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 http://sussexphotoedits.shutterfly.com/, 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 Elements.com 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:  http://www.yesteryearmemories.com/scanning_tips.asp

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.