Sunday, March 13, 2011

Old McDonald Had A Farm ... E - I - E - I - O

The Power Of Post-Processing Software

Did you ever look at your photos and wish ... "if only that or that _____ wasn't there"?
Did you ever get excited to see the print of a photo only to be disappointed that it really wasn't like you had hoped?
I have found that some of the very best tools to give your photos pop or to eliminate distractions are by using post-processing software.
Some call this cheating. OK. It is! But I paid thousands and thousands of dollars of dues in my learning process during the days of film. So, I'll do whatever I want for my remaining days of photography.
Truth said ... in order to get what you want ... you need the best possible original. That means it is worth taking classes on how to shoot, FIRST! You may find that it would be very helpful for a class in post-processing software NEXT.
Some programs are fun, free and very easy to use. Some cost a bit of money but may be well worth a modest investment. Keep in mind, none of these programs are worth a dime if you buy them and leave them on the shelf. They take work to learn.
First, I recommend the free downloadable software from Irfanview. You can google this and learn this program pretty quickly.
Second, I recommend using Photoshop Elements, latest revision available (I have 6.0). I believe the 9.0 version is already out. Pros use programs like Photshop CS5. Don't buy the full version of CS5 or CS6 without planning on studying it thoroughly. This is powerful stuff that usually is recommended for related careers.
If you decide to purchase Photoshop Elements, I still recommend finding a class to get a teachers overview of the product. Check out your local community college evening classes. You are well worth the education and you will be able to do many things with your photos to clean them up for presentation.
Here are a couple examples of the before and after using photoshop elements. In order to see these examples clearly, it is probably best to click on them to enlarge, then right click and save them to a folder so that you can toggle between the before and after photos to see the examples of what was done.
The first photo is on the San Antonio Riverwalk. The subject is the Riverwalk with my wife and daughter on the bridge. I have removed dozens and dozens of major distractions by several methods. I have taken what was a busy day on the Riverwalk and turned it into a more intimate version.
The second photo is a vacation photo that my son-in-law took on and evening in Mexico. The subject is simply a sunset over a waterscape. He was battling a lens that kept fogging up with salt and moisture in the air. This takes the edge off any photo.

Original File 1

Altered File 1 using Photoshop Elements

Original File 2

Altered File 2 using Photoshop Elements

Breakfast View in Seattle

Prayers For The People Of Japan

Lord, we pray for your abundant provision and protection for the people of Japan. O Lord, be swift to save and pull some from the rubble. Be their strength in this time of need, we pray. Lord we ask that we might be used to assist in the hour of their need. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.