Do you mind if we talk about photography a bit? More specifically, do you mind if we talk about photography processing a bit? I hope you don’t because it’s a topic that’s on my mind a lot these days and I want to share a bit with you.
Back in January I said that one of my goals for this year was to learn to use Photoshop Elements. Vicki left a comment on that post and recommended that I take an online class to get started. We emailed back and forth a bit, shared a few links and websites, and I ultimately signed up for Kim Klassen’s free Skinny Mini eCourse in Elements. The class ran last month and I learned quite a bit about simple processing techniques like using textures, adding text, and understanding layers. It was great and I highly recommend it if you’re interested in learning the basics of Photoshop – she’s actually enrolling people right now and the next class starts on 3/19. You know what, though? For me at least, taking this class made me want to learn more.
So I signed up for another Kim Klassen class, The Essentials eCourse. This one isn’t free but is very reasonably priced and worth every penny. I learned more about layers and masks, Adobe Camera RAW, magic lasso tools, brushes, adjustment levels, actions and so much more. And let me just say a thing here about actions – and this is something Vicki said to me and I completely agree – they are cool but they are best if you understand the process behind them. Knowing how they work means you can personalize the actions you use but even better it means you can create your own actions. So cool.
All of this is really just words until I show you some examples. Let’s take a look at some of my recent photos.
This is the original of Dale on Leap Day.
And here’s the final processed photo. Closer, brighter, and much better.
A photo of some snow on a shrub outside my back door.
And post processing. It’s sharper, it’s warmer, and it’s got some text.
A photo of Mason sitting by the wood stove.
And post processed. It’s cropped, it’s sharper, it’s got a vignette and it’s incredibly improved.
Elements worked wonders on those photos, I think. They weren’t terrible to start (well, the one of Dale was pretty dark) but taking them through the paces in Elements really made them pop. I think you still have to start with good composition and a good eye but having nice software to work with can make a huge difference in your finished photos.
If you’re intrigued by any of this I strongly urge you to sign up for Kim’s Skinny Mini class. It’s free, it’s fantastic, and what have you got to lose?