Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Horses and daffodils

As I have said, this really ought to be what I call this blog, since said items feature rather often. While making the pink and yellow grid collage the other day, I inadvertantly hit the multi-exposure option instead, and discovered another potential source of frittering away hours messing about...

If you use a lot of different images, they become so dense as to become almost unrecognisable as anything, the vertical slices are the result of using both landscape and portrait orientations,


and for some odd reason, if you use a really large number of photos, it can't always cope with it and only produces a heavily horizontally cropped section, like the one below.

I do like Picasa, the editing tool for idiots. However, lovely Apprentice, by whose photographic, poetic, horticultural and many other skills, and general greatness of soul I am unfailingly impressed, is taking me in hand, and very generously going to share her Photoshop secrets and try to teach me. I have Photoshop, in French. I have always pleaded this as the reason I don't get to grips with it, but it is largely a pathetic excuse; everything is in exactly the same place, and, frankly, an unsharp mask means as little to me in English as whatever is it's French equivalent. So in anticipation, and not to be entirely unprepared, I have been trying to find out about curves. Anything I read in books or on webpages failed to get anything through my thick head as to even what the two axes on the curves graph represented, but then I found this video on Youtube, and the penny dropped.

However, what also became clear was that there was a huge amount more I didn't understand. Socrates was right, the old smartarse. At the moment, I'm not really able to achieve much more with curves than with Picasa's little shadows and highlights sliders, until I find out more.

So this is my mission, to learn more of Photoshop, with Apprentice's very generous help. Though I might still find myself slipping back over to Picasa to mess about in a hit and miss fashion.

***

A couple of updates:

I took the collage to post to Bangalore, from where it should be forwarded to Bihar. Asked if they could put some pretty stamps on it, and the post-lady said, might it not be stolen for the stamps, she had heard that could happen...? To be on the safe side she printed out a vignette instead. Is this a possibility?

Throat is better, and I'm tasting almost everything normally again, except for red wine ( I haven't tried white...), orange juice is OK, not quite right. However, in my rediscovery of beer, I have also rediscovered the fabulous Brasserie Lancelot. Difficult to say which is more beautiful, the artwork on their bottles or the heavenly nectar contained within. The one made with blé noir, buckwheat, called Telenn du, is like a light, soft, smooth Guinness, but better, and when the blonde pure malt Duchesse Anne I opened this evening exploded much of its contents on the kitchen worktop, I unashamedly spooned as much as I could rescue into my glass rather than waste a drop. The founder really is called Lancelot and the brewery is situated in the Forest of Broceliande. Some kind of magic is there.

14 comments:

Rosie said...

I have just watched the photoshop tutorial. Very good - I'll be looking for some more of them. Up to now I have used photoshop to change the contrast but only in a rather hamfisted way. It is much more precise using curves. When I first got photoshop I spent a very long time unable to get it to do anything and then suddenly I understood it. But not all by any means! By the way , do you want a very pretty little kitten? Molly will love it!

BlackenedBoy said...

Thanks for welcoming me.

marja-leena said...

Your 'hit and miss' work looks pretty and like it's lots of fun! I'm mostly self-taught in PhotoShop and STILL don't know it all after many years (slow-learner that I am with tech stuff). You find what is most useful for your needs and then you're on your way - enjoy!

leslee said...

Oh dear, I couldn't figure out how to use Picasa! Or at least I couldn't figure out the photo collage. Do they have something for less than idiot level? ;-) I manage to use Jasc Paintshop Photo Album sufficiently. Keep thinking about at least PhotoShop Elements, but not sure it'd give me much that I don't already have, and can't afford the full shebang.

Anyway, these multiexposure photos are very nice. The right tools in the right hands...

HLiza said...

Hi Lucy, I see you're playing with photos here. I'm out of internet connection for days now and now peeping into it from a cyber cafe. Just want to say hi and hope to be blogging again soon!

Reluctant Blogger said...

I always admire people who take the time to play about with things artistic or technical. I just don't have the interest or patience. I do have some photo programme that my sons use (paintshop pro I think it is called) and they do wonderful things with it but I can't work it out at all.

Maybe one day if I break my leg or something and am laid up for ages I will give it a go.

Avus said...

I use Jasc Paintshop Pro and Jasc Paintshop Photo Album (which will link to and fro) and have always found them very understandable, easy to use and produce good results.
Photo Album has a great "panorama" option to stitch together a number of shots.

Isabelle said...

All very technical. Pretty pictures, anyway (she said, untechnically).

Sheila said...

Cool photos! I love the daffodil and the horses!

I read your post about Mikku. We used to sponsor two children who clearly did write their own letters, and i grew quite attached to them....the
children and their letters. We had to stop when we were both in graduate school and could not afford it for a couple of years, and it was so hard to let those children "go," and not know anything more about them and their lives. We loved doing that. It was with a group called Compassion International, if I remember correctly.

I am in Paris now. So strange to think I am so close to you! My very dear hostess grew up in Brittany, I learned tonight.

Hope you will be completely well soon.

Peace!

herhimnbryn said...

Great images L. Hope you are ok ( have just comes from Z's and saw your comment).
Rest,rest, rest.

Lucy said...

Thanks all.

Hliza and Sheila, lovely to think of you in strange cities getting in touch.

HHB - yep, fine, thanks.

Mike said...

I have recently been using Picasa for messing around with photos. I have tried photoshop before and really like it, but I don't own a copy of it. I wish I had it though. It is quite nice.

Dick said...

Beautiful pictures, Lucy, and not just the syntheses of images but the colourings too.

meggie said...

My son, who works in the field of digital imaging, keeps promising to give me tips & get me Photoshop. He never gets time, & he uses Mac in his work.
I had an uncle who began making his own beer, in protest to the rising price at Hotels & Clubs. I never liked his beer very much, but I would almost walk through fire for his Stout! It was divine!