s huge 35mm F1.2. I wanted to try one of the color gels included in the Color Expansion Pack to give the rather dull water bordering lower Manhattan a more colorful look. I didn’t quite manage to cover the entirety of the frame—you can see the black plastic causing a vignette at the bottom left of the frame below, and on the right you’ll notice that the gel didn’t quite reach the other end of the lens.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

Not everyone is going to use the same lenses, of course, and a 35mm F1.2 is an absolute outlier; most lenses use smaller filter sizes. But it’s something to think about if you do gravitate toward larger lenses.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

I should note that I paired the Omni with mirrorless cameras in the field. If you’re an SLR owner, your experience will be a little bit different. When you view the Omni effects through an optical viewfinder—I tried it out with the Canon EOS 5DS R and EF 50mm f/1.2 lens—you won’t see an actual preview of your final image, as you will with an EVF.

This is because the optical focusing screen doesn’t give you a preview of your final image the same way an EVF does. You’ll get a very good idea of how the Effect Wands are modifiying your image, but not the same actual image preview you get with an EVF. I recommend SLR users try the Omni with their camera’s Live View system, especially when getting a feel for what the different wands can do.

Inspiring Creativity

Photographers with an artistic bent should take a look at the Lensbaby Omni. Its modifiers work to add some spice and color to images, change the quality of bokeh, adjust color tones, and more. Because everything included is an optical effect tool, you get to see the effects in-camera.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

There’s a lot I like about the Omni system. It’s well designed and constructed, for one. The basic starter kit gives you the filter rings and a few Effect Wands to get started, and if you fall in love with the kit, you can supplement it with additional wands. Photographers with a DIY spirit may even find themselves inspired to make their own attachments.

Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System : Sample Image

Regardless of whether you confine yourself to the starter kit or go whole hog with expansion packs, the Omni is a tool that encourages you to be more creative with your photography. That’s enough to make it an Editors’ Choice.



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What Is Creative Commons and Non-Commercial Use?

Did you know that most of the images, music, and other content on the internet are not free to reuse for your own purposes? In most cases, unless you have permission to use a piece of media, doing so is illegal.

This is where the Creative Commons license comes in. The system allows creators to share their content online freely with others, imposing only minimal restrictions on its use.

Let’s take a look at what Creative Commons is, how to interpret a Creative Commons license, and what “non-commercial use” means.

What Is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is the name of an American non-profit company that releases copyright licenses to the public at no cost. These licenses are known as Creative Commons licenses, and were first issued in 2002.

The reason that Creative Commons (CC) licenses exist is to provide creators with an easy way to define how other people can use their content. CC licenses also protect normal users, as they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement as long as they follow the rules of the license.

The Creative Commons organization provides a variety of easy-to-understand licenses that content creators can freely use. Creators display these alongside their licensed works, which plainly describe the terms of fair play for anyone using them.

Creative Commons vs. Copyrighted Content

Not all content is CC-licensed. Consider the various types of media you’ll commonly find online:

  • Music on YouTube or SoundCloud
  • Images on Google Images, Flickr, or DeviantArt
  • A book or piece of educational material on a scholarly website

With these and pretty much every other kind of media online, chances are that it either has a license that forbids you to use it, or has no license at all. Both of these mean that unless you obtain permission from the content creator, using that content in your own work is illegal. Simply providing attribution isn’t enough.

You’ve probably noticed a copyright symbol and/or an “All Rights Reserved” note on music, movies, books, and other content. That means the creator retains all rights to the media.

All Rights Reserved showing on CD
Image credit: Anna Cervova/Wikimedia Commons

In many cases online, there’s no clearly defined license, so you can’t assume that the creator is OK with you using what they’ve made.

While it’s still against the rules, content owners of course can’t track down everyone who pastes their image into a slideshow for a school presentation, or uses their song in a family video. But if you use copyrighted content in high-profile work, you could get in serious trouble.

Creative Commons Definitions

The Creative Commons license has four conditions you can add. Depending on what combination of conditions appear, there are six major possible license types. Let’s take a look at these to better understand the available license options.

Creative Commons License Conditions

Each license condition has a matching symbol and abbreviation, letting you easily identify what a particular license lets you do.

First up is the Attribution (BY) condition, which is present in almost all licenses. This means that when using the content, you must give credit to the author in the way they request. Usually, this means doing so in a way that makes it clear the creator does not endorse your work.

CC-BY

Next is Share-alike (SA). This condition means that anyone who modifies the material must distribute their derivative work under the same license. They cannot add conditions without the original author’s permission.

CC-SA

The third condition is Non-commercial (NC). Under this condition, you can use a work freely for anything except “commercial purposes.” The exact definition of this is often unclear, so we look at it in more detail below.

CC-NC

Finally, the No Derivative Works (ND) condition rounds out the bunch. This prevents people from modifying your work in any way. They can only copy or display the original content unless they have the author’s permission. This condition is incompatible with Share-alike.

CC-ND

Types of Creative Commons Licenses

Now that you know the four possible CC conditions, below are the six standard CC license types from least to most restrictive.

Remember that SA and ND are mutually exclusive, which reduces the number of possible combinations. In addition, because almost everyone who uses a CC license requires attribution, licenses that don’t include BY are rare.

A special case is CC0, which isn’t technically a license. This allows creators to waive all rights to their work and allow anyone in the world to use it for any purpose without asking. It’s technically different than something being in the public domain, but most people use CC0 and “public domain” interchangeably.

CC0 Public License

CC BY lets people distribute and remix content, even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit the original author.

CC BY License

CC BY-SA allows people to republish your content, including derivatives, even for commercial purposes. However, they must credit you and relicense the new content under the same terms as yours. This setup is known as “copyleft” in open source software licensing, and is what Wikipedia uses.

CC BY SA License

CC BY-ND gives people permission to reuse your work, even in commercial settings. However, they cannot distribute modifications, and must give you credit.

CC BY ND License

A CC BY-NC enables users to display and remix content in non-commercial settings. Under this license, you don’t have to relicense derivative works with the same conditions, but you must provide attribution.

CC BY NC License

CC BY-NC-SA lets people use and modify your work in non-commercial ways. However, they must give you credit and license new creations with identical terms.

CC BY NC SA License

Finally, CC BY-NC-ND is the most restrictive. It lets people download and share content as long as they provide credit, but prevents them from changing the work or using it in a commercial manner.

CC BY NC ND License

What Does “Non-Commercial Use” Mean?

Almost all aspects of Creative Commons licenses are clear-cut, aside from the “non-commercial use” clause, which often confuses people. The Creative Commons Wiki’s NonCommercial interpretation page states the following:

“NonCommercial means not primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation.”

This is helpful, but still leaves room for question. To take a pair of instances, using an image on an invitation to a baby shower would be non-commercial. However, placing that same image on an invitation to an auction would fall under commercial use.

Below are some additional examples of commercial and non-commercial use that help illustrate what’s allowed:

  • Non-commercial use includes school or work presentations, research, home decorations, and similar uses.
  • Commercial use includes books for sale, paid journals, advertisements, and the like.

It’s important to note that not-for-profit and non-commercial are different. A non-profit company would not be allowed to use an affected image to sell a poster as part of a fundraiser. Because the goal is to make money, regardless of who is making the money, this is a commercial use.

However, a for-profit company could use a song in question for an internal video celebrating the company’s anniversary. Even though the company is for-profit, it is not using the song to make money, so this is acceptable.

How to Get a Creative Commons License

You don’t have to apply for a CC license to use one—they’re provided free of charge for anyone to use. You should to make sure your content is eligible for Creative Commons before licensing it in this way. Have a look at the Get a CC License page for some background info and FAQs before you jump in.

From there, head to the Creative Commons Choose a License page. Here you can answer a few quick questions on how you want to distribute your work. This will dynamically update the page to show the Creative Commons license that matches your choices.

CC License Picker

At the bottom, you’ll find copyable HTML code that will display the license on your website. People can click this to read a summary of how that license works.

How to Find Creative Commons Content

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to locate content licensed under CC.

If you’re looking for images, check out the Creative Commons search engine. This lets you search a vast library of images, also allowing you to specify if you want something you can use for commercial purposes or modify.

You can also enable Creative Commons search on Google Images. Click Tools and expand the Usage rights section for several options corresponding to license types. Failing that, check out the best sites for copyright-free images if you didn’t find what you needed anywhere else.

Google CC Image Search

Images aren’t the only type of Creative Commons content available. We’ve covered the best places to download copyright-free music


5 Sites to Download Free and Copyright-Free Music for YouTube Videos




5 Sites to Download Free and Copyright-Free Music for YouTube Videos

Don’t use music in Youtube videos from a copyrighted source. Instead, use one of these sites for copyright-free music.
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. And for a bit of everything, check out the best sites for free stock videos, audio, and icons


5 Sites to Find Free Stock Photos, Videos, Audio, and Icons




5 Sites to Find Free Stock Photos, Videos, Audio, and Icons

Find free stock photos, videos, sounds, and icons. With these resources, you don’t have to Google anymore. You can safely use them in your creations, as long as you attribute it to the source.
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too.

Creative Commons Is Great for Everyone

In the end, Creative Commons benefits all parties. Creators enjoy more exposure as others interact with their work. Those who use the media have access to a variety of legal content. And it helps the internet at large by allowing people to build off others’ work to create something even better.

If you’re a content creator, you should know how to see who’s stolen your photos and what you can do about it


How to See Who’s Stolen Your Photos (And What to Do About It)




How to See Who’s Stolen Your Photos (And What to Do About It)

Photo theft is a sad fact of the digital age. Here’s what to do to protect yourself, and steps you can take if someone’s stolen your photos.
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.



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10 Ways to Restore Your Creative Energy Using Technology

Whether you’re a DIYer trying to solve a problem, a writer working on a new story, or a designer looking to spice up an old model, perhaps you need help restoring your creative energy.

This article is designed to help you restore your creative energy when it has upped and left you. Maybe one tip will do the trick, or perhaps you’ll have to work your way through the list.

1. Go for a Walk

If you’ve been working on the same thing for a long time, your creative juices may be running dry. If so, it’s time to take a break by doing something else entirely.

One simple idea is to go for a walk. It might not sound like much, but a short walk can reset your system and break the monotony of working.

If you’re feeling lazy, fitness trackers (the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitors


The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring




The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring

Looking for a fitness tracker? Fitness bands with built-in heart rate monitoring are all the range, but which one is best?
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) can be of great help. These devices can help keep you motivated when doing exercise. Their constant feedback about the calories you burn will help you go the extra mile. You can even add friends on some of these devices and compare your activity data.

2. Get Rid of Distractions

digital-entertainment
Image Credit: MikeRenpening/Pixabay

If you’re unable to get creative because you open Facebook or check your messages every five minutes, you need to get rid of these distractions.

While smartphones are amazing devices, they can also make us less productive. To fix this problem, you can uninstall the distracting apps from your phone or disable notifications on your phone


How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android




How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android

Here’s how to turn off notifications in Android, plus how to fine-tune the notifications you do want.
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to work free from distractions.

You can also try apps that limit your time on social media. We recommend OFFTIME, Moment, or Flipd.

3. Have a Snack

Hunger can play havoc with our ability to get things done. A research paper published by Science Daily shows that our stomach produces ghrelin, a hormone that affects our decision making abilities and can lead to impulsive choices.

There are several helpful apps such as Noom that will not just find the right snack according to your cravings, but also find a way for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Once you’ve satisfied your stomach your brain may just let you get back to work.

4. Come Up With 100 Bad Ideas

Instead of coming up with something good, come up with something awfully bad. And a lot of it. So that there’s no pressure on you.

If you’re a writer, come up with 100 bad story ideas. If you’re a musician, come up with a 100 awful tunes. And if you’re an architect, come up with 100 bad designs for buildings.

You can create your list of bad ideas on apps like Evernote or Google Keep. These apps store all of their data in the cloud, meaning you can revisit it at any time.

The logic behind this method is that out of those 100 ideas, a couple will always turn out to be good. When you try to create something absurdly bad, you utilize a creative side that you hadn’t ever explored before.

5. Change your Surroundings

reorganize workspace
Image Credit: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

You don’t have to make big changes. Just change something in your environment. Replace the items on your desk and reorganize the space you’re in. If you work in a typical office cabin environment, try adding some colors to your cabin.

Make use of apps such as Houzz to give your home workspace a virtual makeover before investing any real money. You can also get ideas from Pinterest or Tumblr.

Fresh surroundings make way for fresh ideas.

6. Organize Your Thoughts Visually

There are several platforms that let you organize your thoughts in a better way to help your creativity. Websites like Coggle, Popplet, and MindMaster help you visualize your ideas using flowcharts or drawing tools.

This lets you get a better picture of your ideas and reach solutions faster.

7. Discuss Your Ideas Online

You’ll find several forums where there are experts who will happily share their opinion on your creative piece. For example, if you are an artist, you can showcase your art on DeviantArt and interact with other users. There’s a thriving community that can offer you support and inspiration.

Reddit is full of great communities on every subject you can think of. And you can either be a passive participant reading other people’s threads or an active member starting conversations. Either way, as you discuss things with others, you might find a creative angle you didn’t consider earlier.

8. Listen to Happy Music

Research suggests that listening to happy music can trigger creativity. Music is known to enhance cognition and improve memory and learning, which boosts creativity as well.

Maybe all you need to restore your creative energy is a little dose of happy music. And all you need to do to find it is open up your favorite streaming service—whether it’s Apple Music or Spotify—and search for “Happy Music”.

9. Meditate to Regain Focus

meditation apps
Image Credit: akiragiulia/Pixabay

It sounds cliche but if you get rid of all thoughts (or at least try to clear your current thoughts), you get to reach your spiritual side. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s the consistency that matters and not the duration. If you can spend just 3-5 minutes a day meditating, it can help your creative energies.

While most people have heard of meditation, many don’t try it because they find it difficult to focus. If you’re one of these people, you can seek help from meditation apps such as Insight Timer and Calm.

10. Enjoy a Little Humor

If you’re planning to reap the benefits of technology to be creative, have fun while you’re at it. Research suggests humor can enhance creative thinking as it lets you associate ideas more broadly and freely.

So don’t hesitate to watch funny videos on YouTube or to browse funny GIFs on Giphy.

Creativity cannot be forced. Let go of the pressure and have a laugh. But make sure online entertainment doesn’t become too much of a distraction for you. Remember, everything is good in moderation.

Carry on Training Your Brain

Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it for a long time, it will lose its strength. You need to flex it every day so that it stays healthy. While some people are naturally better at it, others can build it with practice.

To flex your creative muscles, keep training your mind constantly. You can do this by playing brain exercise games on your smartphone


The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS




The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS

These free brain games will challenge your mind and keep you sharp. Check out these challenging puzzles, word games, and more.
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7 Creative Things to Do When You’re Bored

When you get time off from work or school, it feels like a blessing. However, what if you don’t want to waste that time browsing social media sites or binge-watching Netflix?

Thankfully, there are plenty of creative things you can do when you get bored. And if you find these creative activities relaxing, you’ll be spending your downtime being productive.

Here are some creative things to do when you’re bored.

1. Start a Fundraising Project

snow cone sale fundraise
Image Credit: Dr_Gomz/Pixabay

Lemonade stands, yard sales, bake sales—do whatever makes you happy. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to get started with these ideas. And you can start out with few resources.

Have you got a day of boredom to kill? Set up a stand in the neighborhood and sell watermelon slices on a summer’s day. Or if you have an ice shaver machine at home, you can sell snow cones.

The small cash you make can be used for a good cause. Depending on the time you have, you can get creative with promotions and design fun and engaging posters for your project.

Go ahead and use social media to promote it. It can be a good way to connect with people on your friends list.

2. Learn a New Digital Skill

podcast setup
Image Credit: PIX1861/Pixabay

Learning might sound dull and dreary but you don’t have to limit yourself to learning how to create spreadsheets or how to start programming. There are a number of skills that can be both fun and educative.

For example, play with design software such as Photoshop or Gravit. They are very easy to use (but difficult to master), and if you have some quirky or funny quotes in mind, you can design T-shirts.

You could even post your T-shirt designs on Merch by Amazon to make some money.

Or if you have the gift of the gab, you can start a podcast


How to Start Your Own Successful Podcast




How to Start Your Own Successful Podcast

Podcasts can be heard by millions of people worldwide. Now it’s easier than ever to collaborate, record, edit, publish, and promote your own show. We show you how.
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. You don’t need to be too technical to begin an audio podcast. Just think about a topic you want to talk about and prepare the content. You can host the podcast at places like Podbean and Libsyn.

3. Set Up a Shop on Etsy or Fiverr

If you visit Etsy or Fiverr, you’ll find people selling all kinds of goods and services. While Etsy is for goods, Fiverr is mainly for services.

You can make clay pots or paper flowers in your free time and list them on Etsy. Or if you want to sell services, you can try anything from recording a puppet message to dressing up as a king and singing a rap song for someone’s birthday.

There are very few limits on what you can sell online. And those aren’t the only two selling platforms either. You can paint when you’re bored and sell it on Art Fire or Spoonflower.

4. Tidy Up Like Marie Kondo

Tidying up and decluttering is a good way to kill time. But if you’ve heard about Marie Kondo and her popular phrase “does it spark joy,” you already know the kind of tidying up we are talking about.

The KonMari method by Marie Kondo is a creative way to declutter your space and organize things. In this method, instead of focusing on what to get rid of, the focus is on what to keep. This change in mindset can help you declutter in a non-regretful way.

If you are going to throw away a thing because it’s practically useless but it does give you joy or happiness when you hold it, it’s best to keep it.

This method is diverse and can be applied to almost anything. In fact, you can even use the Marie Kondo method to declutter Twitter


You Can Now Declutter Twitter the Marie Kondo Way




You Can Now Declutter Twitter the Marie Kondo Way

Marie Kondo’s KonMari method may be best used for tidying houses, but it can also be used to declutter your Twitter feed.
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5. Organize Your Playlists According to Mood

A research paper by Teresa Lesiuk has shown that music boosts productivity. And of course, it kills boredom.

It’s worth spending time sorting your playlists; deleting old songs, and adding some new ones.

Different types of music can help with different moods. For example, when you’re working out, you might want energizing music that will help you exercise better.

If you’re feeling stressed due to all the work pressure, slow tempo music will work best as it soothes your mind. When you’re sad, create a playlist with fast tempo songs that can uplift your spirits.

6. Give Your Resume a Makeover

If you have a boring resume that lists your experiences and qualifications in the same old traditional format, now is the time you give it a creative makeover.

Why limit yourself to a text resume when you can create a video resume instead? Record a neat video and upload it to your YouTube channel.

You can also create an entire website about your portfolio and give prospective employers a link to it. Create a resume using Canva and add that to your website. It is a great way to display your experiences and qualifications in a visually appealing way. Here’s how to create a resume using Canva


How to Create a Resume From Scratch Using Canva




How to Create a Resume From Scratch Using Canva

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a resume using Canva and make your resume stand out from the crowd.
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to help you get started.

You can even create a booklet resume. Get someone on Envato to do the job for you if you lack the design skills.

7. Create a Capsule Wardrobe

capsule wardrobe
Image Credit: Mrs_schu/Pixabay

A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe where you set aside specific clothes for a season.You mix and match these clothes with each other. These are the clothes you already have and love to wear. A capsule wardrobe typically works for about three months and then it needs to be updated for the next season.

It will let you get dressed quickly, always be in your favorite clothes, and have a neat closet.

When you create a capsule wardrobe, make sure you select a base color. Let’s say you selected black. Now you’ll have some black clothes in your wardrobe that will go with everything else.

Find More Ideas on Creative Websites

As we’ve explored in this article, there are a number of creative things you do when you’re bored. And if you ever run out of creative ideas, you can always visit sites such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Dribble to find new inspiration.

While you would need to be at home to do most of these activities, there are also plenty of things to do online when you’re bored at work


20 Fun Things to Do Online When You’re Bored at Work




20 Fun Things to Do Online When You’re Bored at Work

These websites are guaranteed to ease your boredom at work. Because we know that even the best jobs have their bad points and those moments when boredom sets in.
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. They may not be particularly creative or productive, but they are fun.



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Tips On Designing Creative Websites That Will Wow Your Clients

The global market keeps getting bigger and bigger, which should be good news for web designers – but there’s a catch.

The clients you can expect to serve are more sophisticated and want creative websites, not just the regular HTML and CSS.

You can’t deliver just anything and expect them to be happy. You’ll also have some serious competition to contend with. As a consequence, your website must adequately address an ever-growing need for improvements. Like in flexibility, responsiveness, and conversion optimization.

Fortunately, the cloud has a silver lining; and a bright one at that. Tools to meet these challenges and address them head on are readily available. With the most notable case in point being Be Theme, the largest and most versatile WordPress theme of them all.

With a tool like Be Theme at your fingertips, you’ll be more than able to successfully handle any challenge that comes your way.

Then, it’s simply a matter of following these 5 simple steps to design creative websites. They are eye-catching, impressive in their ability to convert visitors to users and guaranteed to put smiles on your clients’ faces.

 

5 Steps to Building Astoundingly Creative Websites

Step 1: Choose a Mesmerizing Color Palette

The color palette you use can make a difference between a so-so website and an attention-getting one. Choosing one should not be difficult if you follow a few simple rules:

  • its colors need to attract instant attention;
  • they need to be on-brand, and;
  • the color palette you select needs to visually support the message your app or website is designed to convey

Artist features BOLD color touches that will instantly attract attention.

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This Be Theme pre-built website is another great example of what can be accomplished with an eye-grabbing color palette.

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Carbon8 is an example of how to align the color palette with the website’s brand. It is done with its clever use of various shades of green. Note how the deep green element draws visitor’s eyes to the center of the page.

3

BeInsurance features a subtle, crisp color palette. It perfectly reinforces a strategy of using crisp, clear images to gain the clients you need.

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BeFestival is a great example of using a color palette designed to appeal to a larger audience.

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Step 2: Display Crystal-Clear Photos and Images

This step should be obvious. A crystal clear presentation suggests the business behind it goes the extra mile. That is when it comes to clearly present their products and services. Using the best images you can get your hands on can give you an extra edge over the competition.

BeStylist is an example of the advantage of displaying images with flair. The crisp image definitely supports the intended message.

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Or, try something like RansomLTD; minimalist, yet crisp and powerful.

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A pre-built website like Zajno illustrates how crystal-clear pics can be used to display your creativity.

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The Design Shop employs flair and creativity to entice visitors with crisp and compelling images of your products.

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Step 3: Show Visitors How Your Creativity Benefits Them

Creativity isn’t about you. It’s about serving your visitors. It can be extremely effective when it helps them imagine themselves actually using your product or service.

BeMarketing’s homepage video illustrates another way to show people how they can benefit from using your products.

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Lane illustrates a fabulous approach you can use to express your structural design perspectives.

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BeSimple takes a minimalist approach. It’s the typography and way the text is presented rather than the text itself that’s effective.

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BeTravelBlogger provides the basis for a travel blogger’s dream site. You can use it to present your travel adventures and escapades with a super-cool layout of graphics and snippets.

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Step 4: (Over)use “White” Space

Yes, it’s true. White space is a design element you can sometimes overuse without causing harm. In fact, in many cases “more is better”, as is obvious in the following examples.

Makespace has a clean design that allows the eye to focus on key elements, imagine, and create.

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BeSketch & The Drive New York are two examples where plenty of white space is used to great effect.

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When white space is part of the brand it can really help to drive the message home. BeIcecream is an extreme example of how plenty of white space can be used to great effect.

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Step 5: Make Your CTAs Grab Them By The Eyeballs

If you don’t have CTA buttons that can’t be ignored, your website isn’t going to convert as many visitors into users as you hoped or planned. You want those buttons to be big, bright, and bold enough to make people feel they absolutely have to be clicked on.

BeDrawing’s CTA button is above the fold as it should be, and it clearly stands out. You can’t help but notice it the instant you’ve finished reading the headline. Its centering on the page makes it serve as a gate that invites visitors to enter.

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Stuart makes effective placement and use of 3 clearly defined CTA buttons.

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Your CTA can match other elements on the page and still easily attract attention. A great example of this is BeKids, where the color of the button matches the color of other hero section elements.

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Building Creative Websites – a Summary

Follow these surefire steps (with the help of a surefire website building tool) and you’re well on your way to satisfying the most demanding of clients. Crisp, stunning visuals, a cleverly chosen color palette and the clever use of white space, images that enable visitors to see themselves using your products, and the all-important bold and beautiful CTA buttons give you the combination for success.

Success typically breeds additional work. Sometimes web design is not as much fun as it used to be. If you suddenly find yourself juggling projects and deadlines to the point you’d be better off using pre-built websites.

You’ll find the most generous gallery of more than 450 creative websites on Be Theme that you can customize to your liking. Start using them now and you’ll never have to worry about juggling projects and deadlines!

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of Be Theme –]



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