ASK US: Design: What is the Difference?

We are continuing answering your questions in our new ASK US series, and this week’s question was for Holly, our Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign teacher!
“I cannot seem to understand the difference between Illustrator and InDesign. I heard InDesign is for setting up pages?”
InDesign and Illustrator look pretty similar on the surface; they share a lot of the same tools and a familiar interface but were designed to serve different roles.
InDesign was built for arranging and formatting existing content to make a finished document. Whether it’s a book, birthday card, calendar, brochure, anything that you’re designing that will have a specific size should probably be laid out in InDesign. Illustrator on the other hand is for designing the individual pieces of content that go into your finished design; logos, maps, charts, patterns, all of the vector based elements should be created in illustrator (anything photographic should be done in photoshop) and then placed into InDesign.
There is nothing stopping you use either of them however you like, but much like trying to eat soup with a knife, it’s going to take longer and be a considerably messier if you don’t use the right tool for the job.
Thank you for your questions! You can submit more ASK US questions here, or join us in class! 

ASK US: Photo: Interiors #1


In our new ASK US series, we had our first great question from Ale about shooting interiors, and choosing the right depth of field for the shot:


“I am trying to improve my interiors photography. My question is regarding aperture. I know that I need to go higher with my aperture number to get more in-focused depth of field. However, is there a rough guideline on where to start on an average size living room? Are we talking F9, F11, F22? Also, I have seen a lot of “noise” in some of my shoots. Have been using an ISO of 400. Is that too much? Or might there be another reason?


Great questions, Ale! Choosing the best aperture really comes down to the overall style/feeling you want your photo to have. In my opinion, wide interiors shots of large spaces warrant a deeper depth of field in order to get as much in focus as possible. Unfortunately, there is no defined guideline to help you choose your f-stop, because it is all relative to the distance objects have from each other. For example, you might be photographing a living room that looks into the kitchen. The distance between the couch and the kitchen counter will be different from one house to the next. Also, your angle to both objects will make a difference, too. Start around f/11, and increase your depth of field, as desired.

There are many instances you might want shallow depth field for interiors, particularly when you are featuring one element in the room, or a detail. F/2.8-f/4 are usually favorites for me when I shoot details.

If ISO 400 is creating too much noise, try to keep it at ISO 100, and use a tripod. Whenever shooting interiors, I recommend using a tripod and using the self-timer button, or a cable release. (Or tether to a computer!) You will likely be at very slow shutter speeds and even triggering the shutter-release button could produce a shaky image.

Thank you for your questions! You can submit more ASK US questions here, or join us in class! I teach Photo 101, Photo 102, Photo: Tabletop and Photo: Babies & Children!


These images were photographed by me and styled by Rod Hipskind for Anthology Magazine.

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