Saturday, June 18, 2011

Got Lightroom? Here's Some Help!

So after 2 years of debating and agonizing and fretting I finally got some new editing software, Adobe Lightroom 3.  

Actually, it really wasn't that hard of a decision.   My oldie but goodie Photoshop Elements 6 is still doing a fabulous job but I was wanting something with more of an organizer.  And I wanted a little more control over the basic editing processes like white balance, clarity, and all the other practical stuff.  Plus after seeing that a whole slew of photographers I admire use LR3 as their beginning editor it was a no-brainer to go ahead and upgrade from Elements. 

I actually got a *fantastic* deal on the upgrade from!
If you have any Adobe products make sure you register them and you will get discount offers all the time from Amazon and Adobe to upgrade!  

So a few days after I got the disc I installed all the software, opened it up and was ready to Jump....Right...In!  
Within seconds I realized that unlike Photoshop and Elements, which have the same interface, Lightroom and Photoshop look nothing alike.  Yikes.  Which is exactly why I headed over to Texas Chicks Blogs & Pics and signed up for her Lightroom online classes.  

If you're new to Lightroom or just want to utilize every little feature, you need to check out these classes.  Erin knows all the ins and outs of Lightroom and Elements and she generously shares awesome tips every week on her blog.  What I enjoy most about Erin's teaching style is that she breaks down every step and really gives details.  She often includes helpful screen shots in her posts like this one...

I can't wait to actually do a live online class with her!  I'm doing both the beginning and advanced classes and they're coming up THIS WEEK so check them out and sign up now!

CLICK HERE to link to all the info about her classes and see what we'll be learning at each one.  
They last about 1.5 hours each and they're cheap!  Be sure to tell her wayoutnumbered sent you!

...and if you've got any fab Lightroom tips I'd love to hear them....share your wisdom and Wish Me Luck in my new venture ~  We'll see if this old dog can learn new software!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Selective Focus Will Rock Your World

Did you notice those pretty little eyelashes?
Of course you did!

See these adorable newborn wrinkles on her tiny little hand?

Of course you do!

It's because I used my selective focus option that you can clearly see what I want you to focus on, and everything else is blurred.  

Selective Focus has rocked my world, and it'll rock yours too when you start using it.  I'm amazed at how many of my friends have these great cameras but have no idea this feature exists.  

Here's my very non-technical, easy explainable definition of Selective Focus:
Selective Focus lets you pinpoint the exact spot you want the focus of your photo to be, anywhere in the frame.  

Most digital cameras (not point & shoots, just ones with interchangeable lenses) have an area on the back
of the camera that lets you choose where to put the focus of your camera.  You can usually choose between Center Focus, Area Focus and Single Point Focus.  The default is usually Center Focus and most people never move that dial because they don't know what the other options do.  That's ok if you're one of those people, I was too, not too long ago!  But after I read my manual {hint hint hint}  I realized I had so many more creative options open to me by using the Single Point Focus.  Who Knew????

Here's what my Nikon camera looks like when I've selected the Single Focus option:

Now I can move my little red focus indicator around in my viewfinder to the exact place I want my focus to be.  I just use the little round dial on the back and with my thumb I move it up or down, side to side.  I think Canon's have a joystick?  Either way, it's very simple to move and after doing it a few times you won't even have to think about it, it will be second nature.

Take a look at these lovely ladies...they stayed in the same spot and I stayed in the same spot for both of these shots...all I did was move my focal point from one girl to the next.

See how easy that is?  I typically compose my shot first and then I'll  move my focal point to where I want it.  

Although I use Selective Focus for almost all my portraits, it's not a necessity for every photo.  When you're doing a large, serious group photo {hahaha} and you're wanting to make sure most of the scene is in focus, I usually use my Center Focus, like for this shot:

But if you're wanting to highlight something fabulous, like your daughter's pretty blue eyes....

...then dust off that camera manual and find out how you can start using Selective Focus to Rock Your World!

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