The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

Best of 2019: The Sony World Photography Awards

The goal of the competition is to showcase the best contemporary photography from around the world.

The 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest winners

The categories for the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest include Wildlife, People, and Places.

Winners from the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards

Whittled down from 48,000 entries from 156 countries, judges had a difficult time deciding the winners of the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards.

Top 10 winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Now entering it’s 44th year of celebrating the beauty of a microscopic world, Nikon has announced the winners of its 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Photographer discovers his image plagiarized, hanging in an art gallery

A renowned American artist has been accused of plagiarizing an iconic image by a South African photographer.

Scuba Diving Magazine​ unveils underwater ​photo​ contest winners

One of the most fascinating and largely unexplored places in the world also happens to be a place difficult for most people to visit—the depths of the ocean. But, for seasoned scuba divers, this contest is a chance to capture underwater wonders most will never…

Discover the best aerial photos from the inaugural Drone Awards

After receiving 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the inaugural Drone Awards have announced the winners of their competition. The awards, which celebrates the art of drone photography, has allowed photographers to explore new perspectives and communicate an appreciation of our planet.

Edible worlds created out of everyday ingredients

When London-based photographer Carl Warner was a child, he probably wasn’t listening when his parents told him not to play with his food. The artist uses a wide variety of ingredients, such as deli meats, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and bread as the medium for his food art landscapes.

Shutterstock comes to the rescue in witty print ad campaign

Stock photography website, Shutterstock is used by designers and agencies the world over. And to highlight their coming to the rescue of those creatives, Dominican Republic ad agency Cazar DDB has created a trio of witty print ads to promote the stock photography company and its offerings.

Shazam-like app identifies plants and animals in your photos

If you’ve ever gone hiking and come across plants and animals you were unfamiliar with, and wanted to know more, there’s now an app for that. You could try to describe what you see and type it into Google. But you might not get the…

Kodak is getting into cryptocurrency for photographers

Even with the current volatility of the cryptocurrency market, Kodak is looking to make its mark. The company recently announced that it’s joining forces with Wenn Digital to launch its own cryptocurrency for photographers called KODAKCoin.

AI tool enhances low-res pixelated images into hi-res

You see it in cop shows like CSI all the time. The police are trying to enhance pixelated images to read what seems like non-existent details in photos. As far-fetched as it may seem, researchers have been artificial intelligence technologies to help fill in missing…

Getty bans Photoshopped images that alter models’ body shapes

Taking effect back on October 1st, Getty images updated its Creative Stills Submission Requirements. The new requirements specify they will no longer accept images of models whose bodies have been Photoshopped; either to look thinner or larger.

Quickshot photo app help you shoot better photos

There are times when editing you photos gives them that final boost to show their maximum potential; which takes time. That’s why Lightricks, the developers behind Facetune, Memoji and Enlight, has launched the Quickshot photo app.

Controversial photo of scribbles and spit wins $20K award

Sydney photographer Justine Varga has won the $20,000AUD prize for the 2017 Olive Cotton Award for a large-scale work in homage to her grandmother. However, the win of this controversial photo is causing an outcry amongst photographers everywhere.

Google algorithm erases watermarks from stock images

As designers, when mocking up concepts for our projects, we tend to use plenty of stock images. Instead of buying images the client might not like, we use watermarked images to try before we buy. However, showing watermarks on our concepts look ugly and we…

Some of the best images from the solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21, 2017, millions of people across the northern hemisphere tried to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. In fact, according to Netflix, they lost 10 percent of their usual viewership during the solar eclipse.

Twitter account pokes fun at disturbing stock imagery

Stock imagery is used by media outlets when they don’t have a photo to illustrate a particular story; or when art directors are putting together a concept. Either way, there is a disturbing amount of options available on stock websites like iStock or Shutterstock.

Google successfully teaches AI to edit images like a pro photographer

Can a machine be trained to edit images that most people would think were shot by a professional human photographer? That’s what Google is trying to figure out with a machine learning research project.

Multidimensional landscapes created from hundreds of photos

Japanese artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi doesn’t believe that time can be physically grasped. However, with his latest exhibition, he shows us what it might look like if we could. Nobuhiro’s Layer Drawings series explores time, space, and memory by photographing landscapes over time.

When to use Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom

If you deal with a lot of photography, you need to know what to do with it. So whether you’re a photographer or a graphic designer, which software should you be using for your design project? Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom: which one is better? The truth is,…

Art created from light and long exposure photography

Each December for about 50 days, Finland’s northern region has a period were the sun never rises above the horizon. Photographer Hannu Huhtamo embraces the prolonged darkness by making it the canvas for his beautiful light-painting long exposure photos.

Guetzli by Google reduces the size of JPEG files, making image transfers quicker

If you’re into digital photography and hate the wait for transferring JPEG files, this announcement is for you. Google has introduced a new algorithm that will make it possible to reduce the size of JPEG images by about 35%, without reducing the quality.

The top 10 winners of the Sony World Photography Awards 2017

The Sony World Photography Awards is an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organization. Recently, the largest photo competition in the world announced the winners for 2017. 

Top 10 websites to get free images

Images and photography has always been an integral part of design. Unfortunately, we’ve grown accustomed to seeing unrealistic stock images of people smiling at the camera while performing a task. Not only that, but it can get rather expensive if you’re constantly purchasing images from…

Best travel photos from Siena International Photo Awards

Although the Siena International Photo Awards was only conceived last year, it’s already regarded as a prestigious award. Photographers from over 100 countries around the world have submitted their images for the 2016 awards. Results for this years submission of over 15,000 photos have just been announced.…

College student’s photo series protests rapists release

In June of this year, Brock Turner, a former student at Stanford University in California, was sentenced for rape. He received only six months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a campus party. As you can probably imagine, many people were understandably…

The 2016 National Geographic traveler photo contest winners

Each year National Geographic holds its prestigious travel photography contest. 2016’s has come to an end and it’s time to announce the winners! Chosen from more than 10,000 entries, below are the best traveler photos of the year.

Blind artist creates hypnotizing GIFs from famous images

George Redhawk was a professional radiology technician studying medicine who began losing his vision 12 years ago. After becoming legally blind, he began to explore the realm of photo manipulation. His desire was to show the world as he sees it from his damaged sight.

Subway passengers captured like 16th century paintings

If you ride the subway to work or school, you probably encounter different types of people. Some of those people are tourists who don’t speak very good english (although some people who speak english don’t do it well either). Then there’s that whisper-fighting couple where you catch every fifth…

Tiny detailed illustrations on pencil tops

Do you love to draw or sketch? If so, then you’ll want to check out this wonderful series from studio 1924‘s illustrator and designer Christian Watson. What’s amazing about this series is how small they are – and by that I mean they’re micro.

Google’s pro photo editing software is now free

What was once a $500US package of pro photo editing software is now completely free. Google has recently announced that their Nik Collection desktop suite, a professional photo editing package, is now free for download.

Swiss movement watches inspired by camera design

After 200 years of popularity, the wrist watch is slowly dying out because of smartphone technology. However, just because their being used less, doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some beautiful designs out there. If you’re a photographer, then you might enjoy these watches that…

Stunning photos of Lake Erie’s ‘liquid mountains’

Dave Sandford is a professional sports photographer from London, Ontario. For nearly twenty years he’s been capturing people’s reactions during great sporting moments, but now he’s pointing his lens in a different direction. He took some time to spend two to three days a week, over a…

The truth behind glamorous Instagram photos

Social media is full of sad, lonely people pretending they are okay and perfectly fine attention-seekers pretending to be sad. Instagram photos are the most deceptive when it comes to faking our lives.

Humorous responses to a couple asking for Photoshop help

Although Photoshop trolling isn’t anything new, the outcome never ceases to provide a good laugh. And when you invite the Internet for Photoshop help to edit a picture, you should expect cheeky responses from people wanting to add their own sense of humour into the mix. And…

Learn the best ways to photograph a moving object

Do you have problems shooting a moving object with a camera? It’s not just the speed of your subject that counts, it’s where you stand and the angle you shoot from. 

Sarcastic poster series shows the reality of being a photographer

Few careers are romanticized like that of a photographer; traveling the world, engaging with people, places and things. But is the reality all that attractive?

Unconventional murder weapons that were actually used

Humans seem to have a morbid fascination with death—and with that, ways of killing people. Have you ever thought about murder? If so, how would you do it and what would you use?

What not to say to a photographer

Bing a photographer is a complicated and sometimes challenging job, requiring talent and knowledge. But that doesn’t stop some people from treating them like free photo dispensers. 

Beautiful fluorescent bodyscapes

Utah-based photographer and artist John Poppleton‘s personal goal was to create something original and to be different. However, fantasy portraits were never part of his plan. Now that’s what he’s known for. John has created a series of fluorescent artworks, painted directly on the human body.

Photos that poke fun at silly United States laws

In the United States, there are both federal and state laws; each of the 50 states are allowed to formulate and implement their own laws. Some of these laws are rarely implemented and are even considered weird, controversial and obnoxious. While some are outlandish and…