Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I should wear make up more often

I always have to smooth my skin and take out the bags under the eyes, and I tell myself, it's not really much edit, just how I'd look if I put on some concealer and powder.  This time I added eyelashes too, thank you ss eyelashes at .  They have cool eyeshadows too.  I add them one lid at a time onto transparent layers, then shrink or revolve and adjust opacity until they look right, like mine when I put on mascara.  I promised my granddaughter a makeup day soon, and then we'll take glam shots and touch up from there.  I'll leave the wrapping paper off.

postscript- a little makeup and combing the hair DOES help!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The microphone is fixed!

So I have completed and am uploading another tutorial, Using brushes and art in photoshop and photoshop elements, to Youtube. It is taking an incredibly long time to upload though, I tried yesterday and am giving it another go right now.  It worries me some because of the viral onslaught I had recently, but I read where many other users have had problems too.  So, it should be visable in an hour or two here .

I've seen some fabulous designer camera bags for women, look like very luxe purses with prices to match.  I craved one but would never pay that price, well maybe even if I could afford it.  But with all my crawling around looking for free patterns, it's so obvious the solution is to sew it yourself!!!  Here's one that I really loved where you just make the inserts for an already-made purse of your choice, but if you google and look yourself there are bunches and bunches of free patterns for inserts (some suggest foam and duct tape) or the entire bag, so cute!!!  If you don't sew and can't afford the designer one, I'd suggest finding someone who would make one for you, maybe in exchange for some photo services?

10% uploaded in 10 minutes, sigh.  It's always been fast before.  I'm thinking the next tutorial will be on making your own brushes.  Happy editing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

RIP sweet Bubba and Rex

My little half pit, half wiener died 5 days ago, and I've been hurting pretty bad about it.  I haven't loved a dog like that since I was a little girl.  Yesterday, the big mastif in this photo, Rex, was hit by a car and had to be put to sleep.  My very good friend Karen is grieving him hard too.  Great dogs, both of them.

I've been battling a VERY nasty computer virus that invited in other viruses and spyware and was just running havic on my system, I believe I've finally got it kicked.  I also finally corrected the audio problem with recording, I'm still not entirely sure how, but I've got a software that works so there will be a new tutorial soon!  Today, however, is a day before night shift and I have to sleep very soon.  I can't risk getting started on a project because I know I won't stop.  Also, if I'm going to be honest, I have to admit I have been heavily cheating on the photoediting with some sewing.  Christmas is coming!!!  I'm sewing for everyone.  It's working much better than the cookies for everyone plans ever went.

See you soon with a tutorial on the joys of BRUSHES!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I've been away for a while.  I am wanting to do another video tutorial, this one on using brushes, but I cannot get my microphone to work!  I've downloaded 5 different programs and it works with none of them.  Went to the microsoft site and tried all of their solutions, including downloading a recording software...I can record audio on that- but not on my video recorders.  Banging my head.  I'll get it eventually.

Also, I've been cheating on my photoediting with a renewed love of sewing.  Teaching the kid above to sew and she is so psyched about it!!  Which fired me up as well.  Moved (almost) all of my gear, turned up one machine, ordered parts for the vintage, and I'm leaving the serger alone for now.  Getting ready to go full blast for christmas- I see heirloom baby dresses, lovely flannel jammies that fit perfect with great style, quilts.....oh boy!!  I have a huge fabric stash and now the internet has all kinds of free patterns for downloads.  I've even seen some photo editing/ textile arts mergers.  Oh, BOY!

I have surgery scheduled in two months and then I'll be mobile for photography again, eagerly awaiting that.  Right now I only photograph from the car and in my house, I walk no where that isn't necessary.  I imagine I'll find a day job and totally rejoin the land of the living.  But I'm going to hang with this blog thing for at least a year.

This is another poor photograph (don't even know where this camera came from, the photographer was my daughter who usually does better exposure, she nailed the action though) that I edited in RAW even though it was a jpeg image.  Check out that link in a previous post if you want to learn how.  It certainly helped this shot!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stinky Dog

I'm not taking many pictures these days because my hip is trashed.  I'm scheduled for surgery in January, but for now, walking HURTS.  But yesterday I was forced out for an annual performance review and it was such a pretty Indian summer day I had to lay in the grass and take a few shots.  The photo on the left is the original image, on the right is straightened and lighting levels adjusted.  I think other than straightening, I should have left the light the way it was, slightly blown like the day actually was.

The title for the day is because there is something somewhere in the yard that smells awful, and for the second time in 12 hours the dog needs a bath.  I have him restrained at my feet on a leash to keep him off furniture, and he stinks to high heaven.  Let me go take care of that now!  Ugh!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Night shift messes with your day

I have lots of time to surf the internet and I can play with edits on the laptop.  The laptop screen is not as nice as my pc and I only have the laptops mouse pad, so edits aren't usually great late at night in the dark.  I end up having more ideas than finished products.  Ideas are good, if I remember them.  Last night I found two tutorials I want to check out later, so I thought I'd post them on here.  If I do them later on I'll post the results on, but for now I got nothing.  I didn't do much post processing with the dog shot above, it's just my Bubba whom I love.

I found this one on making vintage photo effects, taking it a little further than just "ageing" the photo, and this fun one that I've seen on face book on how to make a face look like it's sideways and frontwards at the same time.  I tried it when I got home but I was a little too groggy and unenthusiastic to do a good job.  Lots of work for a cheesy thing, but kinda cool anyway. 

Night shift during daylight savings shifts sucks!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Editing Raw in Photoshop Elements

The above photos were taken from a friends phone- I know none of the details of the model or brand.  The first is the jpeg file, and the second was edited in photoshop elements version 9 in RAW mode.  I do realize the Washington monument is leaning like the tower of Piza, but this was a very quick experiment to see if I could edit a jpeg format in Raw mode, and I CAN!

I shoot with a Canon S2-IS that I've had maybe 6 or 7 years, my 4th digital camera and well loved.  One of my main beefs with it is that it does not shoot in Raw mode.  As my skills in photography and editing have progressed, I have missed not having that option to explore, and my next camera will have it.  Just as the previous post touched on the importance of having enough data to process and produce with scanned photos, shooting and processing in Raw keeps all of the data the camera has captured protected and available, even some stuff you might not be able to see until you start fiddling with it.  J peg is wonderful for being able to send anywhere, but the files degrade every time you save them.  Raw saves it.

So even with a camera that does not capture Raw images, I can process in Raw and then save it in that format by using a little "cheat" in elements.  Clever folks are always figuring out these cheats until Adobe breaks down and puts it in a new version of elements, like layer masks- if you have an elements version older than 9, search for "layer mask cheats for elements" and you will find that process on the internet.

I understand that because I'm working on jpeg and not true raw files, "not all of the options in Raw editing will be available".  I'm not sure why editing in Raw is going to be beneficial, the article I read said that it gives me options not otherwise available and I'll have fast and professional results.  I'll have to play with it much more to figure it all out.  I am excited I have a new trick to learn!

I found this trick at a site called Essential Photoshop and here is a link to the article.  Looks like they have a wealth of other information as well.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scanning for Restorations

I was going great guns and disappeared for a few days.  I've been building a family history photo site at shutterbug.  What fun!  I'm doing my birth family, my ex-in-laws, and my own.

A great many of my parent's family photos are missing.  Years ago I scanned what I had and through the past several years I've worked on restoring them.  Last year my brother brought what he had up from Florida and I scanned those, then gave him most of the originals that I had.  Now, to my chagrin, I discover that I did not scan most of those photos with high enough resolution to make good prints!!

If you are going to go to the trouble of scanning and restoring old photos scan them with at least 300
DPI!!  More is better.  Right now I'm scanning some at 600.  It takes longer.  It's worth it.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, research it on the internet, here's a good link to start:

It's also a good place to look at the quality of work that you should aspire to, and take a look at those prices!  I would do it for less for you.  You could save lots of money learning to do it yourself if you enjoy working with photo editing. 

The photo today is not one of my family, but for a friend done with painstaking care.  Unfortunately, it does not have enough pixels to print!  Make sure you get your scans right.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

photo restorations

(Click to see larger.
This third one was done days later. Sometimes I just have to come back and do some more.)

Goodness!  Fighting with blogger to get them side by side, but blogger won.
Restoration is my favorite thing to do with photo manipulation.  The older and more beat up, the more I love the challenge.  After a hundred or more, it's apparent to me that "more beat up" is not the biggest challenge.  It's those photos from cheap cameras that we all had in the 70's.  The pigments changed and bled, and the images were often blurry and distorted to begin with.  Frequently composition was bad too, film was cheap enough for everyone to take some but expensive enough where most people didn't shoot enough to get good.  Also, you had to commit to dropping off film and picking up prints.  I so love digital!!!  I am promising today to work a little harder on restoration of "bad" snapshots of the 70's.  I'm sure I'm going to have to inject them with a little more creativity than just sticking to the realism of what I imagined the original to be.
The photograph above is my brother's graduation from Navy basic training.  It was not the worst damaged that I've restored, and not my best, but close on both counts.  I had to go to another image and steal a bush for the background, convert to black and white, colorize, and blur to get it to match.  Some of the faces had to be composites of other faces in the crowd, eyes from this one, chin from over there.  I could have spent a few more hours to make them better (on some later date I just might, since the layers are preserved in photoshop format).  My sailor's face is intact so I didn't worry too much about the ones I don't know for family album purpose.  The delightful part was badly stained shirts.  Everyone is wearing the same one, so it was so simple to grab pieces for repair! 
This was pure fun, I gave up sleep for it after night shift yesterday.  Thanks to my niece, April Lewis Shriver for providing this and several more family hierlooms for me to work on.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I love TipSquirrel

TipSquirrel is a great place to go to for (you guessed it) photoshop tips and tutorials!  One of my favorites from all time, Gavin Hoey, contributes there and so do many many other talented people.  TipSquirrel has a site and is on facebook and twitter.  Of course I'll give you the link for TipSquirrel!  When I say photoshop, I do mean all the versions and elements too.  Have fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

merging images, third video

I've completed a third video, cut and merge photos.  This is a technique that everyone usually wants to learn how to do in photoshop, to build a composite photo with elements out of two or several images.  It was something I used to get all kinds of confused about in the beginning when I was just working off trial and error.  I'd select something and then couldn't get it to go where I wanted, or inverse when I wasn't supposed to.  After working along with a video or two, it became so simple!  Kind of like knitting, I needed live or video instruction to learn that as well.  Written tutorials with photo's just left me with snarls. 

I'm not sure if I fixed the sound on the listener's end or on my own end, but I think this one is audible.  Now I need to work on eliminating my "um"s!!!  Forgive me, I'm just learning!  It's a little frightening to think I could end up somewhere on the internet as "the worst of" either with the video's or my shutterbug album, but if I don't try I'll never grow, and this might help a few others on the way to a very gratifying hobby.  Taking photo's is so much more fun when you end up with some you really like to look at!  Here is the link to this tutorial:  The great thing about going to youtube for tutorial videos is on the sidebar there are always several more related videos.  Have fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

beginning tutorials for photoshop elements

I made two tutorials and posted them on youtube, aimed those who have little or no experience editing with photoshop products.  I use photoshop 9, but from watching videos and learning from them, I know that you can learn a great deal from any videos of any of the photoshop family.  Sometimes you have to skip a fix and find another, but you can definitely start getting your feet wet from this tutorials.

I have a problem with sound with my pc that I think transfered to the videos, you may have to use a headset to hear.  I'm working on it.  Still, they may be worth looking at, try them and tell me what you think.  The first one is to fix a dreary photo, and the second is on portrait editing.  I really enjoyed making them and hope to make more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

free editing programs

I arrive for my night shift and mom is up working on photo books for christmas.  Darn, I want to be playing with her pictures too, she takes very good ones.  She has photoshop but I don't think she uses it.  I'd love to have time to teach her some stuff on it, but when I get there she goes to bed, and I go upstairs.

She does use a program, I think it's the one that came with her camera.  Usually those are very basic.  I remember way back in my new to computer days, I bought a cute little jam cam that took smaller pics than most phones today.  I was in heaven though.  I took very bad pictures, besides it being a pretty dismal camera.  I went to the library and went to staples and ended up buying a little program called microsoft picture it!  (the exclamation point was theirs).  Does anyone else remember that program?  I still have it installed on this machine, and still have the disc.  I loved that program!  I got fairly good at editing with it, and then it was really hard to switch over to photoshop elements.   I do have to admit I can do much much more with the photoshop products.

I downloaded gimp this month to take a look at it.  It seemed very similar to photoshop, but just different enough where  I know I'd have to play a while to get good at it.  Since I'm just getting to where I really know what all my tools do and when to use one and not the other, I don't think I'm up for major exploration with other software right now.  Unless it were a full version of the latest photoshop.  But I do have some friends that are just starting, so I've been looking for free editing software for them.  I found an article for 20 free programs for photoshop alternatives.  If you don't have a photoshop program, you might want to check some of these out, because that program you got with your camera really is not doing much.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

another start!

I've started and quit various blogs before, and made a couple (2 real so far) websites.  So this whole process is more comfortable for me.  I just made a website with hostgator for a $20 some dollar investment, with a photo gallery, blog, forum all attached.  It took about 3 days of hard work and lots and lots of tech support (they have GREAT tech support).  Since I want to blog and work with photo edits, the photo page was the most important, and it just didn't satisfy.  There was one plug in they said I could use, but it was going to involve lots more technical hook up and looking at the prevues, it didn't satisfy either.  I had one last year with GoDaddy that was better, but they want a year's subscription up front, and I didn't want to commit to that.  So I started searching around and found that SNAPFISH had a GREAT free site feature that could do nearly everything I wanted.  Matter of fact, I could probably blog from there as well, but I am hoping to make a few bucks somehow somewhere down the line.  I didn't want to violate their policy so I am keeping Shutterfly strictly for looking at edits.  But I can put as many photos as I want on there, have lots of control in how to organize them, they can be viewed, as they should, in full screen if not actual size.  I can invite other editors to post their stuff in their own albums!!  There's a forum spot where we can talk about what we use and how we do stuff, and about problems and give advice and encouragement.  I could upload a photo for everyone to take a turn at and they can upload their edit.  Bigger views than facebook or my paid account.  I just got all kinds of excited about it.  So, with all that going on there, why keep my paid site?  The blog was the most important thing there, as a place to just write and post the links I find and tutorials I make.  And I needed a way for people to contact me if they wanted me to do an edit.  But even at the great cheap price of $8 monthly, I still have to go through silly tech stuff to just post stuff.  So, here I am, a week after starting my last great venture, starting this one.  I'm hoping I'll be happy here.  Take a look at the Shutterfly page,

Next time, photo edit stuff, I promise!