Sketch It



magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: September / October 2012

article: Turn Photos to Sketches

author: Larry Becker

steps: 9

time: 25 – 40 minutes

 I didn’t have any trouble at all with the easy to follow instructions. It is best to use some type of architectural photograph for this technique. Initially it took me 25 minutes to complete the directions. I was pleased with the effect but wanted to go back a few steps and play around with the color and how much of the photo should be a sketch. Something about this technique just fascinates me. Give it a try and have fun playing around with the coloring and amount of sketch in your photo.

Waves {assignment 3 – part 2}

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rolling waves clear


assignment – use shutter speed to stop and blur motion

Living in Florida is great. You can watch the sun rise over the ocean, drive 2 hours, and be ready for the sun to set over the gulf. I took advantage of the waves in the gulf to practice my shutter speed. I think you can clearly see the difference between a fast (focused) and slow (blurred) speed. I love to use the shutter priority setting on my camera during sporting events. I’m also determined to find a lovely stream or waterfall to blur nicely like I see in so many great photographs.

rolling wave blur


Check Mate { assignment 3 – part 1}

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chess depth


assignment – aperture – show depth of field

Depth of field and f/stops are the first things I really learned from a photography class. I always wondered how photographers could get a great close up of a flower or animal and yet the background was pleasantly blurry. I have many photos where I too have accomplished the depth of field I was looking for, but since I am trying to get through this class (I can’t believe how long it has taken me in between lessons. I hope to get caught up soon on the 5 I am behind.) I figured I should practice it again.

The chess board was poolside on a recent weekend getaway. As soon as people would leave the chess game, I would hop over there with my camera and try to snap a few photos to practice depth of field. I couldn’t seem to get enough distance between the chess pieces with the space I had to work with but you can see a difference in the background leaves. Not my best depth of field photos by far but I’ll save the pretty flower photos for a lesson I really need them for.


chess depth 2

Sunday’s Sky {banish boring skies}

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magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: September / October 2012

article: Banish Boring Skies

author: Diana Day

steps: 12

time: 20 minutes

In the beginning of this article where it tells you what kind of photo works best, in this case a boring white sky, they didn’t tell you to have a replacement sky photo ready. Luckily, I recently traveled to the Bahamas and had lots of great skies to choose from fairly quickly. Don’t forget to crop it down to just have the sky.

Other than that the directions were easy to follow. I had a little snafu in step 9 to actually get the new sky to appear but , I think I was just working on the wrong layer.

I tried this sky technique with a few different colored and clouded skies until I found one that I thought didn’t look fake. Some were just too blue and others left clouds in a funky place. I have listed this, along with the tilt-shift effect, as one of my favorite effects. This technique could actually save a ton of photos for me. I highly suggest trying it.

my original photo with the blown out white sky


The Bride {vintage color}

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bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

vintage color – 1950’s

magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: May / June 2012

article: Vintage Color

author: Liz Ness

steps: 9

time: 15 minutes

The directions were incredibly easy to follow. I’m just not sure if I actually achieved the correct look. Although the article used a photo of a bride (which is the type of photo is suggests due to the bride usually wearing white and wedding photos are usually nostalgic), our photos are so different. The bride in the article has a retro look to her so she is more suited to the 50’s style vintage color I was going for. My photo doesn’t have a 50’s vibe to start with.

I still had fun and even tried the bonus option which I added below along with the original photo.

bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

vintage color – 1970’s

bridal portrait 04/00/1994 Diane Lupton

original – 1990’s

Dinosaur Drew {digital scrapbooking}

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magazine: Photographic Elements Techniques

issue: July / August 2013

article: Using Digital Scrapbook Templates Is As Easy As A Bee C

author: Michelle Stelling

steps: 9

time: I’m not even going to discuss that (insert frustrated face here)

First things first, I am a scrapbooker. I have been a scrapbooker for almost 20 years. I have NEVER done digital scrapbooking before this. When I opened up this issue of the magazine and flipped to the first article I haven’t already done, I thought “Great! This will be easy”. BAM, I couldn’t seem to get anything accomplished for exactly 3 hours and 50 minutes! What the heck? Why am I so stuck on what should have been the easiest thing for me to learn in Elements?

Here’s what happened. In step 1 you gather the template, pictures, and “digi-kit” pieces. Unless I am copying a technique that has a certain design, I try to make the project my own. So first I tried to find a template so I didn’t just copy hers (which you can download and use from the magazine’s website). Found one. Paid for it and uploaded it. Moving on to collect my photos in one spot. Done. Now I need some digi-kit pieces whatever those may be. Figured it out, bought some, downloaded them. I think I am just moving right along until Step 2. Open the template in the Elements Editor. Ok, no problem. Hmmmm your photo shows 7 layers, mine has 42!!!!! I’m betting this is going to be a problem so I figure let me practice with hers like the article says and then maybe I will figure out this 42 layer thing another day. Ok. Moving along now with hers. Oh dang it. I have a vertical photo and hers is horizontal and I have no idea how to move anything around (and yes, I remembered to try the move tool this time). Sigh. My coffee is gone, I’m frustrated and ready to give up. Nooooo. I got this! I scrap (pun intended) everything, shop online some more for an easier template and cuter thingy-ma-bobs to use and pull up my big girl panties and dig in from the beginning again.

I learned from her article and practice with hers that it’s a matter of locate, place, create clipping mask and move on to the next element. So away I went and viola!!! I figured it out. I got rid of things I didn’t want by just clicking the eyeball thing to turn them off. I figured out how to move and resize the pictures. Oh happy day, I did it! Now I want to do it again to really see how long it should have taken me. 17 minutes!!! Yep, that’s it. Dinosaur Drew only took me 17 minutes after everything was uploaded.

Needless to say, I will be sticking to the old fashion paper, scissors, and glue. Although, I just might try this again for a little Christmas gift for the grandparents.  I do like how they turned out.

Below is the first one I attempted. I used another easier template from the pack I bought with the one above. As for the 42 layered template… that is a job for another day.


Warms the Soul {photo assignment 2}

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assignment – demonstrate subject decision thru the use of: the rule of thirds, thoughtful orientation, moving around the subject, adding to and detracting from the subject, getting only the elements you want to include, shoot both horizontal and vertical.

That was a lot to practice this time. I was working on the theme warmth and therefore chose my subject accordingly. I knew I wanted to use this mug and capture steam coming out of it. I tried not to center my mug so I could follow the rule of thirds the best I could for this composition. I did move around the subject and tried to get a shot in front of the window I was next to but then I would lose the steam I was going for. I also tried some vertical shots but they were just boring and left too much space above the cookies. I tried without the cookies but that was beyond bland.

One of the biggest things I have learned so far is to give up any pre-conceived images I may have. Yes, I knew I wanted to do the heart in the book thing last week and the steam from a mug this week but, I remembered to tell myself it may not work and that’s OK, I’m just going to set it up and see what I get. I think this has helped me slow down and become less frustrated. I feel like I can now start shooting with positive thinking and not the regular “I’ll never get it to look that way” thinking I was doing.

If you are enjoying my journey through photography and want to start a journey of your own, check out They have classes for the beginner to the expert on all types of subjects.

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