Make Energy and Light Effects in Photoshop With Custom Brushes

This is a guest post by John Lewis. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines.

So your fun little cover band decided to give it a shot and record an original album in your basement. While creating the cover art, you got stuck. You just could not find the right lighting effect, and the first album HAS to look cool!

Rather than scouring the internet, why not just create your own effects with the tools Photoshop already has? It really is a quite easy, and learning to manipulate the tools in Photoshop is always to your advantage.

Step 1:
Create a new new document , and select the Custom Abstract Brush. Set the size to 2500 X 2500px set to Grayscale with a 300 px/in resolution. Double-Check your settings below:


Step 2:
Use the Ellipse tool to draw a black circle at the center of the canvas. Right click on the circle layer, go to Layer Style and select Blending Options. First reduce the opacity to 0%, then add an inner shadow with the following setting:


Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and enter anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5px for the radius.

Step 3:
Add a layer mask by using a large soft black brush with the hardness set at 0% to remove the top left portion of the circle.


Duplicate this layer until the area on the bottom right darkens to your satisfaction.

Step 4:
Make a new layer below the circle, grab that large soft black brush again, and click once on the center of the canvas. Reduce the opacity to 20%, and now the circle should like this:


Press Ctrl+G to group all the circle layers.

Step 5:
Make a layer above the circles and fill it black with the Paint Bucket. Grab a soft white brush and make one spot on the center.


Now to have fun, go to Filter > Distort > Wave and have with the effects until you’ve distorted the circle to your liking. Apply the filter twice more by pressing Ctrl+F when you are finished.


Step 6:
Invert the colors in the image by pressing Ctrl+L, and setting the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply.


Add a layer mask and remove any unwanted areas with a large soft brush. Repeat this technique until you have the desired amount of this effect.


Step 7:
Make another layer, and use the Lasso tool , set the feather to 30px and follow the example:


Make sure at this point you have the foreground color set to white and background to black, go to Filter > Render > Clouds, and hit Ctrl+D.


Push Ctrl+L, and in the levels window increase the contrasts. Use the following settings;


Set the layer to Multiply, create a layer mask, and again remove unwanted areas.


Step 8:
Now for some more fun! Make a new layer with black as the foreground. Grab a round brush around the size 25px with a hardness of 100%. Go to Window > Brushes and use the following:





Paint over the canvas as you wish. When finished, go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and apply a radial blur with an amount of 2px.


Step 9:
Open this photo. Press Ctrl+L, invert the colors and set the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply. Press Ctrl+L again once at the levels window, follow the example below:


Go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. You can now name your lighting brush!

Step 10:
Make a new layer and use that shiny new brush to click once over the canvas, anywhere you’d like. You can move it quite easily.


Step 11:
Create a new group, switch the Blend Mode to Color Dodge and create a layer. Use a soft white brush to paint on any of the areas you’d like to enhance and reduce the opacity as wanted.


Look at that! You’re going to have an all-star album cover! Your band is sure to make the Top 40! Well, maybe the local college radio station? You have to start somewhere, after all. Enjoy your new brush and the light effects. Rock on!

This post is written by John Lewis and he works at PriceCollate as a writer.

Professional IT Services For Financial Services Industry

Professional IT Services Can Help Companies in the Financial Services Industry Handle IT Security Issues

Businesses in the financial services have strict requirements to protect their clients’ data from unauthorized access and loss. By working with a professional IT services firm can provide the necessary systems to secure data and prevent data loss.


Companies in the financial industry constantly manage and collect sensitive customer information such as addresses and bank account details. This is why customers have high expectations when it comes to the type of security that these businesses provide. According to the Ponemon Institute, the finance industry has the second highest churn or turnover rate – the rate that a business industry loses customers who were directly affected by data breach events. The inability to meet client expectations can cause customers to take their business elsewhere.

IT services enable financial industry businesses to prevent data breach and eventual profit loss by performing risk assessment and implementing systems for intrusion detection and prevention. In risk assessment, the IT environment is analyzed for weak points such as inadequate end-user policy for employees, while prompt intruder detection ensures that the IT environment is able to detect unauthorized data access.

This is done through the implementation of strict end-user policies and messaging security systems. These policies include the implementation of encryption codes in the IT environment preventing data loss, theft and other types of security breach. Secure messaging protocols on the other hand, secures communications and networks by ensuring that no one from the company divulges sensitive company information through emails and other forms of communications.

Learn more about how professional IT services can help secure critical business
information at

Promote Your Facebook Status Updates!: official

So its here finally! Facebook allowing its users to promote their status updates for a fee of 0.30 USD!

According to Facebook, you can promote posts and important news, links and photos higher in news feed.


For now, you could pay them online via:
Credit Card
Western Union QuickPay


Well, I think this could help in terms of promotion. But how will your news feed look like if its filled with promotional stuffs most of the times. Would you still come to Facebook with the same interest to read those promotions ?

Link Wheels Made Easy – A Guide For Beginners

This is a guest post by Kenneth Javellana. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guest post guidelines.

At the heart of every successful online business is good traffic. By that, I mean traffic that is high in both number and quality. You already set up social media accounts for cross-promoting your website. Basic link building techniques like blog commenting, forum posting, participating in guest posts, and link exchange are quite familiar to you as well. As a matter of fact you constantly do them to keep the traffic flowing. With everything set in place you can now move on to link wheels, a more advanced way of attracting high-quality traffic. Although its effects are not immediate, a link wheel proves to be beneficial for any online business.

The concept behind it
A link wheel consists of a set of websites with links flowing from one to another. These links will close in a circular pattern. In the middle of this pattern is your website. All other sites should be linking to it. Below is an example of a basic link wheel.


Now ideally, you should use Web 2.0 sites and link them towards a main website. Web 2.0 sites could be blogs, social networking sites, photo-sharing sites, or video sharing websites – anything that promotes interaction. The purpose of building link wheels is to dominate the web with content. In turn, that will increase your brand’s visibility on search engines and the amount of traffic that flows to the target website. Web 2.0 sites also help to ensure that you bring in quality traffic to your website. Of course, proper implementation of a link wheel is necessary. All elements of a link wheel need to be related to the products you are trying to sell or the theme of the target website. This will increase chances of conversion and decrease your bounce rates.

There is no specific pattern when creating a link wheel. They can be made as simple like the illustration above or complex like by setting up separate blogs which Web 2.0 properties link to before linking back to your website. When planning to create a link wheel, just remember to stick to a pattern and use a variety of Web 2.0 sites. A Web 2.0 site must never be used more than once in a link wheel.

Benefits and uses
The main purpose of a link wheel is to generate traffic that is both high in number and quality. Where this traffic leads is entirely up to you. Internet marketers commonly use Web 2.0 properties to generate traffic for their websites. However, other business models also use it to strengthen their social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. A link wheel can therefore be used as an internet marketing strategy or as a social media strategy.

Now before you create a link wheel out of whim, look into your business model and analyze what you need the most. Is it traffic that you need or do you want to multiply your followers on social networks? Clearly define what you want to happen so that you can create an appropriate pattern. Slowly build your link wheel over an extended period of time to make it look natural. Once set up, give it some time and you will slowly find yourself nearing your goal.

This post was prepared by Kenneth Javellana. During his spare time, Ken enjoys writing articles that tackle SEO techniques and tips on blogging. He also writes for his business at, one of the top internet providers.

How-to enable in-stream ads: YouTube

Were you earning good income from YouTube’s Instream ad options ?

But now, pre-roll ads, Mid-roll ads and post-roll ads options are missing from your account ?

Not really..

You can enable these ads only for videos with atleast 10 min of content.

Once you upload the video and the video is processed, goto Video Manager and click on the edit link beside your video.
Next, goto Monetization tab and then select pre-roll, Mid-roll and post-roll ads.


Another good news is, we need not enable Monetization individually for all the videos. Now you can set default setting, which will be pre-selected for all your future uploads.

To set your video’s default options goto: your youtube default settings

Related Read:
How To Get Into YouTube Partnership Program ?
How To Double Your YouTube Partnership Earnings: Instantly