Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sharing the Love

I'll admit I was apprehensive when I loaded my recently gifted Photoshop Elements 9 (thanks Mom and Dad) on to my computer. After my recent digital photography class I finally felt I was beginning to scratch the surface of Photoshop, the vast expansive surface of Photoshop. Yes, Elements is derived from Photoshop and is definitely more user friendly so far, but the idea of learning all the right buttons and instructions was skeeeery to me. Thanks to the magic of the interwebs, days later I'm feeling a lot more confident in my skills. So today I will share with you the secret ingredients that have allowed for this much smoother transition.

First and foremost there's Pioneer Woman Photography. Is there anything Ree can't do? She's made photo editing so much more liberating than terrifying. Come on, anyone who has attempted to use Photoshop knows just how intimidating it can be. Even my dad who can pretty much master anything I'm sure has had his moments of wanting to hide behind a bush rather than figuring out the complicated processes of PS.

I would see all of these beautiful photos on her website and figure it would take hours upon hours to get that one picture to look so incredible. But, oh Ree, how you wow me with your Pioneer Woman Actions. I believe I've referenced them before, but it's like waving a magic wand right over your image and ta-da, sheer beauty. Basically she's simplified all the steps to get those beautiful pictures into the simple click of a button. You want a warm vintage look? She's got an action for that. Beautiful black and white? She's all over that.

Here's an example of the wonderful magic of PW Actions.


I was treading into dangerous waters with Elements because I knew that Pioneer Woman had her actions available for the program but I heard through the grapevine that installing them was a bit more complicated. I tried as soon as I installed but didn't have success with my endeavor. I was majorly bummed. The next day, thinking that it may have just been from Christmas exhaustion, I attempted to install them again and thanks to the ladies over at Texas Chicks Blogs and Pics everything was A O K.

::wipes sweat from brow::

Another blog that's been super helpful has been The CoffeeShop Blog. The ladies over there also have lots of actions for Elements to choose from and step by step tutorials on how to do the actions yourself. The one I took the time to learn tonight instead of just cheating and pushing a button was learning how to add a soft texture to a picture. The instructions are here and here if you'd like to try yourself. By following these steps I was able to edit this photo here:


Looking for some textures? Find them here!

The internet has been my friend in this learning process and it can be your friend too! Stay tuned for more before and after images as I continue to learn more editing techniques. Happy snapping!

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