Friday, September 4, 2009

So Excited About All This Free Stuff!

I am addicted to my new Photoshop program. It's ridiculous. I've even contemplated having someone babysit Quinn so I can really work on the program for hours at a time. But of course, that would be silly.

I was using a free program called GIMP on my old PC. When I switched to the new Mac, I fear(ed) downloads. I know that Macs are supposed to be much better about viruses but they are not immune. So I bought Photoshop CS4 extended and am in love. I have been researching and watching tutorials nonstop. See, I learned Photoshop 4 back in '97. That was awhile ago and I have forgotten many things. But I'm slowly catching up to speed.

Anyways, I still have much to learn. And I found a site that is supposedly giving away free Photoshop tutorials for 6 months. You can see what classes are offered HERE. I've signed up for the Photoshop and digital courses. Because I stay at home with an active 9 month old, we'll see how it goes. I may not be able to really sit and study what they teach but I'll try. And I'm under the impression that they'll have the session up for review later as well.

Also, the idea of Photoshop actions is new to me and I can't believe I didn't know about these earlier. Wow, what a freakin' concept. Where has my head been buried all these years?! So I've been googling and researching, checking photo websites and whatnot and have downloaded some pretty cool ones. I have yet to try most of them out but am looking forward to doing so. If you're not sure what an action is, it's basically transforming your photo in photoshop with different techniques. An action makes the technique quick, as in double clicking a few preset buttons and TaDa! You're picture is transformed! Shouldn't everything be this easy? Many people have put in hours of work on these and then made them available for you to download, some for free, some for sale. Granted, some of them are super crummy and I don't want on my computer. Others are pure treasures.

Here is a quick example of a "throw away" shot. I say that because without Photoshop, there isn't much to make this photo jump out. The picture is of Kristy and Jon's little girl Kendall.

Now, with a little tweaking and some TLC, here is the new shot:

Big difference, right? Besides the obvious black and white change, notice the composition, her skin tone, the brightness and her eyes. What beautiful eyes! And by no means am I claiming perfection here (although I do think it's a very gorgeous picture :), there are lots of little tweaks I can still make. But I'm learning and perfecting all the time!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I'm glad it's working for you! Hopefully there are a lot of programs in the suite that will be helpful! Learn, learn, learn!