Good Tuesday morning!
As scrapbookers, photos and photography are an integral part of our craft, and, if you're like me, you want the photos on your pages to be as good as they can be. So today’s post will be about photography, Photoshop and actions - just a few of the things near and dear to my heart and my scrapbooking.
Photography today is so much different than it was even five years ago. Five years ago I was still shooting with one of Canon’s first DSLR cameras (a puny 6.3 MP), and the cameras of today (21.1 MP and HD video) make my first DSLR look like an ancient relic. The basics of photography - the elements of exposure (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and the theory behind composition (the rule of thirds) - are unchanged, but today's camera and lens technology is light years away from what it was even just those few years ago.
I am a completely self-taught photographer. I’ve always taken pictures (I describe myself as a Life Tourist), but scrapbooking changed my attitude and increased my passion for photography in ways I had not expected. I taught myself how to use my camera (I read the manual and practice A LOT) and how to edit my photos in Photoshop (PSE 3, CS2 and now CS4) through loads of trial and error. Much of what I learned was found either in books like this one and this one, or found on the internet. Ahhhhh...the glorious, wondrous internet.
Below are links to some tutorials about photography and Photoshop that I think both the novice and the experienced photographers will appreciate:
In the last few years I’ve gotten quite a few questions about the use of actions. Actions are a series of photo editing steps in Photoshop (and sometimes in PSE) that have been recorded into a one-click function. You click play and all the steps necessary to achieve the result are done for you. Actions are usually created by photographers who then sell them (or give them away in some cases) so that others can achieve the same quick and nifty results.
Actions can help with many of the things you might want to do to a photo, like lighten, darken, brighten, saturate, convert to black-and-white, sharpen, resize, create collages and ad texture. And the effects of most actions can be adjusted if the result is too strong, giving you great control over the final result. You can apply multiple actions to one photo, too. Some actions cost more than others but the improved workflow and the great results might just be worth the price.
Here are some action sets I found for Photoshop Elements (PSE) users:
And then some Photoshop actions resources: