Step it Up or Down

I recently learned about “Step Up” and “Step Down” rings.  These are great to have and can save on the expense of purchasing filters for each camera lens.  The conversion rings can be used with filters/accessories of one size and convert the diameter to a different size.   Step Up or Step Down?  When stepping down watch for vignetting.  Because the actual filter size is smaller than the lens, there can be dark corners in the photograph.  An actual photo of the rings were not available through Zemanta here.  Click on the photo of the filter below to view step up/down rings sold at Amazon.

English: circular polarizing photographic filt...
English: circular polarizing photographic filter Česky: otočný polarizační fotografický filtr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beyond Taking a Photo

There is a workflow after taking that great photo.  These past two months I have invested time into enhancing my knowledge of photography through online training and mentoring locally with top photographer Joe Chan.  Joe is awesome.  I just love to view his photographs.  We’ve had three field trips.  A fabulous experience being out with fellow photographers and sharing our work.  Here is one of my photos from an evening out.  Check out the top 10 post processing steps if you want to know more about post processing.  This is just one site.  There are many offering photography tips and training.

This photograph is of the Crest Theater in Sacramento with the Light Rail Train breezing by.

Light Rail and The Crest-rz1

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The Class in a Card

The ‘class’ for a memory card makes a difference.   Tis the season for retail sales.  There are great deals for memory cards.  Do not overlook the ‘class’ for the card to ensure you are buying the best for your shooting objectives.  eHow explains the differences.  Ensure that great buy is the best great-great buy!

Memory Card mixture

Memory Card mixture (Photo credit: johnmuk)

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! 

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

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.

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.

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!

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

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