Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There's a contest going on! Win and IPad!

I just love MCP actions and now they have quite a few available for Photoshop Elements. I find that the actions have enhanced my skills and photos considerably.

Check it out and see if you might win an IPad!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Photo Collages

I came across an amazing artist on ETSY. Her name is Mae Chevrette. She starts with a photo as her canvas, adding paper, textures, print, and words to express her thoughts and feelings. I highly recommend you check her out. I ordered one of her prints from one of her original canvases with a quote from e.e cummings and it is simply stunning. I can't wait to get it framed and hanging on one of my walls. Truly a piece of art at very reasonable prices.

I share this with you because it leads to a lesson or discussion on trying things outside the box as it relates to photography, crafting or any other form of creativity you take up. I shared with Mae that I was interested in taking a class to learn this technique and she said "Why waste your money on a class, when you can invest in a few simple items and try it out for yourself?" She took the time to share with me her process for creating photo collages, and it was wonderful to learn from a person who I see as an expert and artist. Many times people don't want to share what they know, their resources, or their ideas on how to do something because they think it will steal away their own creativity. I think Mae realizes that every artist sees things differently. There simply is no way that I could "recreate" Mae's art as it comes from her heart and her soul. She gave me the techniques, but I have to be willing to open myself up to trying something new. It was her encouragement that has me motivated to give it a try.

I think taking classes is a great thing to do to, but I tend to shoot for perfection and often times leave disappointed that I couldn't make it look exactly like the others. Don't be afraid to push the envelope and develop your own style. Classes are great for trying something out without investing a great deal of money in tools you may never use again. In time, you will find your niche and know when the investment is a valuable one.

Today, when you go out on your photography adventure, why not venture into the unknown just a bit. Try taking photos from a different angle, perhaps shoot something in Manual mode if you have never tried it and see what you find out. Go in search of a new subject. As you print that photo, think about what you might be able to differently with it. Add a brush technique? Create a postcard? Maybe create your own photo collage that highlights your dreams for the coming year? I promise it will leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.

And, one other thing, don't be afraid to ask questions. Most people want to share their own inspiration and will offer it willingly. Some may say no, but dust of your feet and move on. I find the journey an exciting one. I would love for anyone to share their own creations, their ideas here. Please feel free to post your tutorials, lessons, resources, and ideas.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting Better with the Camera

Goodness it has been awhile since I have posted. Life happens at times at light speed. I have been relearning the camera, adding new techniques in Photoshop and constantly learning. Recently however, while working with a customer I realized that perhaps I do have some opinions and thoughts about the composition of a great photo. And perhaps when taking a picture its important to pay attention to your surroundings, what's in the way, how you can make it better before you take the picture. The benefit to this is the picture is close to perfect even before it gets loaded into photoshop. Its clear, sharper, and if all goes well doesn't have a palm tree sprouting out of the head of the person in the picture!

So, I have created my list of photography resolutions for the new year. The top things I plan to do to ensure better picture taking!

1) SLOW DOWN. Look at the subject from different angles, see the light as it hits the subject, look at the way you are holding the camera.

2) Do your best to use the "rule of thirds" to create your photo. Its so easy and can improve photos ten fold. This is explained perfectly on so many sites. A google search will give you so many to choose from.

3) Get out more and find new locations. I got stuck in a rut going to the same place getting the same results. There are a zillion places to experience and explore.

4) Read more. Check out PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS USER

. I joined and they have so many online tutorials and a magazine with new things to try. This year I made some wonderful snowflake gift tags with my nephews faces inside the snowflake! They were a big hit with the family. Now I am trying to figure out how to turn it into a offer on my ETSY site for sale.

5) Take classes. I don't understand the relationship of ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I am convinced that they place a huge role in creating a better picture, so this year I am paying for a class or some personal one on one photography training.

6) Find groups of other photographers and attend. Everyone I have met in these groups have been willing to offer information and advice willingly and my work has improved immensely.

7) Explore other mediums. Currently I am working on combining my photos with collage. More about that later!

8) Go to art shows. Pay attention to color, texture, layout. Look for the same colors and textures in nature, or when doing a family photo try to incorporate them into the shot.

9) Practice still life photography. Its an easy way to learn about lighting, improve your work when indoors on a bad weather day.

10) Set up a room for your work. You don't need a large photo studio, but you do need a place to practice, to read, to access all the tools you need to create your art.

I think I am going to be surprised with the results this year! I can't wait for next year to look back and see what I have accomplished! What about you? What have you learned that has improved your photography?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Photos with Flare

I love to experiment and I have enjoyed touching up my photos with textures, actions, brushes and more. There is so much to learn. Recently I came across a series of Textures called "Lite Flare" which is a texture that puts light, sunshine and photography flares you get usually by accident! But the results can be extraordinary. I have attached some photos to give you some ideas of what you can do and how much fun you can have. Careful though, you can get carried away as well. Keep in mind how the sun rises and sets, where it rises, and sets. The set was created by Photographer Patti Brown and it is amazing! One of the sets she offers on her Kaleidescope set is Lite Flare. Coupled with layers you can create some amazing photos! It enhances the picture and captures the moment exactly the way you remember it. So give it a try. One thing I learned is that when working with multiple textures be sure and flatten the image as you go. The lite flare won't show up on top of a layer. It needs to be on top of the photo. Have some fun. I promise you will love it.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another Great Giveaway with Two Great Artists

Florabella Actions and Skye Hardwick. You have to check it out! The workbook is well worth it and I use the florabella actions in all my work.
Photogs, check out the GIVEAWAY & Sale for Skye’s new Workshop Workbook!! Visit the website at!”

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Site Found with Great Learning Information!

Photography expert Barb Gordon, Master Photographer publishes Barb Gordon Photo Coach's Shooting for Success ezine. If you're ready to take your photography career to the next level, get your FREE reports "Make Photography More than a Hobby" and "15 Ways to Make More Money with your Photography" now at

12 Elements of Composition for Remarkable Photographs #5 The Foreground
By Barb Gordon, M.Photog., CR, CPP

A strong and interesting image can be achieved by including a lot of foreground leading to the subject. For an environmental portrait use enough depth of field so your image is sharp front to back to tell the story.

This is not a riveting example but it is a good example of recomposing the image to include foreground interest.

I wanted to show my family the cedar posts that my husband used for our front porch. Photographing just the posts up close was kind of boring. So I backed up to include some more of the hard work my husband has done in our driveway. The rock has now created an interesting foreground that leads to the cedar posts.

Another and very beautiful foreground sample image is on the blog, click here. (I think I did this link right as last week I got confused with all the steps there are to do this linking stuff!)

This is a twelve part series with most articles continued on the blog due to their lengh. Next week- Textures

© 2010 Barb Gordon Photo Coach & Gordon Photography & Gallery, Inc.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Contest for All Photographers FREE BUSINESS CARDS.

Photographers February 24th, 2010Categorized Under: Business Tips, ContestsEven in the digital age, some traditional marketing materials are still needed. One such item is business cards. Business cards are often the “piece you leave behind” that represents your company, your work, and your brand. You need to make sure your cards make a statement and allows the recipient a way to connect with you later.

Today’s contest is sponsored by Color Inc Pro Lab, an advertiser on the MCP Blog. They print business cards and send samples using a few different finishes: gloss, pearl and watercolor. They are all really nice, but for my particular cards, I am in LOVE with the pearl finish. It gives the cards an almost metallic look and they are just beautiful in person.

Do you need new business cards? Color Inc. is giving 4 lucky winners 250 double sided business cards in the finish of their choice.

To enter (you may do entry 1 or 1, 2, and 3 for more chances to win) -winners will be picked at random on Sunday, February 28th.

1. Leave a comment on the blog for this post (not on Facebook) – and answer the following for your 1st entry:

•What information do you feel is important to have on a business card for a photographer?
•Do you think photographers should have photographs on their card? Why do you feel this way?
2. Post one of the following to Twitter and/or Facebook (and come back and comment to let us know you did for your 2nd entry):

•What information should be on a business card? Win 2-sided business cards by commenting here:
•Do you think photographers should have pictures on business cards? Win 2-sided business cards by commenting here:
3. Ask your blog readers what they think business cards should have on them, by doing a quick summary of this post and its questions; then link them here so they can comment. Come back here and leave a comment with a link to your blog post for your third entry.

And for those of you who want to order business cards now, Color Inc is doing a promo for 10% off through Sunday the 28th of February by using the code: biz10.