A Merry Go Round of Work

The next time I have a yen to do a show, let me remember how tedious and annoying the project can be. You have to print out your pictures, and hope the color is good. You have to deal with resolution, cropping, color, timing issues. You then have to have your frames ready for hanging usually with wires that don’t come with the frame.

That is, after they are cleaned up with Windex(r) and polished to a shine, with no scratches.

You have to make sure you can find the originals on your computer, and then make sure they are saved in some lossless fashion, maybe a *.tif, to make sure that they are printable if by any chance they sell. It is so much work!

This is why I enjoy working online. May the cloud be my gallery, and may everyone enjoy something they can access any time, any where.

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The Case for Boundaries Lost

pix_joannegrazide-gateHere’s the thing. I’m at a rather pleasant gathering of like-minded people, people who have come together for a purpose. To talk, share, elucidate and for me, to just show off. Not really. I just feel like sometimes I need to speak up, blow my own horn as it were, and keep up with the cool kids. Now this crowd is one of a few, hand-picked, carefully tended groups which I frequent – or not, depending on what kind of activity we are into.

For instance, computer club www.bcug.com has a mixed group of people who only have one thing in common at this point. An ongoing interest in technology. Although there are a choice few who seem to be battling with older technology and unable to comprehend that as of this hour, technology is available to all. Which brings me to the next point. Despite resistance on the part of our “elders,” there is a growing need to migrate to some sort of online presence, and at this point, it would be a shame to give up our FaceBook page or MeetUp, but that may happen at some point because heck, only three people use MeetUp to advertise their activities. This only results in stagnation, and I’m in the middle of it, just looking out from the midst of frustration.

Then there is the photography group I’m a member of. Here is where boundaries come in. there are people and there are people. The purpose of this group is to simply get together and perform activities like photo-shoots, which I’m crazy about. I will drive anywhere and get my equipment on me and spend hours tramping about. There is no pressure. I don’t have to talk, or demonstrate anything, and I have a great bunch of work to get to at the end of it all. I’m not there to be involved in drama or problems. That is why, the other day, there was a problem.

We are all sitting around having coffee after a productive, fun, and interesting shoot, and one person comes in and after some preliminary B.S., states that she has to learn LightRoom. I nodded in approval, and she realizes that I am still a beginner but would consider myself able to show someone some tips and tricks. She asked me if I would sit with her and teach her.

Now, there was a time, somewhere between when I retired and now, when I would have jumped on the opportunity to share what I know, and get someone going on this great app. But I said no. I do have my reasons. But I’m not for hire.

She seemed perturbed. She seemed to think that just by asking, she would gain the services of me. I seemed to think that she didn’t know when to come to a stop. There is no need to explain reasons why someone who basically has nothing else to do, has to comply with her problem. She canvassed some others, finding out that not only is there a LightRoom workshop coming up, but that some have actually taught themselves. I taught myself. I worked and worked, and am still working on learning it. I use the occasional YouTube presentation if I run into a problem. There is so much I’m not doing, I know that. But I will eventually get to where I can do what I want. I can learn, and I can always learn more.

So she seemed perturbed. It seems to me that there are boundaries in any situation. People cannot demand your time. People cannot feel bad if they ask an unwanted favor. People cannot expect to have all their needs fulfilled by others.

This same person should have been in the computer club. She had never heard of some terminology and never heard of some popular games. So she evidently has no time to relax. Just as some professionals who come into a career later in life, and don’t have an online presence, or need lessons in something like www.facebook.com, it is beyond my understanding why. The internet being the lifeblood it is in social and now more and more professional circles, is not something to be scoffed at. Privacy? We gave that up long long ago when we filed our first tax return, or got our social security number. There is no excuse for deliberate ignorance. It is not funny to say you don’t know how to turn it on. It is like saying you don’t know how to open a door, or dial a rotary phone.

At this point, it is not an age thing but an ages thing. Keep the distance, please, and plug into your own knowledge base before bullying someone you don’t even know and never met before, into defensive tactics. As for me, I’ll attend the workshop on this program and bet my bottom dollar, my new friend is not in attendance.

Looking in the Wrong Place or How Did I Miss That?

Last summer, I do recall, I had the hardest time working with a new camera. I had already gone through this business of my DSLR, a Canon Xsi, not having RAW files or CR2’s recognized in my favorite software, Picasa, and Windows Live Gallery, which I completely abandoned. In Picasa, I would see faded squares where the pictures should be, and it was so annoying, I put Picasa aside, as well as Photoshop Elements 10, and began to work with LightRoom 5, which sees CR2’s without any problem. The only thing I missed was the Adobe RAW editor, and it really bothered me.

Now I have a new camera, a Canon T5i, and am very happy with it, although PSE10 still doesn’t produce the RAW window for me. As a result, I’m not using RAW captures any more, which is probably going to affect my current archiving project, where I need to adjust color on old paper. I am very frustrated. So…

Just today, I began to investigate Photoshop Elements 12, having downloaded a trial copy, and having plans to review its Missing Manual (will provide link when I’m done) for my computer group, BCUG.

While first running PSE12, I was experiencing error messages trying to bring an edited RAW file into the edit window. This has since been resolved, but I don’t know if it was the program settling in or the fact that I downloaded an updated copy of the piece needed to do this.

So, while I was fiddling around with this software, I had up on my screen Picasa Photo Viewer, which I use as the default viewer for *.jpgs. Without even realizing it, it was displaying a CR2 bright and clear, and I was astounded, thinking, what did I miss.

Next thing I know, I’m in Picasa and viewing all my CR2’s as if it never had a problem.

Did Picasa fix the CR2 issue? Did I never check this with the new camera? Whatever happened, I was able to crop, lighten, straighten, do everything I needed right in the free program. Sure, it probably wants to advertise to me, but I’m already so far gone there is nothing sacred there.

The only thing I can’t do in Picasa or LightRoom for that matter, is work in layers. When I do need to, PSE will come in handy. And some more training in the program will also be good. But for now, check the results I got. And this is an archive; I don’t want it to be messed up. So I’m happy for the fix, and will continue to figure out the best workflow.

So here is my result using a free program.
So here is my result using a free program.

Wish me luck, and a more observant eye!

Antique Just Like Me!

There are almost a thousand old stained and faded drawings that I’ve managed to scan or photograph as my body of work from when I did this stuff. It serves as a jog to the memory, a legacy to my artwork and an inspiration to keep going. It doesn’t matter what I like to do. I still like what I did, and maybe I never have to do anything else. Meanwhile, I’ll get better at Photoshop Elements and Lightroom and all the other programs I can use to edit them.

Here’s how I’m setting up my art collection:

There are four folders under Original Artwork –

  1. Mixed Media is where I keep anything I pasted a cutout on, or made a collage.
  2. Pen & Ink is for my black & white work, where I only used that medium.
  3. Watercolors is for anything I put a spot of color on, but may have to be broken out if I used colored pencil.
  4. Other Stuff is for anything that doesn’t fit into any other category. This may be temporary.

I’m thinking of what to do about colored pencil drawings and charcoal sketches. For now they are hiding in Other Stuff.

Just saying.