Monday, 27 December 2010

236/365 Project for 2011

I still consider myself a relative newcomer to the world of photography, only two years ago I didn't even know what the macro button was for! But over the past two years I've done a couple of short courses (one of which was far better than the other) and I'm beginning to know what it is I'm supposed to be doing with the camera. I'm also aware of how to do some very basic editing, i.e. straightening, rotating, cropping etc., but beyond that I'm still very much a rookie.
The second course I took, an Open University Short Course on Digital Photography, provided me with a free copy of Photoshop Elements 8, a very comprehensive editing software package which arrived with no user guide - assuming, I think, that most users were already aware of previous Elements programmes. During the course there were about a dozen or so short video tutorials showing some of the things that could be done with it, but as I was able to complete my end of course assignment without delving too deeply into the hidden depths, and as I didn't really know just how much there was available, after the course I just drifted back to my old simple editing programme.
It was just by pure chance when one of my online colleagues happened to mention that she also had the same software programme and that she had bought a manual to cover it, that the penny dropped. Aha, I thought, a manual, that should be a help. I am much better at doing things "by the book", so I had a quick search through Amazon, found the manual, and sent off for it. It duly arrived in early November, which my regular followers may remember was also the time that I bought a new camera, and went away to stay in Surrey with my son and daughter-in-law to help them when they had their new baby, my granddaughter Marissa. I took the manual with me and for several nights it was my bedtime reading material, but as I didn't have my PC with me, some of what I was reading didn't really make much sense. Then I came back home, put the book down on my desk next to my printer, where it has lain, unread and ignored for 5 weeks!
Until yesterday. Yesterday I picked it up again and started to read it, in front of my PC and with the software package on my screen, and do you know what, I actually started to learn things. Only simple things to begin with, like just finding my way around the tool box, and how to make pages appear and disappear, but various things that had left me foxed before started at long last to make some sense.
So now my project for 2011 is to work slowly through the manual, much like a baby learning to sit, crawl, stand and walk, a process which takes several months to complete. The manual is a whopping 624 pages long, so it will take me a while, but I'll be charting my progress in a separate blog starting January 1st, when I'll post a link to it and I hope you'll follow me in my journey of discovery.


Elaine said...

It will be very interesting to see how you get on. I have just been given a new camera for Christmas and need to get up to speed on processing photos ...... always left it to my husband in the past :)

It's always useful, as well, to get a frank review of a manual. They often cost so much that I know I hesitate before buying them.

GiddyStuff said...

I'm sure you will master photoshop! Good luck with your projects for 2011 x