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Beyond the selfie: learn (proper) mobile photography

Modern smartphones have a host of software tricks to make photos look better, plus cameras in some models that are as good as dedicated digital cameras. Almost everybody has a good quality camera in their pocket at all times now. But, as the saying goes, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The technology takes care of a lot of things, like exposure, colour and effects processing, but it does not (yet) point the camera in the right place and compose a scene for you.

Play hard, play hard: toy design

Where would we be without toys? If we were never allowed to use fascinating objects as springboards for our imaginations, our brains would fail to develop properly. We project ourselves onto toys, explore the world with them, learn with them. We discover cause and effect, relationships, and our own identities through toys. From Ancient Mesopotamia to Toys ‘R’ Us, children have constructed their realities with the help of tangible playthings, either made for them by their parents or made by the children themselves out of what’s lying around.

Yes you Cannes: four weeks to filmmaker

The credits have rolled at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with Swedish film The Square winning the Palme d’Or. The Short Film Palme D’Or went to Chinese film A Gentle Night and the top production from a film school student was Paul Is Here by Valentina Maurel from INSAS, Belgium.

The latter prize shows that film students can make a mark on events as prestigious as Cannes while they are still at film school. Good filmmaking is good filmmaking, whatever the director’s background, credentials and budget.  

Telepathy is real, but takes training

Good writing grabs the reader with the first sentence, keeps them enthralled throughout, and spits them out at the end a changed person. So why isn’t all writing like that? In fact, writing that good is pretty rare, and is written by creative minds at the top of their game and often with a string of publishing credits behind them. The majority of unpublished creative writing is self-indulgent drivel that reeks of inexperience, even though the writer may have felt inspired at the time and had superb images and narratives in their head. They just couldn’t get them out properly.

How to avoid event planning nightmares

Events make the modern world go round. Corporate awards ceremonies, annual parties, charity fundraising events, concerts, school fetes, weddings, political rallies, sports events, product launches, exhibitions and conferences all need someone to organise them. Bars don’t just pop up out of nowhere, performers don’t turn up randomly and play for free, food doesn’t materialise out of thin air. At large events, professional management companies organise every facet and ensure it all goes smoothly.