Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Aologia Live

Apologia is in my hometown March 9-10. So excited!!

Tickets are $115. But if you want a chance to win one, The Thrifty Mama is giving one away. She also has some materials from Apologia for the winner as well. Giveaway ends tomorrow, so hurry and enter...or not...gives me better odds! :]

Enter giveaway at The Thrifty Mama.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Easy Photo Tutorial::Rewarding Results

I wanted to share with you my first go-to actions when editing my pictures. People always ask how I change these things and I figured it would just be easier if I showed you. Please note, I am no Photoshop guru, or photography editing specialist. I am not a pro. I just make some simple adjustments to my pictures until I like the way it looks.

I shoot all of my pictures in RAW, which I suggest. If your camera has the capability, do it. It gives you the most control over edits. Basically, RAW is like the film negative. Once you make your edits and adjustments, it's then converted to jpg. P.S. I'm still learning my camera :]

Below you can see a photo (click photo to enlarge) I took of my lil squishy in the bright snowy daylight. Part of it is washed out and her face is in so much shadow, there's not a lot of depth and there are no blacks. I want this picture to be defined with depth, detail and shadow, while getting rid of the shadows on her face.

 There are three things I always do first to a photo. I work in CS5 {hubby is a graphic designer, and an awesome one at that} so I get spoiled with the latest software. But these edits can be done in any version of PS, including Elements. If there are technical terms for all of this, I apologize in advance for not using them. Again, I just play around until I like it...because I am too impatient to wait for my hubby to teach me.

First, I change my white balance. You can see that I put it on custom. I feel I get a better start from there than trying to adjust it from say, the cloudy setting etc. In this setting I can adjust the temperature (warm/cool-blue/red) and the tint (color).

The original was actually a little warm for where I wanted to take the photo, so I just moved the temp slider closer to the blue and that took some of the red out. Next I just barely adjusted the tint, it was a little blue and I wanted the color to be bumped up just slightly to a natural flesh pink.

Once I have those two steps where I want them, I move on to my exposure. Bringing my exposure up or down will effect the brightness of the photo. This was already pretty bright due to the glare from the snow, but I actually liked it. I didn't feel the need to adjust it on this particular picture, but usually I do. I find it helps to bring the exposure up slightly when I want a lot of detail in the face.

 (Click photo to enlarge)

So there you have it, my 3 "go-to" steps. I almost always do these three edits on all of my pictures before really getting into the edit.

Once I have completed my go-to steps, then I can get funky! I love to enhance the eyes, details in the face, blur the background and change the feel the photo. Most of the time I use Actions for that. Hmm, maybe I'll make another tutorial with actions...