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Posts tagged ‘Photoshop’

Up for Discussion – PC or Mac

My desktop is almost ten years old and I think it is about time to replace it.  I want to replace it for a couple of reasons, one is the age, it is getting slow, and two because it is too old to run windows on it, well according to my tech guy, my husband.  I run Ubuntu now, a Linux based operating system and it is great.  I don’t have a problem with it at all, however I can’t use Photoshop on it, apparently hangingrock0047the computer is too old and Windows would be too slow on it.

At the moment if I want to use Photoshop I have to use it on my laptop, a Dell XPS 17, which is nice, almost 4 years old, but with only 8GB of memory we are starting to run into problems. I can connect the laptop to my monitor, so it is like using a desktop computer, which is great.  My real issue is that now that the file sizes of my images are so large with my new camera the laptop is getting very very slow.  It starts out well, but after working for a while if I get scslaughterhouse00201it to do something, well, let’s just say I could go out for coffee while waiting for it to do what I have asked it to do.  I don’t have enough RAM, and you can’t put more into my laptop.  We tried, but this one won’t allow it.  As it turns out Windows 7 won’t support more than 16GBs regardless.

So this is where the dilemma starts.  My husband is a programmer and we looked at new Desktop computers, but there isn’t a lot of choice if you want 32GB.  I want as much as I can get so I can do things quickly.  Of course the other issue I am having is Windows.  I hate it.  It won’t run Photoshop properly, keeps closing the sctrain-0025program down, even straight after I start it.  We thought I might have a virus, but the scan check revealed nothing, and it still does it.  I keep getting asked to do things that I know I have done before.  It is driving me crazy.

I was talking to someone recently who had gone to a Mac and she has never looked back, so I wondered, should I consider it.  My husband has always been so against Mac.  He thinks anything from Apple is overpriced and is more about image than whether or not it is really any good.  His words, not mine. I have always thought I should stay away from it.

Now I am starting to give the whole thing a rethink.  There has to be a reason why all the top photographers and anyone really, who works with visuals uses a Mac.  My husband always said it was because, well, you don’t want to know what he said.  I told him the other day I think it is because Windows is crap and they use Macs because they work better.  He is starting to concede, I think, that perhaps Mac scfedsq-0000is the way to go, but I thought I might find out what you think and what you use.

Finally, what I want to say is that if Adobe wrote Photoshop for Linux, there would be no need for this discussion, it would be my absolute first preference.

So todays questions are what do you use a Mac or PC?  Why do you use that?  Do you wish you had the other?

I don’t want this to be a debate about what is better, other than why it is better for you.

The last couple of these I have done have been great, and I think this is a great way for us to share knowledge.

I will not respond to every comment, if that is okay, it can be very overwhelming.  I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

Finally, I have used Black and White images today that were taken with film many years ago, I thought it might be a nice prompt for people to get their Monochrome Madness submissions to me soon for my next post.

 

“Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end in itself.” ~ Robert Heinlein

In the last 10 or so years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn how to be better at manipulating images.  I purchased a book by Scott Kelby on Photoshop about 3 or 4 years ago and I haven’t looked back.  I really pushed myself to keep learning more, and I have, but there are always new things to learn.

I initially looked into courses on Photoshop, but they were so expensive, hundreds of dollars for one day, and you couldn’t take it away with you.  Then someone I knew introduced me to online learning, and I haven’t looked back.  I have spoken often about one particular place, but after sending emails to them about some ideas, I received nothing back.  I am sure most of you know this is a pet hate with me, how hard is it to send an email back to say “thanks for your interest, but it isn’t something we are interested in right now”.  There you go, took me 10 seconds to type that.  So I decided that if they were going to be silent with me, I would be the same, which meant that I had to find something else, and I did.

I know that many of my followers are new to photography, or know that their skill level needs work, I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but I realise that many of you do want to learn, so I have been doing some research.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:37:32When I was doing some research on Joel Grimes he mentioned somewhere that he had done some courses for KelbyOne.  I had never heard of it, of course, I knew who Scott Kelby was, but not this website.  I decided I had to do more research.  So from what I can work out it seems fantastic.  It is another one of those pay by the month sort of deals, but at only $25 per month, and you get a discount if you pay for the whole year, it is really reasonable, especially when you consider what you are getting.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:21:48

It is a site for photographers.  It is where photographers share what they do to other photographers.  There are so many courses available.  There are courses on Photography, courses on Photoshop, Lightroom, then there are courses for running a photography business.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:19:50Business for photography is not something I have wanted to watch much. How you run a business in the US can be very different to how you run a business in Australia.  I have often found that much of the information is not relevant, but then there is always something you can pick up, so I have been watching this one about Social Media, which isn’t country specific, and I have picked up some great information from it.

Once you pay your monthly membership you can view the courses online anytime, where and when it is convenient for you.  At least that is the impression I get.  If you want to download the courses and have them on your computer, then you can pay for specific ones as well.

One of the things I enjoy about the courses is that they aren’t too long, a couple of hours or a few hours, but not for days.  If you are like me, and find it hard to concentrate and just stare at the computer, then this is good, it doesn’t require hours of attention.  Actually, it is perfect for me.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:22:56There is a long list of instructors and I have found some of my favourites here as well.  It has been great going through what courses there are and working out which ones I would like to watch.  Ben Willmore is there, Joel Grimes, Dave Cross and Lindsay Adler, and I am sure some others that will become favourites too.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:23:32It seems to be more than just a site to learn and there seems to be a real community there and you are encouraged to participate in that as well.  I haven’t gone into it yet, but it will be interesting to see what is there.

They release new courses every week, at least one or two, and you receive emails from them to let you know what is available.

Screenshot at 2014-02-19 09:20:21They are doing a Creative Cloud Month and a new course is being released every day for the whole month.  I imagine you would learn everything you needed to know about CC here.  Creative Cloud is the new thing that Adobe are doing, my version of Photoshop is Photoshop Creative Cloud, and I pay a monthly subscription fee to be able to use it.  However Creative Cloud is a lot more than just Photoshop, there are more programs that come under that “cloud”.

I think this is the best online service I’ve seen for photographers.  At $25 a month, it is reasonably priced, and what you get for that money is amazing.  It is something I would definitely do.  If you want a discount, then paying the yearly amount is good, you get 12 months for the price of 10, so you basically get 2 months free.  I think I am going to save the $249 and do that.  I love a bargain.

The courses are designed for all levels of knowledge and experience.  There are courses for the beginners, and there are courses for those who have more experience, but want to know more, or try something different.  I am sure as the community grows, the number of courses being offered will grow as well.

I hope you will all go and take a look at KelbyOne, it really is a great place for learning.  Going back to the top bit, of course the best thing about them is that I sent an email and I got a response, you have to love companies that realise customer service is important.  The idea that if you don’t hear from them then they aren’t interested, says to me, we aren’t interested in providing good customer service, we don’t care about our customers.

So KelbyOne, go check them out.

Just going to add a gallery so you can see the screenshots better.

Changing the Feeling

We are still experiencing our heatwave here.  Today it is predicted to be 44ºC, and we have already reached 40.  My poor cat Tiddles just doesn’t know what to do.  We keep trying to cool him down, and I think he appreciates what we are doing.

The heat itself is uncomfortable, and annoying, but the worse thing about it is how terrifying it also is.  When we have really hot days like this, it means thunder storms, which mean lightning, and then fires.  There have already been lots of fires in Victoria, and with the worse day for winds predicted to be tomorrow.  I have a massive park across the road from me that goes along the Yarra River, so we are also on high fire alert.  It has never been a problem before, but you just never know.

The hardest part, and perhaps the scariest is that they are saying these are the same conditions that lead to the worse fire storms in Australian history, the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 where almost 180 people lost their lives, and thousands and thousands of acres were damaged, and whole communities destroyed.  No one wants to ever see that happen again.

I know people think we are being whinges, that the temperatures are not that high, but we are all living on the edge of our seats, it is a scary time to be in the state right now.

Now on another note, before the temperature gets too hot and I can’t work on my computer anymore, I thought I would work on another image and see what I could do with it.

I did an image a couple of years ago and I was curious about what I would do with a similar image.

sccity-hpm6608-5

I have always liked this image, but over time my processing has changed and I know a lot more about Photoshop now.  I didn’t want to just repeat the image, but thought if I took another one it would be interesting to see what I would do.

city-20140111-6464

This image was taken on the weekend, I showed it to you on Sunday and I decided that I would use this image.

LeanneCole-city-20140111-6464-2The most obvious problem with the image was the sky, so I tried to find a sky that I could add to it that would help with the mood of the image.  I have added lots of textures to the image to help give it an aged feeling.  I think I was trying to go for the feeling of abandon.

There are problems with it, but I know the more I do these, the better I will get at doing them.  I need to start collecting some different sorts of photos now, I think. Things that I can add to images like this that will help with that feeling.

I am going to put the images into a gallery now so you can see them a bit better.  Take care everyone.

Hot/Cold Timetables

scsunflower-HDR2That is the title for the latest post I have written for Photographers.com.au.  The post is about things we can do when it is too cold or too hot to go outside.  I hope it gives you lots of idea.

Hot/Cold Timetables, please take a look and it would be wonderful if you could leave your comments there as well.

If you have any other ideas, please share them.

Emotion Coming Through

On Saturday when I taught my class I got some many fantastic photos of my model and so I have prepared two more for you today.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1449I do love this table, it is quite amazing.  I also love this pose, though I do wish her eyes were different.  I love the feeling of the image, is she just lying there because she is feeling depressed, or is there more too it.  I did tell her to pretend she was dead, as though she had been poisoned.  I think the image could convey many things.

I know a few people have asked me how I edit my images.   I don’t want to do a tutorial on it, but I am looking into software that I could do a screencast of it and then make it go faster for you, so you don’t see everything, but you get an idea of how one of my images comes together.  I don’t know much about this kind of software, but if I find out I might try it.  Though would prefer it to be free, so if anyone knows anything about software, screencasts for Windows, I’m all ears.

LeanneCole-thea-20131116-1561I was trying something different with this image.  I told her to pretend she was terrified sitting in the corner, and then I worked on making the image darker.  I wanted to convey a scared girl trying to hid in the corner at night.  The original image was so white, so it took a bit of effort to get it like this. I am not sure the scared part really came out.

I am really happy with where my images are going.  I do feel like I am growing as an artist and the work feels more like my own, rather than me imitating what others have done.

The weather has been horrible here, but we are finally seeing some better weather.  I really want to get out and some preparing images for the compositing, so this week looks like the first time I can do that.  So fingers crossed it holds and I can get on with it.

As I did the other day, the before and the after shots, one after the other.

Weekend Wanderings – Flowers on Footpaths

Last weekend I took a couple of photos of some flowers, and since I don’t have anything else to show, thought I might show them here.  I have been trying to work out some posts to drop and I think the Sunday one is one that I might stop doing.  If I do keep doing it, it won’t be much.

Leanne Cole - Orchid 1I love these flowers and as we were walking past this florist in Flinders Lane I couldn’t resist taking some photos.  I might have to buy one one day and take some extra special photos of it.  I have seen some fantastic ones.

Leanne Cole - Orchid 2A close up of one of the flowers.  They are so delicate and beautiful.  I just wish they weren’t so expensive.

I don’t know what the etiquette is when it comes to taking photos like this.  I figure, why not, until someone tells you to stop, or maybe take some and buy a bunch of flowers.  I often think if you give some service back then why not.  People usually don’t mind.

I have been spending the weekend learning more photoshop skills and working on the photos that I took yesterday of Alannah.  It was great and she really enjoyed it, which is even better.  I have posted two of the images on my facebook page and they are getting some great  reactions.  I think this shoot is probably my best so far, though with each one I continue to learn more about what I need to be doing.

I have added them to my website as well http://www.leannecole.com.au/, I have also added another link as well.  It was suggested by 87004 photography that I should push the artist aspect and the fact that I do have a Fine Arts degree, so I have now included my artist’s CV on there as well.  I think it is important to let people know that I am an artist and photography is my choice of medium.

I think it is Fathers Day in some countries, so Happy Father’s Day to those that are fathers.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Influencing Me – Peter Eastway

Last week I mentioned the idea of doing some photographers, and what a surprise, a lot of you thought that was a great idea.  So today I want to introduce you to Peter Eastway, an Australian photographer and editor of the Better Photography magazine.  He is also a photographer who has inspired me more than any other, I believe.

Peter Eastway - Castelnuova

Peter Eastway – Castelnuova

It was because of images like this that I wanted to take photos like him.  It is an image done in the darkroom, but it has been manipulated.  I believe the buildings were bleached, I can remember doing this myself, but I am sorry I don’t remember what the chemical was called.  It could give you a great effect, but it could also be way overdone, and unlike photoshop, when it was over done, it meant starting again with a whole new image.

Peter Eastway

Peter Eastway

I remember reading about this image in the magazine and what was done to it.  It is one of those images, that when you see the original, you think, hey that looks like the images I take, then you see what he has done to it.  The final image takes it to a whole new level.  You can see why I like this.

p066773You know if you saw this for real, it wouldn’t look like this.  This is so much better, I am sure.  For me Eastway makes me think about the possibilities within the image.  I ask myself more questions now and don’t just accept what the camera does.

I know there are quite a number of people out there that believe the image from the camera is the real image and you shouldn’t play with it.  You definitely wouldn’t like Eastway’s photographs, but I hope you can see how truly stunning images can be.

Peter Eastway - Cape Palliser

Peter Eastway – Cape Palliser

I look at images like this and it always gets me thinking.  I think about the images I have, and the images I want to take.  I think about what Eastway does and can I do similar things to my images.

PE-2When I go out and take images, his work is often in the back of my mind as I try and interpret his work into my own.

BragancaTowerWor5249

BragancaTowerWor5249

I don’t tend to think of Eastway as a photographer of architecture, more landscape, but I love how he does all things.

His magazine, Better Photography, often gives tutorials so you can learn how he does what he does.  I spent many hours going over the magazines and learning everything I could.  The magazine is going digital, so you could subscribed to it from anywhere in the world now.  I have always thought it was the best photography magazine out there, and try never to miss it.  I am an emerging member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and it includes the magazine, though now I can only get it digitally and I haven’t worked out how that works at present.

For me Peter Eastway is simply the best, through his photography I have learned that there are so many possibilities and what you can do with photoshop is absolutely amazing.  I now open an image, I look at it, then my mind starts thinking though all the possibilities of what can be done.  I start playing, and end up, well, who knows.

So, when trying to work out what image of my own to show you that is influenced by Eastway it was hard, well, because they all are.

scmu-5hpm7446-13This one definitely.  A boring image to start with and then slowly playing and playing until it turns into something completely different.  The vignetting and gradient are definitely because of Eastway.  The way he uses those to help focus your attention is brilliant and I use it a lot.  I know you have noticed that.

sctulips-hpm5613-7

This is not really an image you would see Eastway do, but, for me, it has been edited a lot and that means it is influenced by him.  For me any image that tries to make you see more than the obvious and give you an image that makes you want to sing is influenced by him.

I did contact Peter before doing this post and I asked him if he had a favourite image, his response was “My favourite is the next one I take!!”.

If you want to check out more of Eastway’s work then he has his own site, Peter Eastway Portfolio, or you can check out the magazine by clicking on Peter Eastway’s Better Photography.

There haven’t been a lot of photographers whose work I have loved and followed.  I know that sounds snobbish, and it is changing, but for I have been a massive fan of Peter Eastway for around 15 years, and for me, he always does a great job.  I hope you like his work as much as me.

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