Saturday, November 10, 2007

Photo Editing and Photography

Now that the weather is cooler and some days downright freezing cold, I'm focusing my attention on a few new hobby projects. I am so inept when it comes to technology and most instructions are way over my head, not only that, I am the type of person who has to learn these kinds of things hands on. In regards to technology, I sometimes feel like Rip Van Winkle, like I've been asleep for twenty years and woke up to a brand new world, where everything is so different, so complicated. Some of these things though are definitely worth taking the to time to learn.

As I've mentioned before, I love to go to Barnes and Noble to read, study, look at home and garden magazines and have a Starbucks drink. I went one day this week and the topic of interest for me was photo editing. I looked through several books on Photoshop Elements 5, which is my editing software, and I found a couple of books that I really liked. Sometimes, when something is totally new to me, like photography or photo editing, I have to read the same things over and over, sometimes worded in different ways, and slowly they start to make sense to me. I sometimes have to immerse myself in the topic for this to understanding to take place. Anyway, that is one reason for fewer blog post this week, I've been preoccupied with reading, studying and playing with PE5, I've also babysat most of the week and my spare time was limited.

One thing I finally learned how to do was create a collage and post it using PE5. This won't be my favorite method for posting most pictures, since the individual pictures can't be enlarged. Although it sure saves me time on blogger by only having to download, (or is that upload), one item, especially as in the case of the bird pictures that were taken from either inside the house or from a long distance away and weren't that great to begin with.

My new project now is to learn more about photo restoration. I picked up the book Photoshop Elements Restoration & Retouching Book by Matt Kloskowski, which has clear step-by-step instructions that I think I can follow. Last year as a Christmas present to my extended family, I scanned all of the old pictures of the family, (I've always been the holiday family photographer), and put them on a CD with music. It was very sweet and sad too, in fact the Butterfly Kisses song with the pictures of granddaughters as they were growing up was a tearjerker. Some of the pictures were old though and could have used some retouching. I also have all of my mom's pictures and my mother-in-law's and would love to restore those that are in bad shape and put them on a CD for the family members who might want a copy. This, I know will be a time consuming project and now is the perfect time to take it on.

I've also joined a local photography club and look forward to learning new things there too. The next class is on shooting photos in and with candle light.

Maybe I'll actually use my new craft room and do some scrapbooking or sewing this winter. I also have stacks of new religious and gardening books waiting to be read and other books I've already read that I'd love to review again. I do miss the warm sunshine and being outside this time of year, but I also enjoy cuddling up with a book on those cold gray days. Being from the south, I'm kind of like a bear and I hibernate in the winter, so I have my projects ready to begin, and my books and favorite quilt in my den just waiting for those cozy winter days.

I'm not sure how much blog posting I'll be able to do over the winter, I'm not sure I'll have anything to take pictures of or much to say. I'll be very interested to see what other garden bloggers do during the winter months. I guess that is one great benefit to those who enjoy writing, they are so creative and probably never run out of things to blog about. They, along with the southern gardeners, hopefully will keep us entertained, informed and connected through the winter months.


Connie said...

I'm with you...I have so much to learn about Photoshop and know I have only just scratched the surface of the capabilities that lie therein. Would love to take a is sometimes so much easier to have someone show you than try to figure it out by reading!

Shirley said...

Hi again, Robin :-)

Like Connie, I too have much to learn with Photoshop. I have tried the books with CD's and projects then I don't have time to get back to it and yes, I've forgotten some of the techniques. I really isn't user friendly! Great for cropping though :-D

I expect I will be back to using my video camera over the winter months to film my visiting birds. That is how my Blog started filming the Robin to send to my frined in Australia. I enjoy making my short films but..... I will need to clear some space before I can load more :-D

Bev said...

Robin, good for you for your enthusiasm and interest in learning new things. You must be a very interesting person to have as a friend. I REALLY do hope you continue to post over the winter, as I enjoy your blog so much. You have some very thoughtful posts and beautiful photos. I would sure miss that! I'm with you on hibernating for the winter. Here are some of my planned projects:

Add some blogs I haven't had time to do, like more on Xeriscaping. Update my profile. AND a big project--install a program I got from Canada called The Garden Management System. All my plantings are listed by year in my journals and I have trouble indentifying them readily. I'm going to enter every plant (with photo) and information. It will be a daunting task but I can hardly wait to clean my garden tools and get started. As always, I want to read more books.

So I hope you will keep us posted and I promise to let you know how the plant cataloging goes.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Connie, I have access to a great Photoshop teacher that lives in the Indy area. She is Julie Adair King. Julie has written several books on digital photography and photo editing. I would have already taken her class but I don't have a laptop to use in class, and without the hands on instruction it would go right over my head. Hopefully one day I'll be able to take her classes.

Hi Shirl, I forget things too if I don't use them frequently enough. I look forward to seeing more of your bird videos. I think it is so interesting that you have cameras in your nesting boxes.

Bev, thank you for your kind comment. I will definitely be posting some over the winter, I'm just not sure how much since I'm not outside much when it's cold. Winter has its own beauty to photograph, and I'll also be winter sowing, so I know I'll have a few garden and nature related things to post about. Not only that, I enjoy blogging to much not to post at all.

I have trouble identifying all of my plants too, I've actually thought of starting a plant profile on my blog to help me remember. I'm sure I've got at least on picture of everything I grow. Maybe that is another winter project for me.

Have fun with your winter projects.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robin (or anyone). If you want to learn more about photo editing you can contact me on my website (It's a new site and I still have a lot to add.) There are also many tutorials on YouTube or Metacafe. Just search Photoshop.