Thursday, May 28, 2009

PhotoShop Elements 6.0 Learning as I go...

I have come to the conclusion that I am not a patient person. Well I have been told that all my life, but I didn't believe it. Well, I sort of did, but tried pretending that I was very patient. I am actually very patient when it comes to others. Patient in traffic, patient when the person in front of me cuts me off, or doesn't go through the light, even when they are on a cell phone. Patient with children, patient with old folks. Just not patient with myself. Which is what I am so frustrated!

I have been trying to learn PhotoShop. Of course I have been trying to do it without reading the book, trying to figure it out blindly on my own. The whole thing just seems so complicated. There is so much I want to know. Questions like layering words over a photo, sizing a photo in odd sizes and then getting it to print that way, creating a collage, making my own note cards, all of it. In reality I think I want a little more than just Photoshop. I think I want to be able to design my own images and perhaps that is more than just Photoshop?

And then there is the computer. Working on a laptop with a less than reliable connection, everything takes forever, from uploading photos, to saving photos it seems to move so slow. So here is the question: What does a person need in the way of computer technology, design software, and printing? Where does a person begin if they want to learn how to create their own cards, letterhead, brochures, advertisements and more?

Is there one place you can go for all the answers? I don't know. But I intend to find out. In the meantime found a class at my local scrapbooking store that teaches digital scrapbooking using PhotoShop. The class is only $40 which to me seems reasonable and I am the only person who registered. Probably because people don't see the connection between Photoshop and Scrapbooking. The class is on Sunday, so come back and I will let you know what I learn. Hopefully the instructor will be patient with me!

I am posting a photo that I took with my new camera. Its either an egret or a heron, I am not sure. This is the photo I want to layer with text. I will let you know how it turns out!

What new thing are you learning? Are you taking photos? Developing a new skill? Please share with us!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Camera, Exercise, Turning 50 and FUN!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I turned 50 this month, had a reduction in my job hours, gained 30 pounds and life just wasn't looking all that rosy! And then my birthday came. My Mom decided it was important for my 50th birthday to be special and so her and My Dad bought me a new camera. When I found out I was speechless. It was an amazing gift. You see I had been using my company's digital camera to explore and practice my new found interest in nature photography. They had approved it, but after the job situation I just didn't feel the same there. I didn't feel like part of the team anymore, and just couldn't use it any longer. So it was back to the regular 35mm camera, waiting for your photos to arrive to see if you got good shots. It was different, but I would survive.

And then this wonderful gift. And you know, I started really thinking about it. It was so generous and so wonderful, but it was much more than that. It was acknowledgement. My parents saw in me what I wasn't seeing in myself. They saw my passion. Here I was at 50 with my negative voice saying "Who am I" "What am I passionate about?" Feeling down and a little unsure. And they were saying: "You are so creative, wonderful, passionate..." Well, those are what I heard!! LOL. My point is, we spend a lot of time second guessing ourselves and those that love us are showing us in so many ways how great they think we are. Maybe we just need to believe in ourselves a bit more and hang around those that think we are fabulous!

Well, as for the 30 pounds and the aching back, yesterday my husband and I took my camera on a hike and we caught so many wonderful pictures. I walked farther than I realized, the back pain is a little less painful this morning, I feel great and I have a feeling this camera is going to get me up and running again! I can't wait to get back outside today!

I am posting a picture today of a woodpecker. Its taken right outside through my screen door. Its not the best shot, but I am posting it because that is what this is all about. Learning. It could be a little clearer, it would be awesome in a tree with greenery in the background. But I live in the suburbs in a little townhouse with a small postage stamp backyard, and he was coming to the feeder, which in and of itself is a little odd because woodpeckers are typically insect eaters. Perhaps he too is having to adapt?

So, what are you learning today? What fear are you pushing through? How are you embracing the changes in your life?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Photo was featured in a Treasury on ETSY!

I am so excited. I was featured! That means alot on ETSY. What it means is that your craft item or photo is going to show up on the front page for everyone to see! That means a lot of people will be clicking on your item for sale! So, click on the link here and go see the treasury! Thanks for checking it out!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Photoshop, Classes, On Line Learning

I went to a scrap booking class the other day and ended up learning about photography. It sounds kind of obvious I guess but I had not made the connection. To me, scrap booking was paper, note cards, layouts. A pastime project. I had no idea that the photo could make the difference between an exceptional layout and a plain one. The funny thing here is that I don't do scrap booking. I do love card making, and I love photography. And it was here that I found some resources that I think will make my photo editing better. Check out the website for some very detailed, reasonably priced on line photoshop editing courses. Take some time to read her story and how she came up with these wonderful tutorials.

As I was paying my bill for all the paper, stamps I just had to have (I am sure some of it will show up at some point on my ETSY site!!) I was looking at the wall behind the counter and there was a series of photos that had been edited using Photoshop! And the photos they used were cherry blossoms. I was amazed how different they looked. If you have seen my photos in past posts you will know how many cherry blossom photos I have taken! So for $40 I am signing up for this class here. I will be going to a PhotoShop class on photo editing, in a Scrapbook Store for just $40! What a deal. I will pass along the learning once I take the class!

And then, you know how I just have to recognize other bloggers, etsy sellers that have passed along their information to help me with my business? Well, I came across a fellow ETSY photographer Laurie Ryan of LaurieRyanPhotography and had to have the picture she took of the Woodpecker feeding its babies. You have to check it out, its spectacular. Anyway, she gave me so many good ideas. Here are a few:

"I do have a few suggestions for you, retake some of the stamp images as they are blurry and the item will sell faster if its clear. For your images, don't use a watermark. What I do is greatly reduce the size and resolution before listing it, it will protect your copyright much better then a watermark. All a watermark will do is keep you out of treasury's and off the Featured Product Section, which you don't want. Watermarks can also be very easily removed with any photo editing soft ware. Cool eagle images I see you have a nesting mom near you. here is what I was told about wild bird images: The eye of the bird must be in good clear focus and the light must be reflecting off the eye so a person can see it clearly. Always keep the light at your back for that, sometimes that isn't always possible! Trust me I know that for a fact but try to keep that in mind when photographing birds and never ever use a strobe that disturbs the wild life, I never use one out in the woods. a good example of an excellent image with clear eye focus and light is your squirrel image very good job! Good luck and happy shooting, remember to always have fun when you are out with your cameras. That is the most important part." -Laurie

Isn't that enough inspiration and encouragement to keep going? Keep trying. Those helpful words are available to everyone. There are so many people on ETSY just willing to help, offer advice. Don't be afraid to ask.

She gave me many more suggestions because you know me...I Kept Asking! As I weed through the answers, check out her recommendations I will continue to post!