Saturday, January 22, 2011

Learning Elements

inspiration-studio

In December I took an on-line photo course called the Photoshop Skinny-Mini run by Kim Klassen.  It was totally free and I learned a ton about how to use Photoshop Elements (I have version 6) better.  When the first class was basically on how to crop pictures and use layers, I was a little worried it wouldn't go past my current Photoshop skills.  I already knew how to use Photoshop Elements to make a digital scrapbook.
However, how to actually use Photoshop to enhance pictures I had no clue, and she quickly got into those details.  I am not going to tell you how to do what I learned because she is a great teacher and has another class coming up in February (most of it is video lessons, so step-by-step instructions).  But I thought you would like to see how my pictures changed just by applying some of the techniques she taught me.

Original:
 After applying the "homework":

Original:
After Homework (only this time cropping off part of the main object in the picture as she did):
Original:
 I tried the same type of options as the first time, but none of those really makes up for a blurry picture:
This was all from the first few days of classes.  Then I learned more about adjustment layers (particularly hue saturation), spot eraser (I knew how to clone areas, but the quick fix for small blemishes I didn't know about--yeah, new technique!), and adding textures.  I didn't get a chance to actually do the rest of the homework (though I watched all the videos) because it was mid-December and I needed to put together my "digital scrapbook" pages for the calendars I give for Christmas.  However, I used some of the techniques I learned, plus ones I knew, to make my own backgrounds for some of the pages instead of relying on Elements preset options.
I used some adjustment layers on the penguins background so the penguins stood out and nothing else.

Then recently Kim Klassen offered a class on learning textures in ten minutes and I played with some photos a little more.  Adding one of her free textures I was able to improve the fuzzy butterfly picture a little more (I think.)
I still have a lot to learn in order to figure out what improves what and which adjustments, filters, etc. will do what, but I feel the class was worth my time if for no other reason than I learned how to adjust the layer effects after applying them (for 5 years I have been stuck with the default settings on each effect.)  Now my husband might wish I hadn't taken the class because while Office Max was able to do a 24 turn around when we ordered the calendars on December 23 because I forgot to work on the pages sooner since I was playing with Elements, I now really want to upgrade my 3 MegaPixel 12x Optical Zoom Point and Shoot Camera for something a little more fancy.
Ni Hao Yall

Photobucket

10 comments:

Nancy said...

N-I'm taking the same class too! But I'm behind on the class work. I hope to be caught up by the end of the weekend though... hope.
You images are looking great!
Nancy

Grace said...

I loved your butterfly photos. Nice job.

Lisa said...

OHHHH! These are great!!!! Thanks for the tip!!!!

Kim Klassen said...

what a fab post... so many lovely images...
and thank you for sharing my class with your readers...

so kind!! happiest sunday.
xxo, Kim

Adrian Roberta said...

Beautiful!

Lauren said...

That is incredible! I especially liked the slightly blurry butterfly with "Love" on it...as well as all the verses (brings back many memories of my Chrysalis events). Thank you for sharing and I am definitely going to look into the February classes!

Life with Kaishon said...

It looks like you learned so many amazing things I love your work : ) Glad you had a fantastic time in your class.

The Raudenbush Family said...

Very cool! It's amazing what cool stuff you can do with photos!

Stefanie said...

Wow, impressive!
I have Photoshop, but honestly, I'm scared of it! You're making me think I need to dip my toe into the Photoshop world ;)

Julie said...

I signed up for the February class. Looking forward to it! :)