Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bloggity Tweaks

A new point of view is always welcome, especially when it's for free (cheap, cheap) from an expert. I've gathered a few new blogger photo tips recently, thanks to Donna at Funky Junk Interiors and have been trying to put them into practice.

I possess a simple point-and-shoot Sony Cyber-shot which I love to pieces. I wouldn't trade it for the highest end film SLR and a lifetime supply of film (does film still exist?) with free processing. Digital photography has changed how I view the world. How did we function before we could take 100 photos to get just three keepers when rolls of 36 exposures were the biggies? Or preview our photos to see if we needed to shoot more before we left the family reunion?  I now take photos of little metal plaques showing the name of the rose...
before shooting the actual rose like this one at Portland's International Rose Garden, for example.  What a great memory and organizing tool that's been on so many trips and vacations.

I admit that my old Olympus SLR was better at freezing the action (which would have come in handy with the world's most active puppy four years ago)...
but that's only because I hadn't read the owner's manual thoroughly enough to realize I could take videos.  (That's one of my life's biggest regrets--owning the world's cutest puppy and not knowing how to video Criminal!) And yes, I'd love to own a digital SLR but that's not in the budgetary cards until our major breadwinner is winning some serious bread again.  Even if I did get so lucky, I know I'd still be packing my lightweight Sony instead of hauling a bulky SLR most of the time.  So improving what comes out of my point-and-shoot is a necessity.

So I downloaded Picasa as instructed and am experimenting with various effects to improve (or at least change) my photos. I'm no whiz. In fact, I'm pretty pathetic--among other things I have no idea even how to save the photo I've improved yet. But I'm having fun playing and that's a great way to learn. (Oh my gosh, does that sound like a kindergarten teacher's philosophy or not?!)

I am very good at playing with their little slide-y buttons (note to self: find out what the little slide-y buttons are actually called to minimize your dweebiness) to increase or diminish an effect. I  admire everything about Notes From A Cottage Industry including Tracey's photos which always have a wonderful dreamy mist around her carefully planned vignettes. Then it occurred to me that Picasa has an effect called Soft Focus which, although mistier than I'd use, was similar to Tracey's photos. 
Posted by Picasa
What if it had a button thing-y that could widen the area in focus and leave the edges soft and misty?  Picasa actually had two button thingies and I like the result:

Posted by Picasa
Isn't this so much more evocative of the fragrance and romance of the rose than the original photo below?  (Ummm, I might have changed the Color Temperature a mite too before I moved on to Soft Focus. I told you I was having fun.)
The experts were right: Picasa does make a difference in photo quality and that improves Meadowsweet Cottage.  Because only my best is good enough for my readers!  Thanks, Donna, for the encouragement.

1 comment:

  1. Hi I see that you enjoyed the movie "bright Star" I have just seen it here in new Zealand and liked it. I have made a wool picture of Fanny. Have a good day Cheers Marie