Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Momma's New Toy

I think I told you that Wes and I agreed to not exchange gifts this Christmas. We decided to allow our little jaunt to Chicago in November serve as our gift to one another. It turned out to be a win, win for both of us because we got to eat at some fabulous places and didn't have to try to figure out some useless gift that the other really didn't need or want. I enjoyed the time to be able to focus on Colin and absorb some of his happiness!

After Christmas I thought of several things I would have liked, had we been exchanging - why is it that you can always think of ideas after the holiday (Christmas or birthday) but not before? Maybe it's just me. Well one of the things was actually something I've been wanting for a long time, Photoshop. I decided to treat myself and buy just the basic PS Elements.

I've had it now for about a week and I've already experience frustration, defeat, and finally sweet success! I got the Mac version and apparently there isn't a way to transfer your pictures from iPhoto straight to PS, you have to put them in a separate place on your hard drive. I'm only sharing that in case there is some other poor sole who has spent the last hour online trying to find out why they are brain dead!

I'm still learning the ropes and I have A LOT to learn. I know there are a lot of applications that aren't available for Elements but I know there are lots that are and some people (the Pioneer Woman) are even generous enough to offer free downloadable actions.

Here's a sampling of my first effort. Here's the before that was edited with iPhoto:

...and then the after using Photoshop.

It's so much crisper and the color is better, I think. Here's another example. I wish you could see the color on my basement wall because this is so darn close, you could use this as a paint chip to match the paint!

This one's color was so bad I resorted to sepia to disguise my flash faux pas:

But no faux pas with PS (except the obvious operator malfunction with his moving arm).

Do you use Photoshop and do you love it? I'd love any tips or tricks you might have for a newbie! At this point, don't assume I know anything! Is there a great site or a book you'd recommend? Remember my time is somewhat limited so a 1000 page textbook is probably out of the question!

Hopefully as I get more familiar with both the camera and PS, you'll see an improvement with my pictures. Geesh, no pressure!


  1. What a fun new toy! I have photoshop on my laptop for work and while I'm nowhere near an expert, my tip is to save your images as raw files and then you can use the white balance tool to automatically adjust it!

  2. As a graphic designer I use it everyday ... let me know if you ever have any questions! Have fun!

  3. Glad you got it, I know you'll love it! I've not been experimenting lately, but every time I use it I fall a little more in love with it :)

  4. I'm planning to use my Christmas money for PSE!
    I downloaded the 30 day trial to make sure I want to buy it and realized that I have a LOT to learn.
    I mean, A LOT!
    So, please update me if you find any thing good. A website or a book or anything!