Sunday, December 5, 2010

Foolin' Around with Photoshop

I'm still downright knackered and in recovery mode from yesterday's shopping extravaganza to New Hampshire so figured I'd take the easy way out by just posting a couple of pictures today!  After all, what good is taking so many pictures if I can't use them as crutches for blog posts every once in awhile?!?  My point exactly!

Anyhow, not too long ago I had to buy a new laptop as my old Dell met with an unfortunate demise when Jamie tripped over the power cord and killed it.  Apparently that's a bad thing as it messes up the mother board but fortunately I had everything backed up onto my external hard drive beforehand.  Considering the laptop was going on 5 years old and was starting to show its age, I had been thinking I needed to acquire a new one soon anyway so that whole tripping-over-the-cord-and-look-it-doesn't-work-anymore thing just kind of spend the process along a little bit!

So, why tell you that now?  Simple ... it's the only reason for this post's existence as without the new laptop I wouldn't have Photoshop Elements 8 and I wouldn't have any "fooled around with" pictures to post!  As much as people rave about Photoshop and how easy it is to use, I have to admit to being totally stymied and I've done virtually nothing with it other than look at it occasionally and despair of ever being able to do anything with layers.  Layers are meant for cakes and for parfaits and for bundling up when it's cold and maybe even for ogres but not for this old chicken - at least not without some extensive "layer training" because honestly, I am layer-challenged and just don't get it!

What I do get, though, is that I can play with some pretty cool effects that make pictures look not like pictures but like other things ... like paintings maybe?  For example, take this one here ...

Brushstroke Lighthouse

This is Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse in Portland Harbor, Maine.  I decided to use the "brushstroke" effect on it and turn it into a painting.  Considering I have no skill with a brush at all, that's not half-bad I'd have to say, especially considering it was only a so-so picture to begin with!

This next picture is going to look really familiar to anyone who has ever seen a picture of a lighthouse in Maine as I believe it is THE most photographed lighthouse in the state - the Portland Head Light.  It might look a little different then you've seen it before, though, as I decided to use the "plastic wrap" effect on it which I thought was totally fun and really gave it a neat look.

Plastic-Wrapped Portland Head Light

Or maybe that's just me being easily amused! Either way, that's about all I've learned on Photoshop so far - how to play with pictures and change them up a bit. No layers required!  Now go have a nice Sunday, I'm going to!


  1. Layers? I did a graphic for my business blog last week and it actually had well over 30 layers... and I'm just a baby in learning Photoshop. It really is such a BIG program.

    It's relatively easy to learn a technique. Just google what you want to do and there's a gazillion tutorials for that! And there's SO much of it still out there in the interwebs waiting to be downloaded.... like brushes and vectors and shapes, oh my!

    Oh, and the plastic wrap can be really cool with just the right photo, like the many layers and textures inherent on this cloudy day and this lighthouse which you've accentuated quite nicely... you can add a layer that perhaps has used a different filter or artistic effect, play with the curves, levels, saturation, exposure...

    Oh my!

    The more you use it the more you'll love it. How well I know!

  2. i used to play around with it but don't too much any more, just got into beading instead i guess! ha ha

    smiles, bee

  3. That looks really cool! But like Bee, I'd probably spend more time beading than photo playing.

    Big hugs, honey...

  4. Anonymous9:05 AM EST

    looks awesome, Linda. Any snow yet?

  5. Anonymous11:04 AM EST

    Once you crack the layering thing you'll be fine. Identify it as a mental block for you, then make it a goal to learn more, and you'll be well on your way to editing pics!

    I had a similar block with math (fractions). And once I got over the block I was fine.

  6. Playing whilst learning - what could be better? :)

  7. Thats way too complex for me

  8. I don't know anything about Photoshop. We don't have Photoshop. I'm not seeing us ever having Photoshop. You did a great job though.

    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you,♪♪
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    ♪♪Happy Birthday to you.♪♪

    Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

  9. When I got my new laptop, the one thing I didn't like was that the different paint program didn't allow me to manipulate individual layers on a graphic. Now if I make a mistake or don't like the way it turns out, sometimes I have to start over completely instead of just eliminating a layer.

    I've wanted to try Photoshop. I don't do a lot of photography, but I will eventually scan a bunch of pictures into the computer to create albums of memories. It would be nice to have a program like Photoshop to help clean up any damaged pictures.

  10. Like the second one best. It looks to have an odd sheen that is really attractive.


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