Treats at Pixel Scrapper

By Marisa Lerin Fri, 10/31/2014 - 09:02

I love candy therefore Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. I'm looking forward to handing out some candy later today and then I'm going to a pumpkin carving party with some international students from the university in town. Should be a fun day!

I've brought out my traditional Panda costume. This is version one for the day as we're dressing up for my Pilates class!


I've upgraded my costume to include a tail this year.


It seems our designers can't resist the fun Halloween theme and I wanted to show off all the fun they've made! Also, if Halloween isn't your thing, don't miss this week's UnHalloween Layout Challenge!

Chilly & Thrills by Janet


Spookalicious by Sheila

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Kawaii Halloween by Marisa

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Bootiful by Elif

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Cast a Spell by Elif

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Spook by Brooke

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No Tricks, Just Treats by Sheila

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Boo! by Marisa

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Photography: Rule of Thirds

By Marisa Lerin Wed, 10/29/2014 - 09:46

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a small photography class. It was a short and sweet format, and I was focusing on people who may take a lot of photos (don't we all these days? with cameras in our pockets all the time?), but don't really know what they're doing. I touched on a few points in the class, but mostly we talked about the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is easily my favorite composition technique, and the one I get the most use out of. And as I was talking to the women in my little class, it became apparent that it's also a divide between people who know something about photography and people who don't. I'll explain the rule of thirds for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, but I know we have many accomplished photographers and designers in the community who know exactly what I'm talking about.

For you experienced people, I was reminded this weekend just how powerful a little tidbit like this can be. It may seem rather commonplace to me, and like something everyone knows, but that's just not the case. Don't be shy to offer little pieces of wisdom when people seem interested. Maybe you're chatting with friends about taking photos and they are bemoaning their inability to take a good photo. That's a great moment to share a small piece of wisdom. Nothing overwhelming or too detailed, but simply a small tip that you use all the time. Everyone loves an insider tip and I was amazed at how encouraged everyone was after my class when basically all I told them was, "don't focus on the center." They all left with a spring in their step and a purpose for their future photos.

Now, for anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about (or needs a reminder!) the rule of thirds is simply the technique of creating focus just off from center. By putting the focus away from the center you add drama and tension to your photo (or design) making it 100% more interesting.

Your camera(phone) probably has a setting which will allow you to turn on a grid that looks like this:


You'll remember I'm talking about something called "the rule of thirds" and now you can see the thirds. Having a grid like this on your viewfinder can help remind you to line things up somewhere more interesting than the center. Here's an example:

This is a rather typical, centered photo. Not bad, but not very interesting.


Same location, but now I'm in the first vertical third of the photo, with two thirds left empty. You may recognize this as a favorite profile photo of mine.


Same location again, but now I'm just a small note in the bottom third, with the two top thirds left open. Oh the drama!


Once you're aware of this technique I'm sure you'll see it everywhere. I use it just about in every photo I take, unless I'm going for symmetry or something else special.

Do you also love the rule of thirds? Share a favorite photo down below!