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Treachery

July 3, 2011

Photo treachery with Photoshop can make you look 20 years younger, lose 20 pounds and take you places you’ve never been. This can be good for setting up a Facebook page just for people you don’t like with your tanned, young, skinny self on the beach in the Bahamas. Most of us don’t have the time for this sort of shenanigans, we’re too busy admiring our big, old, pasty belly in a lawn chair by the kiddie pool. And by we I mean me.

B e s i d e s   T r e a c h e r y

Photo editors like Photoshop, Paint Shop, and the free online editors can come in handy for things that are a little more practical.

Here are a few:

  • All digital photos, because of how they are created can benefit from some degree of sharpening, especially if you plan on printing them. I don’t know why this is, I just know it’s true..so there.
  • If you violated the rule of thirds (see previous post) and shame on you for doing it, you can fix it by cropping the photo. Just don’t crop too much or quality will suffer. Just how much you can get away with depends on your camera and the file itself.
  • Precious moment photos like baby’s first bath that were taken under less than ideal conditions can usually be improved and are worth the time investment. If baby is 15 years old and already on his/her 3rd bath don’t bother.
  • That best photo you ever took, that unfortunately includes your ex, can be saved.
  • Travel photo slide shows can be made more palatable to your audience (victims).
  • Conversion to black and white or faux infrared. Black and white conversion can add a timeless or artsy look to your shots. All of my black and whites are sure to be in the Museum of Art someday.

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W h i c h   O n e ?

If you’re gonna use Adobe Lightroom, or Photoshop CS you’re skipping this post anyway. For everyone else, here’s what I have found.

I initially got Corel Paint Shop Pro, called the “poor mans Photoshop” because it has most of the features of Photoshop for around $100 vs. $700 for Photoshop. The problem here is documentation. The program works great, but figuring out how to use it even with the online tutorials provided by Corel was difficult for me. Very few books about this program are available and the one I found and bought turned out to suck and shall remain nameless.

Then I got Photoshop Elements ( about $80). This is Adobe’s stripped down version of Photoshop. Since Photoshop is the industry standard, tutorials are everywhere (online, magazines, under your couch). Scott Kelby writes great stuff and he writes about Elements. So I bought his book and now Elements is what I use. So if you want an editor that will do 99% of what most people will ever use, spend $80 on Elements and $30 on Kelbys book.

If what you want to do is basic stuff, one of the free online editors may be for you. There are way too many to list here and I don’t know anything much about them anyway so I’ll shut up. Google “free photo editor” and read the reviews to find what fits.

W h y   B o t h e r ?

  I love old cars, especially ones like this ’50 Studebaker Hot Rod. These are rare and I don’t often get a chance to see one. This one was at an informal Hot Rod show in a Taco Time parking lot. It’s at a strip mall and the lot remains open for parking by the public during these shows. Minivan’s galore, telephone wires, The Dollar store..you get the picture, No photo I would really want to keep. Photoshop to the rescue, I was able to use another photo I had taken the summer before at the Garnet ghost town in Montana for a background, it was the right scale and the sun was coming from about the same direction. I blurred the Garnet shot then put the car and pavement on top. I got the car I wanted without the Dollar Store I didn’t. Canon DSLR

T w o   S h o t s   F o r   T h e   P r i c e   O f   O n e

   Went outside our front door and took this shot for this post. Nice enough but ordinary. Not compelling enough to get people to send me money. But I knew that just by clicking the “convert to infrared” button people would love it and send cash like crazy! Look at it, then send money. Olympus FE-100 point and shoot

Now it’s art for the den.

  Photo editing adds another dimension to your photography, whether it’s adding borders, fixing defects, creating albums, or treachery. You’ll look like a pro. Your friends and family will be amazed. Grandma will change her will.

Try it, I think it’s worth the time, and I know everything. Ask my wife.

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