Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Bit Overwhelmed

The many faces of Lexie

Yesterday, I finally bought Photoshop Elements 7. I had been putting it off, but I finally decided that I definitely needed to plus-up my pictures.

Photoshop is a bit daunting. I feel like I need to take a semester-long class just to figure out the very basics. I did the instant download thing off the Adobe site and was a bit annoyed that the user's manual is an extra $20. Is it just me or is that crummy? I might just have to cave and buy it if I don't figure it out on my own.

I'm sure that I will get it eventually, but it's going to take some time. A lot of time.

Thank you Mary for commenting and directing me to The Pioneer Woman. What a gorgeous website! So many great photography tutorials. Plus she homeschools and has lots of yummy recipes. I will be lurking over there a lot in the future. If you haven't been there yet, grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable, because you're going to be there a while!

As if Photoshop Elements wasn't going to be enough to keep me busy for now, I also got a membership to Picnik yesterday - the coolest site on earth. A lot of the photo-editing tools are free, but I decided to spend the $25 and get the extra bells and whistles.

They have some very fun photo effects. I personally love the "Gritty", "Orton-ish" "Vignette" and the "Focal Softening".

You can also go for the plain "Soften" tool, that looks like what they used on all of the women in the old Star Trek TV shows. Not that I ever willingly watch Star Trek, but I am sometimes subjected to it by my husband. Good thing we don't have cable anymore.

Speaking of my husband - here's a quick note for him: They have a tool called 1960s, so I can change all of my baby photos to look like yours!! :) Ok, I'm getting a bit off track here.

The other thing I love is the collage tool (which I used above). You can change the "kookiness" as they call it, so that the pictures are all turned in different directions. I love that I can now easily create collages for my blog! I can put all of the pics from a field trip together into one picture to upload. I'm sure that there is a way to do this in Photoshop, but at Picnik, it's simple. Really simple. Which is what I need.

They also have text, stickers, touch up, and some really nice looking, adjustable frames to add.
Here are a couple of the pics I was playing around with into the wee hours of last night. (The only time I had 5 minutes in a row to myself!)

I went a bit overboard on the "softness" on this one, but I'm learning!
I love the rounded edges - they give it that senior picture look. :)

Now I just need to read the manual to my camera so that I have better pictures to work with! I have yet to figure out all of the different settings on it.

When summer comes, I will be snapping away and hopefully learning as I go.

It's not as fun for me to take pictures now, during the winter. I like taking pictures outside because of all of the natural light. Unfortunately, everything is white right now- except for the moose. And it's too cold to stay out for very long. It was only hovering around zero today, but with the wind chills, they said that it could be closer to negative 40. Not pleasant.

Well, my baby woke up and my time is up!

Hopefully, my blog will be getting prettier in the near future. :)


SmallWorld at Home said...

I just found piknik yesterday, too! I haven't had time to explore yet, but I think it's going to be fantastic. Your photos look great.

Andrea said...

Those are great Jen, keep up the good work.

gina said...

I use Picnic sometimes too but you really should check out Picassa/Hello- free , downloadable and posts rith to blogger with one touch of a button! That's where I do all of the collages for my blog.

Sharon said...

Your photos look great! I love Picnik. It is all I use right now... I don't have PS (want it desperately... hopefully soon) so I have had to work Picnik to it's fullest. I LOVE playing around in the sandbox and the advanced presets. So much fun! :)