Brains Behind the Viewfinder

I can spend hours on the internet viewing beautiful photographs taken by many, many talented photographers, photo artists and point and shooters.  They all tell a story.  When I look at photos, whether they are on the internet, a magazine or book, I see them in a different perspective, not just the person, who points and clicks a camera.  I imagine how the composition came to be.  Where was the photographer perched.  What was her/his position.  The depth of field and exposure.  I check for the camera settings if available.  Many are absolutely stunning.  Many are execllent.  They are all execellent!  Many are fun!  What is the photo telling me?  The one thing in common is that we all love taking pictures! 

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Scrapbooking and Photo Stuff

In 2000 I entered the world of scrapbooking.  I was invited to a Creative Memories Scrapbooking party hosted by a girlfriend.  This was way before today’s digital world of photo sharing sites, online or mobile apps with various templates, embellishments, journaling and other features.  The traditional scrapbooking process was very, very time consuming and pricey.  Hot to complete my first 12 x 12 book I would stay up all hours of the night and work into the day.  Cropping, cutting, pasting, journaling.  The key to a great scrapbook took some planning on how to decorate a page. What background paper to use, what to say, the props, and how to position each piece. I worked a full time job so pages were created over a weekend and as I had time.  Many runs were made to Michael’s store for supplies.  Clip Art software came in handy for embellishing pages.  Of course this required me to print the props and actually cut them with scissors in order to paste them to the page.  I actually completed 3 – 12 x 12 books.  Due to other demands I stopped for a while, and started again 4 years ago.  This time, however, creating digital versions!  Yay!  I was so happy as more and more software and apps came onto the market.  I liked the point and click!  It eliminated cutting and pasting.  At the beginning I surprised myself.  I had no I idea I had a creative streak in me.  I was never a crafter or artist. There is still an amount of time spent to create the digital versions. I do have fun with it!

A few years back I scanned all photographs creating digital files on my computer.  This allowed me to share my photographs with other family members on DVD, since I was the only person holding these copies.   The photo projects I create these days include-

  • individual memory pages
  • scrap boards using the large project poster boards
  • collages of various sizes
  • photo books
  • scrapbooks (traditional and mostly digital)
  • cards (digital, paper, video)
  • decorative envelopes
  • picture CDs
  • creating movies with pictures on DVD
  • video transfer home movies from VHS to the computer/DVD

While documenting my experience I wondered about the history for Scrapbooking.  Wikipedia provides the history and statistical trends.  I am one of the over 4 million women scrapbookers.  Keep up with what is happening with Scrapbooking at About.com.

Amazing Photographs of the Endevour

Hell Yeah!
Hell Yeah! (Photo credit: swoofty)

I had to share this.  It was awesome to watch the footage on our local news.  So many citizens were out on roof tops, hills, balconies, and streets across the country to watch this historical moment of the space shuttle’s last journey.  The photos are available at My Modern Met.   Fabulous photos!

Photo Project Tools

In the last two weeks I have been busy with photo projects.  I re-evaluted the tools utilized for my projects to ensure they are still effective to produce quality work and a good level of productivity.  I don’t consider myself an expert nor am I familiar with all the software available.  At this point, decided to continue with what I have.  These all work for me, afterall, meeting the objective.   Here is my aresenal.

Digital Scrapbooking
My Memories Suite is my fave for creating scrap pages, cards or digital scrapbooks.   A traditional (paper) Scrapbooker for a few years, I found this software to be the digital version of creating a scrapbook manually.  I tried various software prior to this; in my opinion this process was right on it.  The tool contains many designs; so much flexibility.  It has the ability to create a movie as the finished product to DVD or a shared link.

Editing
I started using Photoshop more for editing and photo enhancement.  I am working towards bringing my skill to a higher level.   I also have Photoshop Elements which came with the Wacom Bamboo pen.  This really helps in the editing process.  Having the pen also helps get away from using the keyboard all the time while using the computer.

Organizer
Did not really use an organizer.  Today, for the first time I actually took the time to really become familiar with Picasa to see if it can be beneficial in my aresenal of tools.  I’m probably the last to know it has built in features for adding enhancements to photos, much like other software.  I thought this one was cool.

Canon Rebel T3i Software Package
I have a Canon DSLR, Rebel T3i.  With the packaged software it came with Digital Photo Professional.  This is a great software to  perform batch process on certain actions, which I use for reducing the size of photos to post to the web or rename files.   I always shoot photos set to the largest size on the camera in the event large prints may be produced.  Not doing this once was a lesson learned.  The package also has an organizer which I need to test further to determine the best one to use.

Video Creation
Roxio Media Creator is the one for me right now.  Using the ION VCR to PC video converter, I transfer VHS videos to digital and use Roxio to create movies on DVD for family and friends.  Movies of special moments do not need to be sitting around on outdated media.

Photo Sharing
Shutterfly is my choice for sharing photos with family and friends in a customized view.  Picasa Web Albums is used for the quick upload for those anxious to see the photos right away.  My projects include creating photo books through Shutterfly (or other site) for photographs I take or taken by others.

I would love to hear about the computer based tools others are using!!  The mobile tools are a different world and I have not had a time to explore those yet.   Let me know.

Notes & Notes

pressure sensitive adhesive note paper
pressure sensitive adhesive note paper (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am one to maintain handy dandy tools to be organized and be efficient productivity wise.  When I learned about Evernote I toyed whether to convert from Microsoft’s One Note.  I tested usage on both on my iPhone and iPad devices.  Installing, uninstalling and ultimately reinstalling.  I use both.  Evernote mainly to keep a quick to do list and quick access to notes to have while mobile.  One Note is my major notebook on my computer for home and work.  I cannot live without One Note.  I love them both.  I did try mobile One Note.  For mobility I liked Evernote better.  Luv how my notes stay sync’ed across all devices.  I discovered a resourceful site called makeuseof when researching alternatives to my OCR problem working on the computer.  I haven’t explored many sites.  The information was useful as I learned how to copy text from scanned documents or images into One Note + more.  So issue resolved!

Follow the rules? Nah-break them when it makes sense

Life is short. Break some rules.
Life is short. Break some rules. (Photo credit: Adriana Sugimoto)

Pop Photo gives 10 Photography Rules to Break in this month’s issue.  The amazing photos in this gallery confirms rules do not need to be followed.  I often forget the basics being too focused on taking the shot while I have the chance.  If it ends up being a good photo, that’s okay!

48 Days

It’s been 48 days since my first blog here at Word Press.  I did not know what to expect.  My sister introduced me to the blogging world and Word Press.  Not disappointed.  I say this not for my own blogging purposes.  This connects me with you.  Bloggers who like my blogs who have great stories!  I really enjoy reading your material and viewing your wonderful and great art of photographs.  They are stories in itself.   Technology brings people together in many ways, near and far.  I started this blog for photo sharing.  Outside my front door are beautiful flowers.  I took some photos today.  It was pretty windy though.  I am not a pro.  I am a photo hobbyist, and I enjoy taking photos.  Here is one for you.

Another Sacramento Rose.

Great Artistry

After seeing this I had to share.  I had no idea how little knowledge I had of Photoshop until viewing this mastery of art.  This is truly amazing.

"Fleeting moments when captured in memory bring heartfelt results" – April

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