Saturday, May 29, 2010

File Sizes and Types

I was talking with a man who calls himself a photographer. A hobbyist, but still a shutterbug. He doesn't do much post-processing and uses Photoshop Elements to work with his images. He thinks he gets five good shots out of each hundred he takes. He also does not bother with shooting in RAW, as he says it takes too much time.

Hello? How can it take too much time? I press the shutter, the camera records an image. I'm capturing both .jpg and RAW. It takes a few extra seconds to copy the files, as I separate them in my file system, but that would be the big difference.

I want to capture the most data that I can for each picture. There is no point in owning a camera capable of taking huge photos, and then taking teensy little images with it. I can't work with a photo that is teeny. There isn't much you can do with it. If a photo is huge, I can make it smaller, but I can't take a small photo and make it large.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And More Curtains

I finished the studio curtains in no time flat and have been plugging away at pinch pleats for the great room sliding glass door. These are the largest curtains I'm willing to tackle and they are not small. I spent a lot of time working on the math for these windows and it's paying off. They are coming out well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Wonderful hubby put up a curtain rod for me weeks ago and I haven't yet created the curtains for my studio. It is time. I'm going to create those curtains today. I've had the fabric and the trim for a while. It shouldn't take too long. They will be simple sheers with purple bobble trim on the edge. I can't look at bobble trim without smiling. And because my girly soul wants it, a ruffle at the top, too. Fluff!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Digital Kit Shopping

These days, I'm not finding digital kits that interest me enough to buy them. It isn't that the kits are poor quality. I simply have most of the things that I need or want. And if I don't have them, I can create them.

I read about women who will buy a kit and then only use it to make a couple of pages. They are constantly shopping for something new. Once they find it, they play with it briefly, and then they are off shopping again. I like to think that I use a kit for more than a couple of pages. If I look objectively at my stash, there are kits I use again and again and there are kits that I don't use at all.

My frugal soul has taken note of this and until I have used more of my stash for creating pages, I won't feel comfortable buying more. I can't help but think that the more I use my stash, the more content I will be with what I already own. The majority of my stash could be used to scrap anything at all. I've got a limited number of holiday kits, but mostly, I get digital items that could be used for any event. I've also got a lot of templates and actions to create effects and textures with things that I already own.

My challenge to myself is this: I will continue to create layouts and I will not purchase anything additional for my stash until I am absolutely, completely bored with the items that I own. And not just irritated that I don't already own the perfect item, but can't work through this problem any other way but to get something new, no ideas left and no inspiration can be dragged out of my brain bored.

With the inspirational references that I have and the stash that I've got, I expect not to be bored for several years.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blog Editing

I had created a blog background to use on this blog and then I did something goofy and it wasn't the right size for my own computer screen resolution. I created a different blog background and then I didn't correct the link I was using to get it to load into my blog. Silly me.

Just now, I did the edits and the background looks OK on my own screen. However, in order to make sure that I had done the correct edit, I had to turn myself into a Java encoder for HTML. Let's skip all the geeky technicalities and just say that I had to do by hand what a competent java tech could do in seconds. Sometimes it is really annoying having some of the understanding and none of the tools.

To avoid repeating my error, I'm going to delete the bad background, so I don't accidentally use it anywhere else. I don't often delete files. Drive space is so cheap.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Exposure Compensation Works!!!!

I spent a day shooting. Indoors, outdoors, funky light, flash lighting, fill flash in full daylight.

And you know what? Exposure compensation is wonderful. I got some decent shots because I was running that dial to adjust.

Here's what I discovered. Set the camera on P if you really need to get shots quickly. There are too many things you need to fiddle with otherwise. Then, I actually started fiddling with the exposure compensation and getting to know when I'd need to crank it up or down. P seems to set me up in the middle of the f-stop range. I could adjust up 5 stops or adjust down 5 stops and actually had about the full range. Wow.

Why Knit?

I can't understand why anyone in Florida would want to knit a sweater. I stopped into a yarn store and spotted a whole lot of models on the walls getting dusty. They couldn't sell them, they couldn't sell the yarn to make them. I'm amazed that the yarn store was open at all. Selling yarn for making socks? Yeah, that's going to bring in incredible profit. Two balls of yarn at a time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

20 Years!

I just realized that I've been on-line for 20 years. Not that on-line is the same, but I've been speaking to folks who are distant, through the magic of my computer for 20 years. Wow.

I started on a luggable computer with a 7" screen and 5.25" floppy drives that you had to swap out to boot the machine up. The screen was bright green on a black background. I could type, but pictures? Not so much. Though I did play 'Loom' when it came out. I bought a bootleg copy in Hong Kong. There wasn't an alternative.

Anyway, I've come a long way from the Zenith laptop that we upgraded to from the I-can't-remember-the-brand luggable. That was a one color screen, too, but we used screensavers. Remember the guy mowing the lawn? No matter what I do, no matter how careful, what machine I get and so on, I end up getting a new computer about every five years. Sometimes more frequently, but five years is a pretty good average. My current laptop turned two this month. The warranty is good for three years after purchase. I might even renew it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exposure Compensation or EV

I kept struggling with this setting. I KNEW that it was important, but could not place it into my settings arsenal. Finally! Finally it makes sense.

If I set my camera for Aperture priority, it will automatically read the light and pick a shutter setting that will give me a 'correct' exposure. I use Aperture priority if I want to control my depth of field. If I set Shutter priority, to capture or freeze motion, my camera will set the aperture automatically for a 'correct' exposure.

But lots of times, the settings the camera comes up with are wrong, wrong, wrong. The camera is averaging the exposure according to a formula that might not be right for the light that I'm facing. I don't want to change my Shutter or Aperture setting, the camera will just pick a new aperture or shutter setting that will give me the same incorrect exposure. I don't have time to flip the camera to Manual and fiddle with setting shutter and aperture both. I want that picture and I want it NOW!

That's where the EV or Exposure Compensation setting comes in. It is the override for the average setting that the camera gives. If I snap off a shot and the camera settings gave me something too dark, I can change the Exposure Compensation to be +1 and the next shot will be brighter. For those of us that grew up with f-stops, it will be a full stop brighter. Perhaps the shot is too bright, and things are overexposed. I can set the EV for -2.0 and the picture will come out darker. Adjusting the EV tells the camera that the 'correct' exposure is darker or brighter than it would normally use.

What I must remember about using EV is to check it at the start of each photo session. The wrong EV setting could mean that all my photos are incorrectly exposed because of the light I had the last time I used my camera.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Like Pulling Teeth!

I fought my way through a layout tonight. First Photoshop encountered an error and had to shut down, then, I had a Blue Screen of Death! The first one ever on this laptop. Ugh. And I hadn't saved yet, because I hadn't gotten the layout to a point where I was sure about anything. I'd worked on it, but I was so unsure of the end result, I didn't save it.

After the second try, I was determined to get the silly thing finished. Do I like it? I'm not sure. But it is done and it is saved. I wasn't inclined to try for the next layout, which would be a Christmas one.

Christmas this year wasn't what I'd call a great event. We were in transition, there was plenty of stress floating around and it just wasn't a time full of happiness and joy. We have pictures, but they aren't ones I'm eager to scrap.

Since I work chronologically in digital, I'm taking a bit of a break until I feel like scrapping again. I'll do a limited number of Christmas layouts and then move on.