Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Professional I Am Not

You know what’s funny? How I’m all, “Ooooh, look at me, I’m so fabulous, and look at my photos, and listen to what I have to say about photography while I attempt to impress and amaze you and put some of my favorite pictures on this site”. Only I didn’t realize until I posted the photos, that I compressed the images to “low quality” to save on space, and HA! The pictures I’m posting are total crap!

If looking at pixilated, blurry, dull, discolored images of my children doesn’t make you want to sit up, sharpen your pencil, and with baited breath write down every single thing I say …. Well, I just don’t know what will possibly inspire you. And if you’re sitting back thinking, “These are your best photos? THIS is the best you can do???” yeah, you sort of have a point. Just trust me that in true 4x6 (or larger) high-quality format, these photos are actually pretty decent.

Photography suggestion #2:

Get your hands on some sort of photo-editing program, learn how to use it, and utilize it for all its worth. This is definitely a case of me, NOT practicing what I preach. When I bought my camera, it came with a free copy of Photoshop Elements, which is known as the “poor man’s” photo editing program. It’s sort of the red-headed step-child of Adobe Photoshop, the higher quality, more-bells-and-whistles photo editing program that many pros and quasi-pros use. A few of my friends who take pictures, Lisa and Erin, use Elements, and they can do some amazing things. Like Pioneer Woman says, a good photo editing program can make a good picture great, and make a great picture phenomenal.

Is it cheating to use a computer program to sharpen the focus of a flower, or blur your background, or make a neat photo collage, or turn the sky more blue, or erase a stop sign in the background? Who cares??? As far as I’m concerned, learning the best way to tweak your photos on the computer takes just as much skill and practice as learning to take great pictures in the first place. To me, photo editing programs are sort of like pain relief during childbirth …. It’s there, and available, you might as well USE it!

I have the better version of Photoshop in my possession, just haven’t taken the time to load it onto my computer and play with it. Even the older version that I have, I don’t utilize the way I should. I use Elements a LOT, but only to do basic stuff. I crop and zoom almost all my photos so I have exactly what I want in the frame. I also use it to adjust the brightness and contrast of a lot of pictures, an attempt to get more light in a shot without washing out the subject. Occasionally, I’ll get really adventurous and clone and stamp a distracting object out of the background, or change the color of someone’s shirt, or try to brighten the color of someone’s eyes. I’ve added neat borders and text to images … I’ve erased a blemish or two, and TRIED (unsuccessfully, I might add) to remove the spare tire around my middle. All of these things are really cool, but also time-consuming to learn and get good at. Like so many things in life, I want to be better at it, and should spend more time practicing it, but something more important always seems to come up, like watching Celebrity Fit Club, or flossing.

Again, for a much, MUCH better faq regarding photo editing programs, and photography in general, go to Pioneer Woman’s site. She has a “More about my camera” link on the left hand side of her page that is very helpful. One of these days I’m going to sit down with the Photoshop Elements books she was kind enough to send me, and learn how to use this program properly. And then, spare tire, watch out!

In the meantime, here are some more {crappy quality} photos that I love. I have these photos saved on my desktop, and they are some of my favorites. I just wish I knew all of you in person, so I could show you my scrapbooks and convince you that really, truly, the pictures look much better in person than they do compressed way down on this screen. Next time I’m uploading so many pictures, I’ll not be so chintzy with the hard drive space and spring for HIGH quality images.


Anonymous said...

Having seen many of your pics over the last year, I can vouch for their quality, regardless of what you say. And I agree totally that getting the best digital camera you can afford is well worth the investment.
Dixie in CA

Am I first?

Briana said...

See, and I didn't even notice the poor quality in the first pictures you posted. Ha! Guess I'm not meant to be a photographer.

I would love to see your scrapbooks one day. Maybe we should plan a huge scrapbook weekend where all of your stalkers - I mean adoring fans - could fly somewhere and meet for a weekend. What fun would that be???? Although, my luck, I wouldn't be able to come that weekend because of soccer. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for the rest of the infertility story...I like the camera advice, but you are killing me with the cliff!

Lisa said...

Hi Krisitie

What news on Blaine any update? Love and prayers.

It's Her said...

Thanks for that Kirstie :-)

Anonymous said...

I think you take great photos and you certainly utilize the photography tip that I think most people miss: Move in closer!! Don't be afraid!

I love the one of Kendrie and Blaine. Priceless!!

Anonymous said...

I think you take great photos and you certainly utilize the photography tip that I think most people miss: Move in closer!! Don't be afraid!

I love the one of Kendrie and Blaine. Priceless!!

Anonymous said...

That last comment was mine but something happened before I could add my name.

Love your site!

Andrea in Delaware

D said...

You've inspired me! We already have some fancy schmancy camera with a big lens and lots of buttons. This weekend, when I basking in the glow of MY day, I think I'll try to figure the darn thing out!!!

Anonymous said...

That made me laugh. I've seen some of your great pictures before, so I know how great of a photographer you are. I actually thought those pictures were examples of a poor quality camera. :)

Rachel in TX