Design Oahu

Web design blog from the middle of the pacific.

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Do you want to know how Google sees your website? Well, why not find out straight from the horse’s mouth. That’s right, let the Google Webmaster Tools show you how Google has indexed, ranked, linked, and cached your site. After you have signed in with your Google Account or Gmail address, you need to add your website address. Then the next step is to add the link to your sitemap xml file. If you use Wordpress I highly recommend the Google Sitemap Generator plugin. Read the rest of this entry »

No Tripod? No worries!

This is a quick tip for Photoshop users that want to level out the horizon in a photo, most likely you shot without a tripod. This will not help to improve your blurry picture from your shaky hands, but it will quickly get the horizon perfectly horizontal. I rarely shoot with a tripod, as I just take casual photos, which means that a lot of the time my pictures are tilted. Originally I used the Image->Rotate Canvas->Arbitrary and would just keep trying new rotations until I got it as close as possible. Then I figured out that I can just Transform (Ctrl+T) and eyeball it out, however I now make use of the Lens Correction Filter which will make the horizon perfectly level. I use the highest quality setting on my camera (5.1 Mega Pixels) which gives me a 2580 x 1932 image. Do not scale it down to the size you want just yet as you will need to crop the image to compensate for the blank corners when the image is rotated. After that you can scale down your image to the size you want. Here is our original image at the top of the hill at Waimea on the North Shore of Oahu.
Waimea Unedited
Now go to Filter->Distort->Lens Correction. I prefer to uncheck the default Grid that appears at the bottom so I can see the image more clearly. Select the Straighten Tool (A) on the left sidebar. You do not need to mess with any of the settings on the right. Now click right on your horizon reference point on one side and drag to the other side.
Lens Correction Setup
When you let go the image will be repositioned correctly with the correct amount of rotation.
Missing Corners
Now you see what I mentioned earlier about the corners missing after the rotation. Just click on the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and select the portion to keep.
Crop It
Select Image->Crop and you have your newly level image.
Finished Waimea

Creating an Old Fashioned Picture in Photoshop

It is really easy to take any photograph and created a weathered look with some simple Photoshop adjustment layers. I took this picture on the south shore of Oahu right near Sandy’s Beach. I am going to try and make it look like a picture I would find at my Grandparents’ house. Read the rest of this entry »

Web of Trust (WoT)

WoT Notary Seal
I am honored to become the first Web of Trust (WoT) Notary in Hawaii that earned the ability to notarize through other Hawaii WoT members. I am now available in Honolulu to make an assertion for you. Thawte offers free personal email certificates that allow you to digitally sign and encrypt your email messages. The free certificate works perfectly, however the only caveat is that the name appearing on the certificate says “Thawte Freemail Member”. It is a small price to pay (nothing) for what you actually get in return (encryption).

If it is important to you (as it was me) to have your name appear on the certificate then you will need to get notarized by a Web of Trust (WoT) Notary. Basically, any WoT notary is able to give you between 10 and 35 points. In order to get your name on the certificate you must have 50 points. The amount of points that a notary is able to distribute is based on the amount of assertions the notary has made, so a notary that regularly notarizes others is able to give more points. In order to become a notary you must collect 100 points.

I think that the Web of Trust is a great idea to have a community of people helping other people. My hope is that we can grow the WoT on Hawaii and make it really easy for others on the islands to get certified. If you wish to be certified please send me an email with your availability. Thawte gives notaries the option of charging for your services, however I will not be charging, as that defeats the purpose of a “Free” certificate.