This week I happened upon Really, Really, Really Easy Step-by-Step Digital Photography for Absolute Beginners. If you've been here before, you'll appreciate the appeal of this title. In fact, though the book is thorough, and proceeds at a a very cautious pace, it's also out of date in places, because it's linked to Picasa, which has updated since publication. The first pages are confusing, but then it's ok. (I've only gone through Part 1, on photo management. Part 2 is on getting creative with your camera. I'm up for that!)
Picasa is free downloadable photo management software from Google. I'm not finding it as straightforward as I expected, but I think it's a case of cutting loose from the manual, and experimenting. It's certainly pretty!
The real appeal for me is the filing system, a scrolling gallery of all my photos - hundreds of them - displayed in albums (files) - in reverse date order from when they were taken - not when they were uploaded to the PC. Very useful.
Also valuable is the editing suite; my trusty little 3.2 mega-pixel Canon A510 is my favourite toy in the whole world BUT it is sooooo sloooow to flash, and soooooo slooooow to recover (plus the flash leeches colour from the subject at close range) that I often switch the flash off and hope for the best. Result: lots of dark shots.
Picasa has a comforting collection of
So, here's the outcome of a couple of days of manual-reading frustration, and a couple of hours' gleeful experimentation.
The original. In Scotland, Tarzan wears clothes, even in August.
Colour saturation and soft focus. I never thought I'd use this, because soft focus wedding photos and misty baby shots set my teeth on edge - Isn't reality gorgeous enough? I want to see detail!
But I like this! Dreams of Australia....
Maximum Shadows. (Picasa)
Negative (Corel Invert) of the Picasa Shadows edit.
Bi-colour threshold (No idea, sorry.) Also Corel.
My favourite edit: Corel Invert of the original image. Woo!