Free Website Design Contest

Win a Website Design!

Free-Site-contest3Have a website professionally designed for you in one of the three following categories:

1) Sales/Retail/Service, 2) Construction/Trades, or 3) Church/Nonprofit

Contest Rules:

1. Sign up for my newsletter on my website by July 31, 2013. (Current email subscribers must still sign up to enter contest).

2. Write one paragraph explaining why you need a website designed. Convince me…

3. You may submit one entry per business/organization or email address. If you have more than one business with separate email addresses, you may enter once for each business.

4. One winning entry will be chosen from each of the above categories.

5. By entering the contest, you give Life Stills by Barry Wills permission to contact you to discuss your website and design needs.

6. Life Stills by Barry Wills may use the winner’s sites and all images (or a duplicate of them) for advertising or promotion.

7. Winning entries will be decided solely at the discretion of Life Stills by Barry Wills.

So, what’s the catch?  I want to show more samples of my work & to expand my customer base. You might get a free site design; I get exposure and a list of potential customers who need website design. Also, be sure to read  “What Is Included” and “What Is Not Included” on the Life Stills by Barry Wills contest page when you sign up.Contest_Badge

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New Tie Designs for Father’s Day and beyond

I just added a couple of necktie designs to my Zazzle store. I was trying for a unique and yet classic look.  Check out the designs and the details below.

Here are the designs as posted on my Zazzle store:

Show Your Boston Passion!

I took a series of photographs of the Boston skyline last summer from the Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. I had stitched them together and posted the original on my photography site. The recent events at the Boston Marathon got me thinking that I ought to revisit that image and make something from it. I created a “mixed media” type of image in Photoshop and Illustrator. The image was too wide to fit on a standard picture size, so I split it up into three images for the poster sizes. The images are available either on my photography site, where you’ll get a higher quality print, or on my Zazzle store where you will find a more economical version. I also made versions for T-shirts and bumper stickers, which are available on Zazzle.

Boston Skyline Tryptich

 


          CTA button Zazzle CTA button Life Stills

More Digital Art

Here are examples of two new images I edited in Adobe Photoshop. The first is a flower stand just before Easter with spring flowers on it. I tried to create a kind of pen and ink with watercolor mixed media effect. after duplicating the layers, I traced the edges using the “find edges” filter. I had to use the reduce noise filter, then manually erase some of the result so that the pen didn’t look splotchy. I had to process the white flowers separately so I could get enough contrast for the edges to be found. I even kicked the layer over to Adobe Illustrator to trace and fill out the lines, deleting the “white” so the background would show through.

Flower stand image

Easter time flower stand

Next I edited the lower layer to look like water color. Generally, I use the “posterize” command to reduce the number of colors to what begins to look like paint, you have to experiment depending on the subject. I apply some brush effects, then blur it a little. I guess I’ll have to pay attention to just what I do, since a lot of it is experimenting and adapting as I go.

Lastly for this image, I combined the layers, again in Adobe Illustrator. You can find a larger version of this on my website (click on the image).

Also, I just added this design to a tie on my Zazzle site. It would make a nice Father’s Day present. You can find it here.

Viola Flower Painting

A picture of a Viola flower I took in my neighborhood.

The second was a picture of a small viola (a tiny pansy-like flower) that I took in my neighborhood the other day. I turned the flower itself into the “painting” using similar tactics to what I outlined above. I wasn’t satisfied with the background because it still seemed too photo-like. I wanted it to look like an artist just kind of splashed the right oil colors on and smeared them around to fill the background. I ended up using the smudge tool to get the colors to run together and to emphasize the ones I wanted. Then I used the Paint Daubs filter with the option set to Dark Rough, the brush size big and played around with the sharpness until I got the effect I wanted. I still didn’t quite like it, so I ran it together a bit more with a tiny bit of Surface Blur.

I hope you like this.

As always, you can find these images and more for purchase on my website, lifestillsbybarrywills.com. Click on the picture to go directly to this image.

New Photos, New Gallery

I’ve added a few new images to my website, including starting a new gallery that I plan to add to soon. Images are sometimes best viewed in Black and White. It shows off the interplay between the contrasting light and dark portions of the picture. I actually added both color and black-and-white versions of these images to the site, but I think I like the black-and-white versions best.

Reflecting

White Flowers reflecting off a glass window.

Waiting for Spring

Trimmed Hydrangea branches waiting for the Spring weather to arrive so they can bud.

It’s my birthday, but you get the present!

It's my birthday, but you get the present!

It’s my birthday, but you get the present!

To celebrate my birthday on March 31, I’m offering a discount of 20% on orders over $25.00 of photography products with the coupon code: Barry’s Birthday 2013. Just add this code at checkout on orders placed before March 31, 2013 to receive your discount on my website at Life Stills by Barry Wills. You may also pass this offer on to friends and family who might not be on my email list.

If someone forwarded this to you and you want to join my mailing list you can sign up at my Facebook page, or on the Life Stills by Barry Wills home page.

If you haven’t visited there yet (or not for a while), check out my website. You’ll find not only my photography, but information about graphic design and web site design as well.

If you need more information, please email me: barry.edward.wills@gmail.com.

Zenfolio, the company that hosts my photography, offers lots of options for purchasing and displaying the photographs that they host. If you take advantage of this offer, you can choose paper prints or several display quality items like fotoflõts, canvas wraps, or the new aluminum prints pictured below. Remember to enter the coupon code at checkout for your discount.

Aluminum prints by Ivoke

Aluminum prints by Ivoke

Website and business expansion

I haven’t posted here for quite a while. I’ve been distracted because I’ve taken my hobby business that I started blogging about here and expanded it into a more full-fledged business. My lifestillsbybarrywills.com website now covers not only my photography (now hosted by Zenfolio), but also my graphics and website design capabilities. I’ve also added Facebook and Google+ listings. I’ll be posting more information and links here soon.

More Pictures as Paintings

In an earlier post, I showed a picture made to look like a painting.

I wanted to show some more, this time side-by-side with the original. These pictures are from a recent visit to Nantucket, and the painting versions just seem to capture more of the flavor of the place.

New Beach & Nautical Pictures

York, Maine harbor on a foggy day.

I recently took a trip to Maine. The weather on this trip wasn’t really cooperative for the lighting that you usually hope to have to take good shots. So then you have to make do with what you have. I took this shot of York harbor as three separate shots, combined them into an HDR image, layered it as a color image on top of a black and white to bring out the details, then added the vignette effect. I was surprised to find that I had a lot of views (for me, anyway), the day after I posted it. Someone must have liked it. I hope you do, too.

Here are some of the others I posted from that trip. If you like these, visit my website at lifestillsbybarrywills.com where you will find more beach and nautical pictures, including a picture of the Cape Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse from my previous visit when the weather was much more cooperative.

Good Mistakes

Sometimes a mistake can be just what is needed to make something extraordinary. I took a picture of a seashell collection and was planning to use the flash off-camera. I forgot to turn on the slave switch, so I ended up getting the shot just with the available room light. I had just enough movement as I tried to hold the camera still to produce a kind of dreamy image–just what you might imagine as you think about the beach.

It reminds me of another of my shots that I like which is in the same vein. This one I gave a little of that dreamy effect by reducing the clarity setting in Adobe Lightroom. Both of these may be found in the Beach & Nautical section of my Life Stills by Barry Wills website. I can picture these on the walls of someone’s vacation beach home–maybe yours…

Dinghies at the dock.