Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So Long, Farewell

Where does the time go?

Throughout these last few months I learned much that is needed to know about photography and photo editing. Now that I own my own personal camera, I feel more equipped to apply these new concepts into physical demonstrations. I can continue to improve my photography skills and one day move past my beginner level.

OK, let me be brutally honest. I admit it, I am rather disappointed in myself in my photography journey. I had so many plans to experiment different photo editors and photo-taking techniques. I say this because I will be discontinuing this blog... Sigh.

Unfortunately, I did not get to complete my Photoshop experience and show you all a full, transformed journey. I did in fact get better in my work, but I am not at all where I want and thought I would be. But I am hopeful that I will continue to learn how to capture extraordinary scenes, produce phenomenal images and teach photo editing to others.

I did learn some very useful and helpful information. For example, the rule of thirds really helps me understand the importance of balance and appeal in even the most simplest images. In addition, learning how to change the way I see the world makes a significant difference, not only for capturing images but also finding a purpose for everything around me. I've read a book called Cameras in the Quest for Meaning by author and photographer Jack Yeaman. This book inadvertently taught me that photos and the art of  photography is everlasting because messages are remain with us forever. A thousand words can never fully describe the meaning behind a single photo or the emotion behind the photographer's intentions to capture a particular scene. This, I believe, is the overarching theme for the purpose of learning composition of great photographic works.

I took most of my inspiration from different photography websites, such as DIY Photography, DPS, Cambridge in Colour, Photoshop Tutorials and Photoshop.com. These sites are awesome! Check them out.


Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Your Shopping Results

2012 seems to be the year that shoppers really indulge in the holiday deals since these past few weeks. According to CNNMoney, Cyber Monday hit a record high. To be exact, online sales rose 30% higher than last year's results from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark.

You all had to be so fancy huh?

The projections from data predictions for Cyber Monday for this year were also exceeded, in addition to the 21% rise in Black Friday online sales and 17% increase from Thanksgiving day. 

I think one of the reasons for the significant increase is because when I personally browsed around for sales, most retailers seemed to extend this Cyber Monday event for more than one day. Some stores began sales since Sunday and others continued their sales well throughout the week. While I do believe this shopping frenzy helps stimulate the economy, I'm honestly uncomfortable with the idea that people make insane materialistic purchases during the holidays. And many retailers are banking heavily on that idea. Especially these large corporations that seem to be everywhere, in every town, selling everything, while squishing small businesses and diminishing employee value.. but I digress...

Anyhow, the top retailers that were searched were Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, Sears, and Target. Additionally, the top online product searches were for Amazon's Kindle and Kindle Fire, iPads, and iPod Touch just to name a few. So while digital cameras and equipment weren't part of this years top searches, I still believe technological devices and electronics, generally, still rock the holiday socks.

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye... 

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Freaks Come Out At Night

Already called it a day? Great, then you could consider night photography.

Just to warn you, this is one of the most challenging projects to take on. Why? Because taking photos at night require more technical adjustments. At times, night photography may mean you need to improv to "cheat" with constraints such as lighting and focusing.

Of course, if done properly, night photographs can produce some amazing images. But, it can be painfully difficult is you don't understand and apply the technicalities that go behind it.

First, let me show you a photo I took a while back:

Remember this one?

OK, you can probably see the obvious errors in this photo, so let's talk.

First of all, I did not use a tripod to take this photo. I know, I know, it's one of the most essential equipment to use especially for night photos, which would have helped so that the image has sharper results... um yeah..This is very important for night photos because even the slightest movement can offset the quality of your photos, e.g. the above photo. If you plan on taking photos at night, your best bet to get great photos is to use a tripod or if that's unavailable, set your camera on a flat solid surface and use the self-timer to activate the shutter. You want to reduce all possibilities of blurring your images because unfortunately that is a point of no return. You can reduce noise later in photo editors but blurs are a different case.

Now, look at the light posts. They don't help the photo look very appealing and kind of just look like brights blurs. A reason for this is because when taking photos at night, a narrow aperture is beneficial for making these lights look more like a sparkle than a flash of light. Setting the camera aperture, something I did not know at the time, is a great method to gain that look (if your camera allows). This also helps extend your depth of field, referring to the gradual transition of sharpness within your photo.

On a sheet of paper, write your name in the middle. Now take the paper and slowly bring it in closer to your eyes. Getting blurry right? And as you pull the paper away from your eyes, the letters begin to look clearer, or sharper, then begins to blur again the further the paper is extended. This is an example of depth of field. Keep in mind that a camera lens mimics a similar technique but varies depending on your camera type and other settings.

When you first decide to take a night photo, it would be useful to study the setting carefully. Notice the dark spots and lit areas. If you take notice of where the most appealing areas are, be sure to include it in your photo, move closer to that area, and maybe make it your focus.  

I've read about some concepts like ISO and shutter speed that really determine how well a photo turns out, but it would help to get these concepts explained in layman's term please.

Clearly, I know there much more than a few corrections that could have been made to create a clear and crisp photo, but I would like to hear from you. So comment away!

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye... 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Need a New Camera?

So there are all these holiday sales going on, and maybe you're wanting to purchase a new camera. Well, let me help you in your decision making process.

When I purchased my camera, to be honest, I didn't do much soul-searching before I had it shipped to me. Looking back I really should've invested a little more time researching, then I would probably be more satisfied with my camera. Buying a camera, in my opinion, is much like buying a car. There are many options to choose from and many more opinions on what to get, but it is mainly based on personal preference. There are many deciding factors to consider before you head to the checkout lane. Allow me to explain. Many websites have multiple factors to take into account, but I condensed my version.

Here is what you should ask yourself:

Do I really need a camera?
I believe this is the very first question to ask yourself above all else. Honestly, if you can give yourself a definite yes or no answer, this will determine how long you may spend in your "just looking" phase. Consider if you have any upcoming special events or occasions in your life that you would like to keepsake in a photograph. Or maybe you just live a crazy amazing, adventurous lifestyle and would like a new camera to pack along on your travels.

What can I afford?
I think this question, depending on your circumstances, can help you narrow down your search. If your budget is the most important factor in your decision, it may help you to determine the type of camera you end up purchasing. Or, if your budget is fairly flexible, then you may determine what price range fits your camera preferences.

How do I know which camera is best for me?
Read the reviews. I could not emphasize this idea enough. It really does help to learn about the experiences and suggestions from others. One experience may be different from another, but if you start to see a trend for the same issue, it might save you from a lot of heartache in the future.

Check the features. Whatever your reason for purchasing a camera, it is imperative to choose a camera with the features you will be using the most... because that's the whole purpose, duh... Also, make sure to check the compatibilities of your chosen camera for your computer. For some odd reason my videos never transfer, let alone display, onto my Mac laptop when I connect my camera to it (any help please?). It also helps to test out the features of your new buy, such as a dSLRs or semi-pros, before an occasion so that you're not trying to figure how to work your magic during the best moments.

Brand. This may or may not be a deciding factor for you but it should be something to keep note of when deciding on a camera. Much like buying a car, it may be beneficial to shop for products from makers who have a longer history in the photography industry, such as Sony or Cannon. In my personal opinion, these makes usually have a larger assortment and more availability for any level photographer.

How do I know if I'm getting a good deal?
Well, there are actually seasons for cameras, as most other products. According to Darren Rowse, "Digital camera manufacturers have an annual cycle of announcing and releasing new cameras and there are two main times of the year when they all come out." The first release announcements are made in either January or February and hit the shelves in February or March. The second round is made around September, just in time to be put out by November and into the holiday season... Hmm, I see what you did there...

Check out Mr. Rowse for more helpful tips!

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Let The Shopping Continue

Well if Black Friday and Small Business Saturday weren't enough, I guess you're in luck with Cyber Monday.

What a wonderful time for so many people! Thanksgiving on Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday...?, then Cyber Monday. Gee, you really have no excuse not to have went holiday shopping.

Looking for electronics?
Websites like Amazon.com are offering "Cyber Week" specials, discounting specially marked items and providing around-the-clock sales.
  • For a limited time, select Sony Cyber Shot digital cameras will be on sale starting as low as $79.
  • Save up to 49% off select Dolica tripods.
  • Save up to $100 or more on select Nikon COOLPIX digital cameras.
Remember, some of these deals are for a limited time only, so don't wait too long to purchase your holiday treats. Also, some items are eligible for free and/or fast shipping with their Guaranteed Accelerated Delivery or FREE Super Saver Shipping (some restrictions apply).

Best Buy is having a two-day Cyber Sale with exclusive deals on electronics ending midnight on 11/26/12. In addition, save $25 on your purchase of $250 or more with store pickup (of course, some items are not eligible for in-store pickup). Redeem this savings code in store or online!
  • Splurge on a HP Photosmart 6520 Wireless e-All-in-one Printer retailed at $149 but on sale for $89 plus free shipping.
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 11/ Adobe Premier Elements 11 is on sale for $74.99, so you save $75 off the regular price.
Apparently, everyone jumped on this "Cyber Week" bandwagon, and Target is one of them. Enjoy deals on electronics all week long and free shipping on Cyber Monday.

Although I am providing sales from major companies, please don't forget about your local mom-and-pop stores that are probably more than appreciative of your purchases during the holiday seasons.
Stay Warm!

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving and Then Some...

Happy Thanksgiving readers!!

I hope you all spent your time wisely, specifically giving thanks for the things we take for granted the other 364 days out of the year. And hopefully you all enjoyed being around and catching up with those irreplaceable family members and friends in your lives.

Anyhow, it's now post-Turkey, so for many Americans we know what that means: Black Friday! Yes, finally the "official" excused day for compulsive and aggressive shopping (but please don't trample over anyone or get arrested). Black Friday marks the long-established kickoff for Christmas shopping and of course satisfy some guilty pleasures through retail therapy. You know, I honestly never understood the mindless, insensitive behavior that occurs on this day... especially the day after being so thankful. C'mon people! Don't get me wrong, I love finding rock-bottom discounts and nearly-free deals, but the madness of dealing with large, hostile crowds, insane long lines, and congested parking lots doesn't seem too appealing.

But I digress..

Apparently for some retailers, Black Friday is more than a day long; some sales extend from Wednesday all the way through Sunday. Oh, and not to forget Cyber-Monday, basically the continuation of the shopping frenzy. Traditionally, massive sales on electronics reign as one of the top motivators for camping outside of stores days prior to Black Friday. People literally stand outside waiting in line to purchase that 55" HDTV discounted by about 50-60% or scour the worldwide-web to place their online order for other tools and appliances.

If you happen to be one of these people, maybe you might like to know where to find some sweet deals on electronics:

Best Buy is offering FREE SHIPPING on all online orders (now thru 11.24.12)
Check out Sears, Kmart, Walmart, Hhgregg, Target, and Office Depot for their awesome in-store and online deals. Hurry before these specials run out!

Of course if you plan on buying online, be sure to also include Amazon, Ebay, Overstock.com in your search.

Here are some deals I ran across:
**Walmart: Black Canon PowerShot A3400 IS 16-Megapixel Digital Camera on sale for $89
**Best Buy: Red Canon PowerShot SX160 IS 16.0MP Camera, Case, Tripod & 8GB Memory Card on sale for $189.96
**Target: Apple iPad with Retina Display 16GB WiFi Tablet (4th generation) with a bonus $60 gift card on sale for $500

Whatever your preferred method of shopping, buyer beware! Always make sure you are surfing secured and trusted sites, never carry wads of cash on your person and always check and double check the conditions of your electronics before purchasing. This would save you from diving back into those tough crowds you miraculously pushed through.

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Rule of Thirds

Have you ever noticed when you're cropping a photo, the crop box divides into 9 boxes? Or maybe when you're ready to take a picture, your camera sections 9 small frames across your LCD screen before the shutter clicks? This is the concept of the Rule of Thirds.

Yes people, there are "rules" in photography. But don't worry, they work in your favor and later as you become more comfortable taking pictures, you learn when you can bend or break these rules.

The Rule of Thirds is an essential technique for capturing eye-catching images. This is one of the methods used to create photos that make you say "Ooo... ahh..."

*awkward silence*

So what is this Rule of Thirds? 

Imagine a grid of lines divided into 3 rows and 3 columns. It should look like a game of tic-tac-toe. This acts as your outline for positioning the subject in the photo. Check your camera settings to see how you can set these gridlines on your screen. It should look something like this:

The Rule of Thirds reveals that the subject or focal point of your photo should be arranged along the lines, intersections or corner sections of the grid.

Why? Good question. Well, there are some psychological reasoning behind this rule, indicating that our eyes are naturally drawn to the imaginary intersections of the grid on an image. Remember when we were young and thought everything had to be in the center of the photo? Yeah, those weren't necessarily the most exciting pictures. The purpose of the Rule of Thirds is to appeal to the eyes and that is why centered subjects don't always make the most eye catching appearances.

How to use this rule

You are free to use this rule every time and all the time you choose. There are no specifics to which intersections you have to use and where you wish to put the object of your focus.

When taking pictures of human or animal faces, it serves best to place one of the eyes along one of the lines. This gives your object a bit of motion and creates a more dynamic look.

Just in case you were wondering if you are completely bound to these rules, no hun, you're not. You do not necessarily have to perfectly align every object in your photos. You're really simply framing objects off an outline not a contract. 

In some case you may be photographing an image that will absolutely not fit with these rules. Some examples may be images of abstract patterns or arrangements, such as tribal prints, tree bark, or the night sky. Your best options are to find some balance within the object or scene and your eyes follow the focus or direction presented. You don't want your photo to be literally all over the place. Remember, you can always crop parts from your photo if you feel the need to do so.

Bending this rule

Yes, once you get the hang of this rule you may unleash your inner rebel.

Bending this rule can mean instead of using your tic-tac-toe outline, your photo may just be a display of symmetry.

Stumped? Ok, here's an example:

Please excuse all the "noise" or fuzziness in this photo (which I will explain in a separate post). Basically, you have to use your imagination when shooting scenes stretching long distances. If you look at the center of this photo, you may also begin to imagine a centered horizon almost separating the top portion and bottom portion of the image.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one, but I actually imagine an invisible X across the image...but it could just be me. Now I haven't heard of using an X as a way to bend the Rule of Thirds, and maybe this honestly might be a bad example, but the idea I wanted to get across was having some balance in between the colors and objects in this photo. Now there isn't a way to divide this scene into nine squares and feel all excited about the picture, so I thought maybe I could divide it into four segments. Well, instead of thinking of a typical + sign, I rotated it to be an X to keep the photo somewhat balanced and proportional. See, I not only bended the rules, I made my own. Ha!

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Have Hue Lost Your Mind?

Pop Quiz!

And no cheating...

True or False: Dogs are colorblind.

Most of us most likely heard this myth before. And I hope you chose false because that is the correct answer. Yep, according to Dr. Cynthia Carlson, in an article on MSNBC's website, dogs can, in fact, see in color. The difference between dogs and humans is that dogs cannot readily distinguish between colors. Dr. Carlson briefly notes that

"Dogs’ eyes have receptors for blue and green shades, but not for red shades. As a result, it appears that dogs cannot easily distinguish between yellow, green and red, but they can identify different shades of blue, purple and gray"
...um okay, and chewing gum doesn't stay in your stomach for 7 years either, but what's the point?

Well, being able to distinguish between colors demonstrates how well you see hues, in other words, measures your color vision. Hue is just a fancy term to refer to a pure color name- like red or blue. In Photoshop and other image editing software, you have the ability to change the hues on your photos. It is usually given on a color scale or spectrum.

An example of a change in hues is like how you can tell the difference between an unripe mango and one that's ready to eat. Yumm...

Or if you're like me, you probably used the color picker in MS Paint or Word at some point or another and didn't pay much attention to it. Somewhere around that color spectrum displays a HSL or HSB (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity/Brightness) scale. Hue and saturation are commonly categorized together or one followed by the other, but it is not to be confused as interchangeable terms. Both are color balancing tools but change in saturation depends on the intensity of a single color from grey, while change in hues is across different colors.

Knowing your color vision and ability to see color variations across images will definitely come in handy when shooting in the same location but during different seasons. This would also be useful when shooting scenes with rich natural colors, like at beaches or gardens.

Of course, a little visual wouldn't hurt to have...

Original Photo

Hue change by 90

Hue change by -180
It's amazing how colors can affect our moods, appetites, and even how we think. All these, essentially, can also affect (or possibly distort) the outcome of our photos and the meaning we want to express through them.

Notice the hue scale on the right-hand side. 

Maybe I'm the only one, but these hue changes kind of remind me the colorful 70s era... but I could just be happy, hmm.

Oh, I'm sorry I forgot to mention I am using my Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 from now on. I don't want to confuse anyone since I didn't mention it previously and it completely slipped my mind. By the way, I'm loving it so far. There's sooo much more options than in Express Editor that I feel like I can actually experiment freely.


Ready to challenge yourself? Take this hue test. Let me know how you score.

Oh, oh thank you DIY Photography for introducing me to a new way to kill time.

And not to toot my own horn or anything but check out the screen shot below... =)

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

As Promised

Welcome back to my blog!

I do want to apologize for my extended absence. But I'm back now.

In my last post I promised you all a full rundown of my first photo transformation, so without further ado here it is:

Taking the Picture:

While walking down a path I decided that if I'm going to start shooting nature/outdoor scenes, then I should start with something very basic: some trees. So I pulled out my handy cell phone and snapped this right away.

BE PATIENT when taking pictures.

With my not-so-smart camera phone, this was probably the best picture I was going to get unfortunately. One thing to keep in mind, which was something I did not do when I took this picture, is to take WAY MORE than just a few pictures. When you think you took enough, you probably should aim to take just a few more. So make sure you take some time out of your day to take your pictures and try them from different angles. This way you have more perspectives to look through and more opportunities for different editing techniques for each photo.

The Photo Editor:

For the time being I will be using Adobe Photoshop Express Editor on photoshop.com.

  • This online service is an excellent user-friendly tool for those of all levels.
  • There are many options to enhance your photo and also add components, such as text or frames, to give it a customized touch.
  • Even if you are new to the photo editing, when you hover your mouse over the features it tells you what changes it can do to your photo.
  • When you click one of the edit or decorate features, it generates a scale of possible appearance changes including your original image from the last edits.
  • It is free, fast, free, convenient and most of all FREE.

  • Express means just that-you get the simpler elements for editing and quick fixes.
  • There are less features than the software-based version. But hey, it is free right?

Now for Editing:

Time to bring out your creative side. Although photo editing is a fun experience, remember that what you want to communicate in each photo begins with your RAS before you even take the photo.

And remember that this is a very tedious process, especially if you're a beginner, but just know that patience is the first and most important tool you need to begin.

Ok, here is what I did:

I already have an account with Photoshop.com (there's a quick and simple registration) so I just opened Photoshop Express Editor and uploaded my picture.

Because this was my very first edit, I started off by just testing the waters and doing some basic exploring of some of the features.

1) Exposure: I observed across many photography communities citing exposure as an important feature to enhance photos, so I decided to see what it does. Basically this tool allows you to balance the lighting from the photo so that, depending on how you want your photo to turn out, it doesn't look too dark and not too bright either. Don't leave anyone in the dark, literally.

The exposure scale has both positive and negative adjustments. For my photo I adjusted the exposure to the left of the original by -36.62.

Exposure: Make it brighter or darker

2) Saturation: This feature is used to make dull colors and tones look more vivid and well, alive.

The saturation scale also has positive and negative adjustments, and in my case I adjusted it positively from the original by 78.94. This definitely made my boring ol' trees look a little more festive.

Saturation: Dial colors up or down

3) White Balance: We all need to have some balance in our lives and also in our photos. Imagine the weather and your camera's lighting settings at war. But Mother Nature is a force to reckon with, so unless you have really smart camera lighting settings, the actual light captured in an outdoor photo may be a bit distorted from reality.

White Balance: Correct the lighting condition set by your camera

In Express Editor there are lighting conditions already set for you. For example, sunny conditions, cloudy weather, flash lighting, or auto-detect is available to choose. We are so spoiled!

In this particular photo I remember it was somewhat of a cloudy day when I took the picture, so I chose to correct the lighting based on those conditions.

4) Highlight: In my opinion, this feature is somewhat similar to the exposure tool, but the difference is while adjusting the exposure brightens shadows/dark areas, highlighting brings out the detail from those areas.

Highlighting too, has positive and negative adjustments, and for my photo I decreased the brightness detail by -4.34.

Highlight: Change the brightness of the brightest part of your photo

5) Sharpen: Lastly, the sharpen feature accentuates the detail throughout the entire image. So if you notice your image happens to be slightly blurry, then this is the tool to help clear it up. The linked video helps explain the usage of the sharpening tool and shows its significance for a different photo.

Notice the sharpen option only increases positively. That is for good reason because otherwise a negative adjustment would make images less defined and blurry. For my photo I sharpened it to 50.00.

Sharpen: See the detail better

All Done!

Helpful Tips:
  • I find it is best to upload JPEG images not only because it is one of the only supported files, but because they appear in higher quality.
  • If at any point you want to compare your current image to the original (or if you're feeling super proud of yourself for your progress so far), click and hold the "View Original" button. This will come in handy when you are doing specific photo edits and want to refer back to see if you're achieving your goal.
  • When using all features, try to stay balanced in adjustments. Avoid adjusting too little or too much so that images don't appear fake or diminish their realistic appeal. 
  • Don't be afraid to mess up on purpose. This is one way to learn the purpose of different features and see how much you can really do with your photos. 
  • Although Express Editor does simplify photo editing and does a lot of the work, avoid the using the auto-correct features because experimenting in this process is part of the fun.
  • Don't press Done until you're completely finished editing.

Remember when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guess What Just Came In!!

Whoever thinks patience isn't a virtue should just, you know, die now I guess...

Snail mail just seems so slow. But this morning I can officially stop with the anxiety attacks I get from getting anything in the mail. But either way, I can carry my camera around and whenever I can get a chance I can take some hopefully, beautiful photos.

I purchased a Sony Cybershot DSC-W610 14.1 MP (for those of you who know how significant or insignificant that is... yeah, fill me in)

And by all means, if you have any advice to help improve my photography please feel free to let me know!

Also, I want to show you all one of the photo editors I will be using through this journey. I have set up a photoshop.com account and with this account, I have access to their Adobe Photoshop Express Editor program. And oh my goodness, when it says Express, that's what it truly means! This program comes with options where you don't even need to have prior knowledge or experience with Photoshop to create a truly amazing photo.

This thing works wonders! Take from the transformation in my tree photo in my previous post (granted it wasn't all that great, yeah yeah yeah, but hey, let's focus on the context alright).

I also am going to begin my 30 trial of Photoshop Elements 10 (as seen above) next month, just so that I have enough time to figure out the ins and outs of Express Editor first. Notice in the bottom left-hand corner is my photoshop.com account link. Hopefully I can figure out how to set my settings to display my public albums so everyone will be able to review my progress; bare with me in the meantime.

No need to worry, I haven't forgotten to show you how I created my first transformation, that's coming soon, but here's a little preview picture of where I began:

So stick around for some photo fun!

Oh, and I wasn't serious about the dying earlier... no, please don't die.

Remember, when it's all said and done, there's more than what meets to eye...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How You See The World... Literally

Ok, I think we all can come to a collective agreement that looks can be very decieving, right? Or is it our own minds that deceive us?

I've been reading around the web to get some ideas on how to enhance my photo journey and I stumbled across a really interesting article that really introduced me to the basic concept of photography and the mindset that is needed to gain an genuine understanding of it.

In Ben Evans's article Benefit From How You See The World, he states that "we get 80% of our impressions about the world through our eyes". If my math is correct then that means 20% is created through another medium. He explains that this medium is through our minds that communicate what we would like to see. Yes, in our minds we form our own realities of our surroundings before we even see it.

In a nutshell, the process of Reticular Activating System (RAS) allows our minds and eyes to generalize, highlight, then delete information while we are looking. Without throwing a bunch of scientific jargon at you, generalizing is the reason why we can never recall the last stranger we've last seen. Things that are unfamiliar with us are just meshed into crowds and become a blur. Highlighting happens when we notice only what we're focused on but not the surrounding situations, somewhat like when you're watching your favorite TV show but didn't notice the lights were turned off and someone left the room. Our minds delete information like when we see didn't notice any of the billboards you've passed on the highway.

This article really hit it right on the nail for what I was looking for to start as a beginner, like myself. I will put this information into play so that I do not produce any photos as boring as this one I took with my cell phone camera...

Yes, I know, what an absolutely boring image because even with Adobe Photoshop Express Editor there still isn't that much excitement going on...
I will be posting all the information on how I edited the original image, materials I used, and everything in between soon. But, now that I know about this RAS technique I should be able to use it to take more eye-catching photos and improve them through different tools in Photoshop.

Remember when it's all said and done, there's still more than what meets the eye...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wishful Thinking

Well, well, well, I see you've made it back to my blog. Ok, well I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is I did place my order for my camera, but the bad news is it will not be delivered until between the end of this week and sometime next week (sad face). Somehow I missed the option to do expedited shipping so unfortunately I will be waiting on the snail mail method. But, I am excited to get my camera, as it will be the first of which I have full ownership (where have I been, right? I know, I know).

I ordered a Sony Cyber-Shot 14.1 MP digital camera from eBay for around 100 bucks so hopefully I don't run into any defects or issues that will hinder me from starting my project because I really don't want to have small talk with you all in the meantime. I chose this particular camera because I borrowed a friend's similar camera during this past summer and I instantly fell in love! The autofocus was great and the image stabilization worked better than I thought. I was reading around the web and one of the main elements to taking nature photography is the focus and zoom technologies to enhance the quality of each photo. I will be looking into some nature photography book such as Mountain Light, to get a feel for what the thinking is behind taking nature photos and how to approach a setting to take the best picture. I hope all goes well so wish me luck...

Remember, after it's been all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Meet Me!

Hey everyone! I am Uniquely HerStory and welcome to my blog! For this blog I will be expressing my experience, or lack thereof, taking photographs and exploring photo editors. The purpose of this blog is to teach myself how to manipulate the features on a "regular" camera to explore the possibilities to create a vivid image through a photo editor. My plan is to take photos of nature and outdoor objects, pop them into a photo editor and see what happens! Will it be better or worse? Is there more I can be doing using the features on my camera or photo editor? Hmm, something to think about. Now, I don't have my own personal camera to begin this project but I do plan to purchase one shortly. I really don't plan on it being anything big or fancy, so whatever camera comes up within my price range... sounds like a winner! As for a photo editor... I plan to use the Photoshop software but since I haven't used Photoshop since high school I guess I will be relearning those skills all over. Yes, if you couldn't tell already I will be doing this project as an beginner. However, I will be working on new projects every week to explore all the different capabilities within photo editors and digital cameras to see what I learn. I'm super excited so hopefully this turns out alright.  

Remember, after it's been all said and done, there's more than what meets the eye...