Monday, January 30, 2012

Creative Exchange

Quick stop at Lisa's Creative Exchange tonight before some much needed couch potato time. 

I see such beautiful creative pieces here in this linky.  I'm so oft awed and wonder how people do what they do, create what they create.  I know that I create photographs-but being new to visual arts my bottom lip sort of falls open and scrapes the table with things I've never seen or imagined before.

A couple weeks back I started a new course at the community college in advanced digital imaging (i.e. Photoshop).  200's level please and thank you; with a pre-requisite of the 100's level class that I inched thru last spring.  I have a bachelor's degree in music and umpty-dump credits kicking around enough to equal a master's degree....

.......yet here I sit with these 20 yrs olds whizzing by me on Photoshop while inside my head I'm saying "background color, foreground color, background color, foreground color....where do I set that?"  I mean I know, it's just that the instructor has already gone on to grab the gradient, go to brushes, check the jitter....and I'm at "background color, foreground color....Oh shit!  How stupid can I be?"

Last week we used an image to make a layer mask with outer glow and magic wand and similar and 100% contrast and what?  I got a bit lost somewhere between putting Orca over the map of Sea World and making it attractive with glowing turquoise edges.  However, tonight I kept up.  I watched more, took less notes, tried to remain calm and not freak out and-hey, this class made more sense!  I think it was because I've done some of this stuff with my images before-sort of-enough to make some things familiar.

So here's the goods:

I learned how to create this scene from scratch.  I think I'd prefer to go down to the beach and get my very own photograph of it, but if I break my ankle or something....well, I'm  all set.  Note that snappy frame too!

Susan's Dunes
Susan's Dunes

Then I learned how to take an image like this:

Holly and Ivy {sh 6}
Holly and Ivy

And turn it into something that looks like a painting like this:

Holly and Ivy Painting

I'm not sure why I'd want to do that either BUT....if I did, now I know how.  It's all about the 2nd step which you MUST do 2nd because you can't go back and add it in later.  I put a star next to that in the old notes I tell ya.

Meanwhile....Mr. Smartypants across the aisle has the PS class materials open, is simultanesouly searching through Google images for other stuff to play with on his 2nd screen, and is wearing headphones listening to music.  He did get busted for asking a dumb-ass question tho' due to the headphones blocking that bit about the "essential 2nd step thing".

Thanks for looking.  Y'all probably already know how to do these things, but fair warning;  I'm going to catch up sooner or later.

Have a great week... and thanks to our fab hostess Lisa.  Isn't she wonderful?


Tamar SB said...

These are gorgeous! Good for you Susan! Don't let those hipsters phase you! You're work is gorgeous!!

Linda said...

Holy cow! You lost me a long while back there! I admire anyone who manages to get through a class learning with these youngsters...I just want to be able to take out annoying power lines and stuff... Loved your post tonight. Nice work!

Anita Johnson said...

Looking good! I learned Photoshop through tutorials online. Slow but steady!

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous captures and I do so admire you! I, too, love your post for tonight! Terrific!


lisa said...

Oh Susan, I do know how you feel!
Many years ago when Photoshop was just becoming somewhat popular, I took a course in it. I was feeling just as you describe. It all seemed so easy when it was being explained, but then to do it on my own???

From these beautiful images, I would say you are doing wonderfully! Love, love the first he here! Stick with it, and I look forward to seeing more of what you are learning.

Thank you so very much for sharing with us today at The Creative Exchange.

Have a great evening!


Susan said...

Fun! Great job on the dunes!

Nadege, said...

The dunes look fantastic. Great work with the edit. Enjoy the class.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I like the dune a lot.

I'm reading another photography book and there is a really nice landscape shot involving the moon. The author proceeded to explain that the original photo did not include the moon, he added it with photoshop. The book has sat unread since, although I will likely finish it some day. I'm more of the 'get it right in the camera' as opposed to 'fix it later in photoshop'.

Carol Blackburn said...

Mornin' Susan, not much to say today because I truly love photographs the way they come off the camera au'naturale without enhancing, etc. There is art in capturing that perfect shot and the play of light and shadow that just can't be duplicated no matter how much the photo is manipulated. I love your "real" photos so much. But, I am glad you are enjoying your classes.

A Garden of Threads said...

Sounds like you are having a great time. Youngsters are always smarter, I think they are born knowing how to use electronic gadgets at least in my family they are. The photos are beautiful and I cannot do any of that stuff on my Photoshop program, is learning. You are ahead of me.

Brenda said...

Ah, the Photoshop learning curve! Yes, I know it well. And yes, it is a huge program that can do SO many things - many of which you may have no interest in actually doing. But they all serve to build a strong foundation for what the program can do so that you can then pick and choose what can be used in your own art. I can see you are having fun - and that is all that really matters.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

I loved the edit. It just brightened up the whole thing. I could use that class. My photoshop is hit and miss. V

Anna said...

Hi Susan,
Hang tight. I think you'll be passing up Mr. Smartypants in no time! I really like your first Holly and Ivy image - gorgeous. Even a winter-hater like you can make the season look inviting :) (Hey, do I sound like Ms. Smartypants?)
Admire your bravery for tackling Photoshop. I use Aperture, as it suits a computer tard like me.
Have a great week!

Kathy said...

I know very little about Photoshop, I just want to learn how to slim my hips :)


Genie said...

Kudos to you for hanging in that course. I do not think I would make it. After you finish then you can teach the rest of us...sure :-) Loved the grass and the snazzy frame...pretty creative. I also like the way you changed the holly shot. YOu are going great. Give yourself a pat on the back. genie (the one whose thumbnail Mr. Linky would not accept this week!)

Rose's Daughter said...

I'm still learning photoshop elements for goodness sake! And I KNOW I don't use even 1/3 of the stuff that I could use! I'd be lost in full fledged photoshop!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Nice post-processing.

Regards and best wishes

NatureFootstep said...

gorgeous shots. :)

Pat said...

Nice work! I'd say you're doing really well in the class.