Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hazy Days of Summer

Every once in a while, I run into a cat who loves to startle me by lurching out at us from behind a pole, sign, box, cup only to sit a couple of feet away and stare. Because the cat appears to have no fear of dogs and people, I can't tell if s/he wants to lunge at me and gouge my eyes out or play with Akemi. Of course, all Akemi wants to do is play with this cat because she is under the impression all cats are "playful" like his swatting bag at home, Yoru.

365-29 Cat Dream

I've had two full versions of Photoshop of my own over the past 15+ years. When I replaced my computer earlier this year, I mercifully allowed my copy of Photoshop 7.0 (2002) to cross that RGB bridge to the other side. [Wait, does that mean into RL?]

It is unlikely that I used Photoshop to its full potential. It was more or less relegated to making flyers and greeting cards, as well as forum signatures, animated GIFs, etc.; essentially what one would expect to create mostly on Aldus PageMaker, which I also owned. Being in college had its perks -- the education discount. It made ridiculously priced software, typically priced at around $400 back then, more affordable (~$200).

Late last year, I discovered a small Wacom Bamboo writing tablet for ~$40 that included Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0. I tinkered with the writing tablet and loaded Elements, but primarily used Photoshop 7.0 until I switched computers several months later.

Photoshop CS is out of my price range, even though I find myself fooling around with the program anywhere between 10-30 hours weekly. Discovering of a different way of doing something or a new process, as I did last night, is quite gratifying.

365-29 Alley Dream

I don't remember what I was trying to do. What I did do was create 2 layers, duplicates of the original picture, blurred (Gaussian) 1 layer, raised the brightness and contrast, then lowered the opacity. With the 2nd layer, I played with the tint and opacity, as well as the positioning of the layers.

I've played with layers and opacity back when I used to make forum signatures on EverQuest, so that wasn't anything new. For some reason it didn't dawn on me to use it in this way to niftify a picture, or overprocess it to death (more likely). Also, if I ruined the image, all I have to do is delete the layer.

Differences that I miss between Photoshop and Elements is having more control over process history and not having limitations on how far back in the document history I can go, unless I'm doing it wrong. Also, a major tool that I frequently used was custom brushes, which afforded me additional texture.

Elements is excellent for the price, as it covers the standard nuts and bolts, and then some. On the other hand, CS gives you an array of customized nuts and bolts, washers, screws, and the press to work on any task, to justify its price tag for those who need much more than a photo processor. Who would buy a Corvette if a Camaro looked and performed the same?

- Cassaendra

2 deep thoughts:

Mrs. L 14 July, 2011 15:13  

We have elements, regular, CS, Adobe this that and the other, Mac this...and it's all over my head. I use Photoshop Elements maybe 2% of the time on my photos. I really need to learn tricks and stuff...someday...

Cassaendra 16 July, 2011 19:22  

Hi Mrs. L,

It's fun to play with but not really necessary. Your photos are nice. :)

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