Big City Grunge

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big city grunge 2

big city grunge

magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: November / December 2012

article:Easy Grunge

author: Liz Ness

steps: 5

time: 12 minutes

I absolutely love the grunge look. I think it gives city photos some gritty character. This was incredibly fast and easy and I plan on using it again when I have the right type of shot. The original photos are below. Even though I have lost the blue sky in the bottom photo (up top), I love the character it gave the buildings. If you have some big city photos I highly recommend trying this technique. It’s one of my favorites.



Looking Sharp (sharpening)

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sharpened truck

magazine: Adobe Photoshop Elements Techniques

issue: July / August 2012

article: Look Sharp

author: Lesa Snider

steps: 3

time: 7 minutes

I usually just use the auto sharpen feature but it just wasn’t getting the job done this time and I really wanted to use this photo for my brightly lit theme. The auto feature was sharpening all the cars along the sides of the truck but I needed it to sharpen the front grille of the truck. This article gives several different ways you can sharpen your image. I just chose the first one (after the one-clik auto feature) which was using the high pass filter. It was quick and easy and got the job done.

The sharpening is very subtle and hard to see unless you flip back and forth on the before and after photos. If you really want to try to see the difference, focus on the grille and headlights of the truck.


Puppy Portraits {assignment #5}

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assignment – practice portraits in different light settings

Portraits, blah. I have no interest in portraits. I’m sure if I had a little one running around I would be loving portraits and practicing daily. Until then, no interest. I was going to skip this lesson until the end of my classes but my friend suggested I practice on our dogs. Why not? I might as well get it over.

I followed my dog around and paid attention to where the light was coming from and where I should be to make the “portrait” look pleasing. The above photo was my best shot. Sport was curious about his shadow in this patch of light coming through my front door. I actually like how it turned out. I like the way the light is hitting him although it is not a portrait of his face. Below is a shot of Sport looking out a window. It’s a little blurry because he kept moving his head when he heard my camera clicking but, I can see where I could use this light on a person for a portrait. I would at least be able to reposition the person so it would be more pleasing. Sport wasn’t as cooperative. I think it was a language barrier…


Chasing the Light {assignment 4}

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golden morning

8:30 am – an hour after sunrise

assignment: shoot the same subject using the morning golden hour, high afternoon, and evening golden hour light

This is the do or die assignment for me. I always seem to get here and then just quit. This time I was determined to get it done so I could move on. It’s not that the assignment is hard, it’s just that I am terrible with natural light. I read the assignment and all of its accompanying material, and one line kept standing out to me: This will not work well if its overcast. Well, it was overcast for TWO WEEKS! I had given up on trying to capture the three shots in one day but then it started to look like I wouldn’t get three shots in the same week or even month. I’m just glad I was finally able to finish the assignment. I can see the difference in the lighting and I usually walk out of my house thinking , ‘wow it’s the golden hour, look at that light”. My problem is having a camera with me or something to shoot when I am aware of the light. I will definitely try to make more of an effort to get out earlier for my photo assignments and themes. I’m sure it will be worth the effort.

golden afternoon

2:30 pm –  the fence in the background changed color with the same white balance setting and the pumpkin looks bland, the overall look is much cooler

golden hour night 2

5:30 pm – the hour before sunset — much warmer and darker than the afternoon shot

First Impressions

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magazine: Elements Photographic Techniques

issue: September / October 2013

article: Making A Good Impression

author: Pete Collins

steps: 7

time: 43 minutes

This article was extremely easy to follow. I had a little trouble with the background but that was more because my lack of Elements knowledge. I could have used a little more explanation but I was able to figure it out eventually. It also took a little longer because I was playing around with some of the settings in the filters that were used to get the look I wanted. I love how it turned out and I will be adding this to my list of techniques to use again. I hope you give it a try.

original photo

LOng Key Nature Center, Davie, FL

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


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