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Sunday, April 22, 2012

RIP Picnik

Well it's gone and I for one am going to miss it.  It allowed you to do interesting things really quite easily. Sigh.  What do I use to process pictures?  Full blown Photoshop with several plug ins and actions.  They really do make life easier.

The question you need to ask yourself when thinking about a new photo editing tool, is what do you want to do with your pictures?  If the answer is take nice snapshots that will allow you to remember life's better moments, then any free service will do fine.  I'm serious. There's no need to spend any money at all.  I haven't checked them all out, but Picassa comes to mind as one that would do the job.

However, if you want to do better.  If photography is something that you really want to explore and excel at you are going to have to buy a version of Photoshop.  There really isn't any other choice right now.  Elements is much cheaper and easier to understand than the full blown version, especially if you get Scott Kelby's book, "Photoshop Elements for digital photographers."  Just take a look at Karen, over at the Rough String Ranch's work.  She has grown so much, she could go pro and sell her work in a gallery.

Here are some of the things that you'll be able to do in PS Elements that you can't do anywhere else.

1.  Save your file for the web and other devices.  Pictures are optimized for the web in a way which is different from the way you should save them for print jobs. 

2.  Sharpen you pictures effectively. 

3. Work with levels and curves.

4. Work with layers and actions.  This is not scary stuff.  I'm sure picnik was using both in some of their neater effects, they just didn't call them that.

This is just some food for thought.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Favorite Shots from a Clinic I Photographed

I really like these pics and I thought I'd share them with you.

Have a great week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

At Last

Well folks, I finealy have a cowgirl.  It's only taken me twenty three years.  Her mother went "ooh, I have poop on my shoes," when I tried to introduce her to the wonderful world of horses. So I figured ten was too late to make introductions. Not wanting to let that happen again, I decided eighteen months was just about right.  Here's what happened when I took her to the barn.

As we were driving up the driveway, her eyes got huge and she started jumping around in her car seat, yelling "hoses, oh hoses."  She could hardly wait to run up to the fence and here's what happened when I introduced her to my other little girl.

And she didn't want to leave.  We almost had to pry her away.  Oh yes, her first word, after mama, dada and the ever popular, "no" was hoses. That's pronounced with a soft o

Maybe it's too soon, but I think I've got one.  Oh yes, to continue the excitement, I intend to take my phone and skype at the barn.  Red hair and loves horses. It just goes to prove that if you're willing to wait, you sometimes actually get the whole enchilada.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cropping with the rule of thirds

Ok, here we go with the infamous rule of thirds. Whenever you crop in PS or PS Elements, you will see a grid. These lines are the thirds and you want your subject or in the case of a portrait, the eyes, to be on or near a line or where the lines cross.  Here are a few examples:

This automatically creates a more pleasing image.  I don't know why, I just know that it does.  Also it works well if you can have something to anchor the shot in the bottom right square and space in the top left.   So when you're shooting give yourself plenty of room to crop.  The picture is in there, just let the grid lines help you find it.