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Tuesday 27 November 2012


One of the things I find when teaching Photoshop Elements is that for many people it is just too overwhelming and too feature rich.  After an intensive 2 day course, some users walk away dazed and almost unable to remember anything.  The majority of people on the street just want to be able to crop their photos, remove redeye and improve the lighting.

I am now looking at giving one day courses using Picasa which is really all that most people need to clean up their photos.  It's not good enough for serious photo manipulation but it's amazing how you can create some really fun versions of a photo that look very professional.

On our recent trip to Indonesia my husband took some wonderful pictures of dragonflies.  The photo I am using here is really sharp which is always my main criteria for producing good quality results.

Here is some variations using Picasa:
With this first version I went through the follow steps:
  1. Soft Focus under the first Image Processing tab.
  2. Cross Process under the second Image Processing tab.
  3. I cropped it using the photos current ratio (first tab).
  4. Finally I exported it by going to File>Export Picture to Folder..., reducing the size and adding a watermark.

With this version I:
  1. Added a Soft Focus under the first Image Processing tab.
  2. Then I applied a Focal B&W.
  3. Upped the saturation by going to Saturation.
  4. Finally cropped the photo and exported it with a watermark.

With this version I:
  1. Cropped the picture first using the photo's ratio.
  2. Applied a beige vignette Image Process.
  3. Finally I exported it and added a watermark.

With this final version I:
  1. Applied the Image Process HDR-ish.
  2. Cropped it using the photo's ration.
  3. Applied the Image Process Museum Matte.
  4. Finally exported it and added a watermark.

Not bad for a free piece of software!

Friday 9 November 2012


I see that the theme for this week at Photo Art Friday is 'lines' so I dug around in my photo library and came across this photo of a boat:
It was pretty boring so I thought this would be a great challenge.  Amongst other things, I added a couple of birds, changed the sky to reduce the contrast and added a wood-grain texture to give it an old vintage look:

Here's another attempt with a different blend:

Sunday 4 November 2012

Metal Clay Course

I've just had a fantastic day learning to use silver metal clay at the Surrey Jewellery School!  The course was given by Julie Holt who did a wonderful job of stressing the important details and tips when using metal clay.  She showed us both the kiln and blow touch methods of firing.

These are the pieces I came home with before I added a patina:

These are the pieces after adding a patina with the swallow in a bezel ready to add resin.

If silver wasn't so damned expensive this could be seriously addictive!

Friday 2 November 2012

Photo Art Friday

I'm on a roll with my silhouette method and decided to try it with the texture provided with the Photo Art Friday challenge and I really like the result. As in my previous post I added in the colour of the bird and the colour of the texture has given it another tint:

More Flowers

My husband has come back with another picture of his weekly work flowers and I thought I would try the 'silhouette' method on them (shown here).  This time I selected the flowers using the magic wand and put these on the top layer and reduced the opacity slightly so that they would stand out:

Go and see all the lovely flowers at Flower Art Friday.