Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stitching In Stasis

Hi there everyone!

Well, as you can see from the title of this post - ain't no stitchin' here. None. At all. For the last... week and a half? Two weeks?

So, what have I been doing with my free time? Playing with PhotoShop Elements. Yep. I finally decided to bite the bullet and learn how to use the program so that I could quit my belly-achin' about all the pics I see from the pro-fesh-un-als (and non-pros, too!) that make me want to weep with envy, and drool all over my keyboard. Now, don't get me wrong. I got one of those million page long "Missing Manual" books when I got the program, and I did read it - somewhat. But I'm a hands on kind of learner so it wasn't really cuttin' the mustard, know what I'm sayin'? So, I did what any 21st century gal without a clue how to do something does - I went to YouTube, and watched hours of tutorials. There I learned about previously mysterious things like "layer masks", filters, actions, blah blah blah into the wee hours of the mornings. And when I was done there I searched blogland for some more help.

Eureka!! Via The Pioneer Woman's site, I came across this blog:

Oh my. There is a WEALTH (A wealth, I tell you!!) of information there for the new PSE user. And info isn't all!! This brilliant, awesome lady actually creates FREE actions that are usable in PSE (you aren't supposed to be able to create actions in PSE [an action is a recorded macro - no idea why Adobe calls it an "action", rather than a "macro"], which is one of the main differences between the el cheapo PhotoShop [Elements], and the full on [@$700!!!??!!!] PhotoShop)! AND, one of those free actions is the ability to create a layer mask on ANY layer in PSE (another of the key differences in the two programs). Score!!!!

Anyway... let me rein myself in here... So!! I've been fiddling around, and here are a few of my recent attempts. Most of the before shots are SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera).



After (a quick note - the point of this edit was to accomplish something [near to] "tilt shift photography" - the point of TSP is to make what you've taken a photo of look toy like. I plan on taking more pics in the future with the intent of them being TSP shots, so hopefully those will be more obviously toy like, but for my training sessions I've been using pics I've already got):

Before (another quick note - this shot is not SOOC. This before pic includes the basic edits I've been making since I got the program):



Before (Yet another note - I did not take this photo. My DH did [gotta give credit where credit is due!].):


So! There you have it! Hopefully this encourages someone out there reading this that it isn't actually terribly difficult to get really great results from a not ridiculously expensive photo editing program (trust me - if I can do it, you can do it!).

If you are at all interested in photography and editing your photos, but don't yet have the know how, I would highly encourage you to explore YouTube tutorials, then go visit the aforementioned blog (there are a few others out there, but the one I listed is the one I by far got the most "juice" out of). It really is a lot of fun!

Sorry no stitching this go 'round (and thanks for your comments on my last post)! I have been missing it the last few days, so probably will have something to show you next time.

Have a fabulous week, everyone!


Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Great post, Robin! I just love the pics of you and Leah! She is so pretty, truly!!!!

I'll have to check her tutorial out - all my pics are SOC (is that what you called it, straight out of the camera) and are nothing to write home about. Love what you're learning!

Berit said...

Robin, I love it! I had some photoshop classes in design school, but was never over the moon about the program (or photography for that matter...) But the stuff you're doing here is great!

These days I wish I had the wherewithal to take better pictures of my work (current blog images are straight-out-of-the-cell phone, lol!) I do have CS, though.

P.S. I have no idea why Adobe is so insistent on re-branding macros; it's like they want people to think they invented them, lol!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Those programs do lend a lovely element to photos but it takes time to play with your pictures each time you want to do something. That's what keeps me from playing around with it. Love all your stitchwork. There was a time when I did detailed cross-stitching, but with time limited, I stick with easy projects I can finish quickly and feel a sense of accomplishment. Hope you are having a great week. :) Tammy

Connie W said...

Thanks for the tip about PhotoShop tutorials! DH is the (non-pro) photographer in my house and he keeps bugging me to learn the program for myself. I consider myself strictly of amateur status, of course, but I'll have to give the tutorial route a try.

Sherry said...

great to see your post, Robin. Wondering how you were spending your time last bit of summer. Nice photos...I feel accomplished just when I have it transfer from the camera to the computer with not a lot of issues...your daughter is truly an angel!!

TinaTx said...

Wow - great photos! Thanks for the link - I'll have to check it out. Other than resizing so they aren't huge when I post them, my pictures come straight from the camera.

Barb said...

Thanks for the tip about the tutorials! I have Elements and haven't found it very easy to use so far. I did a little cutting and blending on a photo that came out pretty good, so maybe it is not hopeless. Maybe this will help. It's amazing what one can find on You Tube. I even learned how to fix our dryer and saved mucho bucks.

Ern said...

I think you should blog about the drink you made up today. It was classic.



Siobhan said...

Great pics, Robin! I'd love to get PS to play with but I know I'd be a goner!

Deb said...

Okay girlfriend, now you've got me wanting to do this. AUGHHHH! I love what you've done with these pictures, and love, love the pictures of you and Leah and Leah herself. All your hours of burning the midnight oil reading over everything has really paid off. I can't wait to see more!!