Be Creative With Your PC (Part 1)

1/25/2013 6:06:19 PM

Bored with playing games, watching YouTube and chatting on Facebook and Twitter? We show how to use your PC more imaginatively

The PC is a Jack-of-all-trades and it has many uses. Lots of people use one to play games, either online or offline, a billion people have Facebook accounts, Twitter is catching up, and if the web has shown us one thing in the last 15 years, it’s that we’ve taken time-wasting to whole new levels. Such ‘trivial’ pursuits are fine, but why not put your PC to a better, more creative, use? There are many ways in which you can be creative on your PC and they include photography, film making and movie editing, music, web design, writing and more.

Be Creative With Your PC

Be Creative With Your PC

Instead of taking snapshots for Facebook on your mobile phone, why not splash out on a rugged camera that you can take with you on your next safari, mountain climb or kayaking expedition? There are waterproof digital cameras that can take great shots in extreme conditions and with some photo editing software on your PC you could have some cracking photography. You could even turn them into a coffee table book. Book publishing has never been easier or cheaper and anyone can create printed books and ebooks using their computer and an online service.

You might want to have a go at stop-motion animation of the type made so popular by Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit. Did you know that there are kits for under £50 that enable you to create your own movies? You can buy the kit but do you have the creativeness and skills? Have a go and see. Why create dull movies when there are some great camcorders that you can attach to helmets, bolt onto bike handlebars or even attach to surf and skateboards, for extreme action. You don’t have to be diving from a plane or scuba diving under the sea to capture amazing clips (although it doesn’t hurt), and we think you’ll be surpised how cheap and easy it is.

There are countless websites already, but there is always room for another. If you have an unusual idea, why not get creative with website design. Alternatively, you could create apps for the newly launched Windows Store; Microsoft is giving away software that could make you a millionaire with a bit of creativity and inspiration. Here are a few ideas to get your brain ticking.

Creative Photography

It is easy to see why digital cameras have replaced film models by allowing you to be much more spontaneous and creative. You can shoot as many photos as you want because there is no cost, they are easy to store on your computer, share with friends online, problems can be fixed and they can be used in a variety of projects.

Get creative with your digital camera photos with PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate

Get creative with your digital camera photos with PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate

Mobile phones are used a lot for snapshots and top of the range models take quite good 5MP or even 8MP photos. However, if you are serious about photography you need a proper camera. There are lots to choose from, so let’s take a look at some that are worth considering.

The Samsung PL120 is a sub- $155 budget digital camera, but still has a 14.2MP sensor and a 5x optical zoom starting at 26mm. The PL120’s stand-out feature are the dual screens: the usual one at the back, alongside another on the front. This is useful for self-shots when you hold the camera at arm’s length and take a picture of yourself or you and a mate. The Olympus TG-1 is an interesting camera that has a 12MP sensor and wide F2 aperture, making it good for low light shots. Its ruggedness is the main selling point, though. It is shock-proof for drops of up to 2m drops, waterproof down to 12m, freeze-proof to -10 degrees and crushproof up to 100kg. It takes shots where other cameras can’t go and is brilliant for walking, climbing, swimming and so on.

ToolWiz Pretty Photo

ToolWiz Pretty Photo

We’ll mention just one more for serious photographers to consider, the Canon EOS 1100D. It is a digital SLR body and you can choose from any of Canon’s range of EFS and EF lenses. It costs between $542.5 and $697.5 depending on what lenses and accessories are bundled with it and it’s excellent.

A really useful accessory for any camera is the Eye-Fi card. This is an SDHC digital camera memory card with built in Wi-Fi that transfers photos to your computer wirelessly.

If you want to be creative with your photos then Corel PaintShop Pro and Adobe Photoshop Elements are obvious choices. Both programs offer a large range of photo editing tools, repair, enhancement and special effects. PaintShop Pro X5 Ultimate for example, has high dynamic range tools, you can split RAW photos into three exposures, simulate graduated lens filters, there are REALLUSION FaceFilter Studio portrait enhancement tools and NIK Color Efex Pro filters. Photoshop Elements 11 can turn photos into comics, graphic novels and pen and ink artwork. It also makes it easy to take elements from one photo and merge them with another, so single people can be put together as a group shot for example. Soft edges like hair are normally difficult, but Photoshop has the tools you need.

There are numerous photo editing programs of course, but here are a few more favourites. Microsoft’s free Image Composite Editor lets you load several photos and then it automatically stitches them together to make a panorama. ToolWiz Pretty Photo is free, yet comes with over 100 filters and hundreds of objects. You can do lots of fun things with your photos. Photivo is an open source project designed to enhance your photos with filters and effects. It can be integrated with GIMP and like GIMP, it requires some effort to learn, but it’s worth it. FotoSketcher is another free tool and it turns photos into artwork like pencil drawings, watercolours, oil paintings and so on. It can produce fantastic artwork with just a few mouse clicks.

PS4 game trailer XBox One game trailer
WiiU game trailer 3ds game trailer
Top 10 Video Game
-   Unravel | Live Gameplay from E3 2015
-   Destiny: Xur, Agent of the Nine, Reef location and exotic items
-   Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain | E3 2015 Stage Demo
-   OVERKILL's The Walking Dead | The VR Experience Trailer
-   Batman: Arkham Knight | NVIDIA GameWorks Gameplay Video
-   World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor | Patch 6.2 – Fury of Hellfire
-   Call of Duty: Black Ops III | Cyber Core Tutorial and Co-Op Playthrough
-   Back to Bed - E3 2015 Trailer
-   Whispering Willows - E3 2015 Trailer
-   Velocibox - E3 2015 Trailer
-   Anno 2025 - E3 2015 Gameplay Trailer
-   Anno 2025 - E3 2015 Intro Trailer
-   Awesome GTA V Sniper Chopper Kill
-   Awesome GTA V Parachute Video
-   GTA V Explosive Ammo Rounds with Bikini
Game of War | Kate Upton Commercial