Ycademy Seminar July 2013

Ycademy Seminar July 2013

The Ycademy Seminar July 2013, held this past weekend, focused on the brilliant new features in ADOBE CC, namely Photoshop and InDesign.

Ycademy Seminar July 2013 designed by Bianca Gubalke

 Ycademy Seminar July 2013

What became clear at the Ycademy Seminar July 2013 was that ADOBE CC has made an impressive effort to address the needs especially of Photographers – and that’s what we looked at in particular.

Despite the fact that there were always ways to get results via different paths, I found it a bit confusing to see sort of ‘double entries’ when it came to certain filters, However, it may be that ADOBE is still working on integration issues and, sooner or later, there is just the perfect tool or fully integrated filter at hand for whatever post-editing task we address – period! Although with the rapid changes and developments on the electronic front – and not only there – we are always on moving sand in a way, trying to catch up and holding our breath never mind our balance – I am sure that’s the final goal! Ooops, final… perhaps not!

Digital Photography

With Digital Photography being so essential to our Website Design, it’s important to be up-to-date with current trends and developments.

The fact that the larger public can take good digital photos via the many mobile devices on the market today – iphones, ipads, smartphones and the lot – and even post-edit them to a degree, demands increasing quality from professionals in the field – even if we as web designers cannot compete with the top photographers in the field, starting, last but not least, with the professional equipment! Although, I don’t say that a good photo depends just on that, by far not – and I personally  endeavour to take a good photo that needs only a minimum of retouche if at all – but having that amount of additional data at one’s disposal makes a huge difference, especially also when post-editing. And often the photos we take on a snap are not perfect, but it’s all we have and we have to use it. So what now?

Camera Raw

This brings us back to the Ycademy Seminar, as we went into Camera Raw and we could see the tremendous difference when having a raw file at our disposal! Holly’s eye was suddenly no longer a tiny detail at a distance; it mirrored the whole world like a lens!

The Camera Raw Filter is a fantastic new feature you find under ‘Filters’ on the new ADOBE CC. It comes up in a sleek interface that reminds of the filter ‘Perfectly Clear’.

Bianca Gubalke Showcase 2012

In the next posts I will go into some features, exercising – just that!

And… time-permitting, of course!

Happy Birthday, Madiba

Happy Birthday, Madiba

Happy Birthday, Madiba – from Noordhoek in the Western Cape! We are happy and we feel blessed to see you celebrating another special year in your extraordinary life!

Happy Birthday, Madiba!

Happy Birthday, Madiba

Happy Birthday, Madiba – and thank you for all you have brought to our splendid country, South Africa.

I will not forget your Inaugural Speech on 10th May 1994 – it was then that I returned to my home country – and what a new beginning it was!

May your spirit be reabsorbed and prevail in our hearts!

Nelson Mandela Inaugural Speech on 10th May 1994

Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty.

Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be
born a society of which all humanity will be proud.

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all.

All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today.

To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld.

Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change.

We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom.

That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression.

We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world
on our own soil.

We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity.

We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy.

We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth, business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honorable F.W. de Klerk.

We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light.

The time for the healing of the wounds has come.

The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.

The time to build is upon us.

We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.

We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.

We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to
walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity–a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.

As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country, the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment.

We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.

Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward.

We are both humbled and elevated by the honor and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness.

We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom.

We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success.

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.

Let there be justice for all.

Let there be peace for all.

Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.

Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign.

The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!

God bless Africa!

Thank you. “


Agave attenuata 2013

Agave attenuata 2013

In May 2011, I made this Agave attenuata image with a corresponding article; today the winter weather was brilliant and ideal for some digital photography! I photographed this Agave attenuata 2013 also in my garden in Noordhoek, South Africa, but in a different spot. Meanwhile, I have tons of these stunning plants, however, I have no clue what makes them explode! It’s a real spectacle and one can watch the process over time.

Agave attenuata 2013 by Bianca Gubalke Photography

Agave attenuata 2013

Today’s agave attenuata 2013 image I took with my Fuji X- E1 and the amount of detail is staggering! While I’m still struggling tremendously to really ‘see sharp’ (versus C sharp, the earth’s own tone, that I play quite often as it is so calming…), I think here I got it right. I see it better in black & white; the original colours are a very pale cream yellow.

I took the picture when the sun was coming up; hardly anything was in full light. The flowers only started to bloom; most of them are still closed. They start from the bottom and then rise towards the tip of what is aptly called “swan’s neck” or also “lion’s tail”.

Sadly, the motherplant will die after her weeks of glory, but at the base of her stem are already the baby suckers that will take over, so to speak. Of course, I may transplant them to other places in the garden, but for the time being I just enjoy another of Nature’s splendid displays!

Ycademy Seminar June 2013

Ycademy Seminar June 2013

Promptly on 29th and 30th June 2013, we held our monthly online YCADEMY Seminar.

The main topics were: How to setup and manage a WordPress multisite (not a multi-user site :) – and the reasons for considering this important step and/or change. Secondly, we went through mainly the new features of Lightroom 5 – a practical if not essential tool for professional photographers -, which has added some sexy features – like a spiffy lens correction tool, radial filter, spot removal, cloning and healing tool…-  all of which I would have expected in Photoshop CS6! And yes: now it’s even better to create BLURB photobooks with Lightroom 5! Although, personally, I will most probably stick to ADOBE InDesign; it just offers more freedom to the creative mind.

Who knows what ADOBE has in mind for our future in the Cloud? Perhaps Photoshop should remain the preferred tool for graphic designers and Lightroom the must-have for any photographer? No more need for both?

Ycademy Seminar June 2013

Ycademy Seminar June 2013

As we are web developers and web designers with a number of websites and blogs – all of which take a lot of time to control, maintain and monitor, never mind to feed with regular original content – , the focus at the YCADEMY Seminar June 2013 was heavily on understanding and developing a WordPress Multisite Network. Not that we didn’t have quite some practice from the past, but with WordPress moving forward rapidly all the time, with one update following the next, and this with many excellent new features and changes, this was just the right thing to do! Besides, we are all a bit tired of being hacked, too. Here we have more security, well – let’s hope!

For structural or SEO reasons many publisher manage multiple WordPress based websites on different installations. In order to streamline site management and to optimize the administrative workflow, we explored the WordPress Multisite features. We added the multisite function to our main website and added on additional sites for targeted niches or purposes. Domain Mapping allows to use custom domains for each site; something we will still complete over the week.

Spending hours on code and complex issues, is exhaustive for the eyes and the mind; therefore the next Ycademy Training Calls will be dedicated to further exploration and tying up of lose ends.

And the learning continues… :)