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!