Spring Show – Need Help

I plan on entering some of these in the upcoming Spring Show with the Photo Club I am belong to. I want to come up with some catchy names for the photos. I feel catchy names also are a tool for people to be drawn to the picture. Are you able to help me out? Just make a comment below this post with your idea(s) for a name

What do you think of the picture of the little boy directly below being called “Water Giggles”I 

I wanted to update you on how the show went. Please see the results in red. Please excuse the iPhone pictures.

_DSC5259

This one of the boy I named “Water Giggles” and it won me first prize in the Color Photo – People Category

IMG_0857

_DSC5445_HDR

This purple Iris I name “Purple Iris” and I entered in the Color Photo – Floral category and it didn’t place

_DSC8022

This little bird one I named “Yellowstone Bird” and it won first in the Color – animal category

IMG_0858

_DSC8042

I decided not to enter this one of the moth.

_DSC8494

I decided not to enter this one either.

_DSC8504

I decided not to enter this one either. I only wanted to enter one flower and Continue reading

Advertisements

Never Too Late to Learn!

A few years back, a friend, Brian Zinchuk,  recommended that I shoot in RAW instead of the JPG format that I had been  using.  By suggesting this friend opened a whole new world of photography to me. With JPG, I was letting the camera do most of my post processing decisions. Shooting in RAW, I now had to have a program, that could work with the format and then convert it into JPG. S0 my friend suggested I try Lightroom. I looked into it and decided it was the program for me! I searched the internet to find out everything I could about Lightroom. I then discovered the web site authored by Matt KloskowskiLightroom Killer Tips. He had free presets that worked remarkably well with my photos. I also saw that he was affiliated with NAPP and Kelby Training. How wonderful to have all these famous photographers teach all a person wanted to learn about photography simply by for signing up to Kelby Training. I soon learned that it cost $199 for a year! Although I was serious about getting into photography, $200 was hard to come up with from the household budget. I decided to carry on searching for free “how to” videos and/or websites from the internet, to help me learn Lightroom.

Sunset on the pasture

As I continued on, I  found it increasingly difficult to do all I wanted to do with just Lightroom. Lightroom is an incredible program and I highly recommend it, but to do the extra little tweeks I wanted to do, I needed Photoshop. But unfortunately, I was not prepared to put out that kind of money for the latest version which was CS5. Again my friend, Brian Zinchuk, suggested that I invest in Photoshop Elements 9. He said that it would pretty much cover all the items I wanted to do, but at the fraction of the cost. So again I followed his advice and purchased the program. I was truly overwhelmed with the power at my fingertips. I watched a number of YouTube instructional videos on how to create such things as a layer, a layer adjustment, a masking layer; use the brush; and the etc etc etc. What the hell are these people talking about???! Where do I go to to get that and find that and do what?? I was overwhelmed and really thought the easiest thing to do was forget it all and just go back to taking pictures in JPG! I felt it would have been easier to just be satisfied with whatever came out of my camera. Forget about all this RAW business and everything else!

But, what about those aspects of photography I wanted to explore, like HDR, long exposure…what about all the wonderful things I wanted to know about? Dammit, I too wanted to create beautiful photos like those I saw on the internet!

_DSC6552

At the same time I was working as an Educational Assistant in an Elementary school. Every day I would see kids struggling with the different concepts we tried teaching them. They too wanted to just give up. They questioned why they needed math, learning about vowels, and even why they had to read. It too was difficult for them, instead they would rather do something more comfortable like playing. So it was the teacher’s job and mine to make these aspects of learning more relevant to these young minds.

_DSC4633

As adults we understand how important it is to learn math or to read. Without these tools,  these children wouldn’t be able to succeed in life. So I used to encourage them to, “never, ever, ever, give up.” “Keep going.” “Never, ever quit.” These things might be hard to learn. They are suppose to be.  Every grade is harder than the last.  But with learning being a just a little bit harder each year it allows the dendrites in their brains to grow just a little more. These children were able to look back and see how far they have come and how much they have learned.

So while I encouraged these youngsters…I was actually talking to myself. I said, “Hey, how can I be telling these children to never give up, but here I am willing to give up because things got a little hard!” “Shouldn’t I want to grow the dendrites in my brain too?” “YES!” So just as these kids were in school to learn, I figured I better go to school too.

Bridge pic small The best way to do this was to study online. I wanted to learn at my own pace without having to attend a regular classroom. I checked out the local college and discovered they offered a 12 week online course in Photoshop Elements. It promised to break it down so it would be easy to learn. I approached the MR. aka my husband and we decided the $115 would be a doable amount. I was eager to get started so when the course started I hit the ground running. After 12 weeks I got the basics down-pat and passed with an average in the 90’s.  I was encouraged to learn more. I saw the college also offered a Part 2 of the course. Since I did so well with Part 1 and wanted to learn even more, I decided to continue on and I also got the go ahead from MR again. I put down another $115. and the next 12 weeks went along swimmingly and again I passed with a score in the 90’s.

_DSC7494

To my surprise a couple months after my 2nd course ended I got a message from Adobe telling me that since I already owned Photoshop Elements I could be able to upgrade to CS6 for a reduced price! I approached MR again and he told me it would be smart to take advantage of this great deal. So I abandoned Photoshop Elements and graduated to using  CS6. Because a lot of the basics are like Photoshop Elements it wasn’t too difficult to transfer the knowledge I learned from the online courses. But what about the other parts of CS6 I wasn’t familiar with?

_DSC4680

I then remembered that Kelby Training covered the use of Photoshop as well as many, many, many other courses from professionals I looked up to.  Again I looked at the cost of Kelby Training of $199 for a year for unlimited use. I had just spent $230 on 2 courses which lasted a total of 24 weeks in total. Kelby Training was looking like more of a bargain all the time. I could learn about Photoshop plus all the many other intriguing elements of photography. So I talked to MR again and explained how much I would be saving by signing up with Kelby Training. He agreed. Fortunately, Kelby Training had a promotion and I was able to get a discount off a subscription as well as receiving a free book for the latest Lightroom upgrade. How could I lose?

_DSC4693-2

I signed up with Kelby Training and I haven’t looked back since. I have been happily watching different training videos. Matt Kloskowski has shown me lots of additional things I can do with Lightroom. Moose Peterson has taught me how I can take photos of birds right in my backyard! Syl Arena taught me more about using my Speedlite. Scott Kelby has taught me how I can grow my business. That is just the tip of the iceberg. I am eager to listen to Tim Wallace, Tamara Lackey, RC Concepcion, Joel Grimes and Glyn Dewis and many more. I can do this in my leisure time. I can also do this even when I am out of town through an App I downloaded on my iPhone. I am also able to listen to them during my lunch hour at work during the cold winter months when it is more inviting to stay indoors than go outside and drive home to have lunch.

_DSC4724

Imagine this all started with a friend telling me that it is better to shoot in RAW! I can’t thank him enough for open this wonderful world to me!

Spring is Here!

Ahhh, the smell of sweet grass growing.  The beginning of colourful flowers emerging from the earth and filling their sweet nectar throughout the air.

The sap starting to move through the tree trunks and in turn the blossoms starting to form and open on the fruit trees, spreading more smells in the fresh air.

Crocuses

The birds have returned and have started building their nests. Robins are up early in the morning looking for big juicy worms that the dew drenched grass has tried to hide. The robins in turned thank us by serenading us with their melodic songs. No wonder this is my favorite time of the year.

Spring is Here!Robin

BUT…. Continue reading

You can too!!!

There is many techniques that can be learned in Photoshop and a person just has to search for the right instructional videos to learn them. Today’s post is about the technique called the fake tilt-shift.  There is a lens called a tilt-shift lens and it can take a picture that will make the items in the photo look like Matchbox toys. But Continue reading

Bring or Take?

Ship being escorted out of Hobart, Tasmania's harbour by a pilot boat

Ship being escorted out of Hobart, Tasmania’s harbour by a pilot boat

As you know I was recently in Tasmania. We  were going on an excursion and I made the comment, “I will bring my camera with me.” I was told that was the wrong word to use and the proper word was ‘take’.  I should have said, “I will take my camera with me.”  This brought on a big debate on the proper word to use. I explained it must be a cultural thing. Since I am from Canada, perhaps we are strongly influenced by the American way of saying things even though we are also a Commonwealth country like Australia. To me,  Australians seem to have kept more of their Britishness than Canadians. Their accent and the terminology they use reminds me of what I heard when I went to Britain a few years ago. So I chalked it up to those differences.

Challenged, I decided to go on a Google search Continue reading

You haven’t seen nothin’ yet!

A few  things happened to spur this blog post. I saw on Facebook that a friend of my daughter’s made a comment about how high school was so… long ago. Now my daughter and her friend are only 25 years old. Wasn’t it just yesterday they were in high school? You are already looking back and reminiscing? What I like to say to them is, “You haven’t seen nothin’ yet!!” You have SO much more ahead of you and you don’t know what you are headed for.

Another thing that happened was that my Aunt who was married to my late Uncle died today at age 93.  I can just picture her looking at me and saying “You haven’t seen nothing yet!” And she would be absolutely right. Just like my daughter’s friend, I still have a whole life ahead of me to live ( albeit maybe not as long as she has).

The last item that happened today was my picking up the finished framed picture which I received from the best friend a person could have. (See the picture and her website here:)  We recently came back from visiting her in Tasmania.

We have been friends for Continue reading

Elephants, in Tasmania you say??

The decision was made to make a trip north from Hobart to Binalong Bay. We will rent a house for 2 days and enjoy what the area has to offer. Then the comment “And of course we will stop at Mt Elephant and get the famous pancakes”. Woe stop right there. You mean we are going to have pancakes in the afternoon and we have to go off the regular road to get there? The answer was “Yes, they are world famous and so delicious!” They are pancakes, how good can they be? Well I do like adventures so I figured world famous must mean something so I was game for it.

I was enjoying the scenery along side the road when we took the turn that would eventually take us to this restaurant. By this time I was very hungry but I was happy I had nothing in me when we drove on the winding roads to reach Mt Elephant. Finally we arrived at the parking lot only to be greeted by this sign. At first I thought “How Rude!”  But after examining it I_DSC1978 thought these people have a wonderful sense of humour. I need to go inside and see what it is all about.  I went inside to find a quaint restaurant and a nice gift shop. There adorning the gift shop were these wonderful carved elephant chairs. Sadly one of them had a broken tusk from guests being to rough with it. But nevertheless it Continue reading

Fires in Australia

We traveled to Port Arthur the most south eastern part of Tasmania on the Tasman Peninsula. On the way we went through the scene of devastating “bush” fires that raced through the town of Dunalley in early January. It was quite a moving experience to see house addresses spray painted on fences or trees where the only evidence of a house being on that property being a stone foundation, or a fireplace and chimney. Many yards still had the burned out skeletons of automobiles sitting in them. There was a flurry of activity at the local elementary school that had obviously lost many of its classrooms to the fire. A number of workers were busily preparing the school yard to receive emergency portable classrooms for the beginning of classes the first week of February.

A number of local businesses such as a well-known bakery were nothing more than rubble. Many tourist businesses that survived the fire, have noticed a drop in business as tourists are avoiding the area thinking that entire area has been affected. In fact, the government and media Continue reading

Trip to the Cinema

This was taken with my cell phone so the quality is not available

This was taken with my cell phone

The other night I went to this wonderful theatre in Hobart, Tasmania. Did I say I am visiting friends in Tasmania? Yes I am and these friends are the ones that enlightened me to this great movie theatre. The people who own this theater have fixed it up to be quite unique. There are different areas in the building that house different theatres. We saw the “Life of Pi” in one room. It wasn’t a big room which made it all the more special. Beforehand we bought wine and some chocolate and were able to bring it in with us to have during the show. There were other snacks that could be bought in the lobby but popcorn was not one of them nor were there any of the usual candies that attract children but instead the snacks were geared more to adults with a sophisticated palette.

The chairs in the theater were very comfortable and everyone had a clear view. After the show we went to the cafe area to sit in Continue reading

Holy Cow Is It 2013 Already???

At this time of the year people usually reflect on the year before. Things that should have been done and things that did happen. Is there a reason to have regrets?  Maybe that is what drives us to make change. At this time I would hate to break the tradition so I do want to reflect on this last year but I am not reflecting on the items I regret.( Don’t we all regret something?) Rather, I want to show you what I consider to be my best photos of 2012. I feel my photography has improved this past  year. I look forward to what 2013 will bring as well as what I will be able to achieve.

Image

This photo won me first place in the Scott Kelby Photowalk 2012 in the city of Saskatoon, SK. I have been wanting to go on the Worldwide Photowalk for a few years and 2012 was the year I was able to join. Can’t wait until Fall of 2013 to join in again! This photo also won  ‘Best of the Show’ in our local Photo Club Continue reading