Shooting RAW in CS5: What I learned in Photoshop Class

I took beginner Photoshop at the start of April. My CS5 was a gift from Christmas and I had not even cracked the box open. MY ADD and HIC (head-in-clouds), a much too strong of a contender, to learn anything from a book or videos. So, I took the class and learned the basics.

My aversion to CS5 and the “art”, and the “creativity”, suddenly had a completely different perspective.

It was a whole new world opening up for me. So much so, I signed up for the next set of classes taking Advanced Photoshop. I am happy to say, it was just as hard, and I learned just as much.

I am FAR from an expert in Photoshop, but I am now a believer. Yes, I want to shoot pictures and have that “perfect” shot, but I also love to play and create.

We learned RAW and I took my first photographs using RAW.

Then? I created.

Then? We learned HDR and panoramic (also shot in RAW).

Then? I learned and I created.

But rather than talk about my new-found love, I will show you my first images, shot and edited in RAW, then tweaked in Photoshop. I will show you why I get so wrapped up in the world beyond SOOC and how I lose my time to editing.

Photo By Lindsey MIller

This original photo of glass jars was taken by my instructor Lindsey. It was only two glass jars and they were blue. We made a collage in class, then I added edits to it. I just love how effects made it turn out to look like a reflection.

HDR Cowboys Stadium at Sunset

HDR photograph of the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. You take three photos and merge them into one for the perfect exposure.

B&W Panoramic of the Rangers BallPark and Six Flags

My first panoramic shot. I could tinker with this one some more, but love the perspective.

Rangers Stadium and Six Flags

One of my favorites, the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with Six Flags over Texas next to it. You can hear the screams from here. This was taken at twilight.

HDR from the Park Pillars

This last photo is also HDR with the detail pumped up and probably what most of you are used to seeing HDR looks like. I am not a huge fan of the HDR-ish photos, but love the texture of this one.

So there you have it, from RAW to rich, and a newly turned fan of CS5.

It’s stunning what you can do when you open your mind to the limitless possibilities.

Here’s Your Sign

I’m still here.

I’m still blogging.

I’m still desperately trying to follow my dream that shifts through the clutches of my hands.

Because of time.

Because of lack of know-how.

Because when it all comes down to it, I get insecure about my work.

Perfection is my enemy.

The dream of a photography business taking off. The dream of a photography business flowing smooth and operating productively – part-time mind you – while I still have time to spend with family and work 42hrs a week at my ‘other job (sha!).

And I wonder…….am I pouring all this time, and energy into the right thing? Do I really have what it takes? What does it take, exactly? Talent, drive, and fearlessness?

I imagined my photography classes I started this January would boost my self-confidence. I imagined my talent would take off. I thought the instruction would confirm my path. In fact, my heart jumped out of my chest and raced ahead of me on this, shouting, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”.

Is that my problem? My heart?

Because, really?

It seems like I am just more aware of how little I know about this business. More aware of how much farther I have to go. More, more, and more aware of how much I still have need to learn.

And I still love it – the process, the learning, the people. I do.

I am just a little overwhelmed.

At this point, I am committed to classes through the end of August. My last class is geared towards product photography. Yet, another aspect to swirl my fingers into and see what comes out.

A lot of friends tell me that people are my thing. I’m good with them; families, children, couples, and babies. Some days, I am not so sure. If one of my last sessions was any indication……well, maybe it’s a sign?

Meet my latest newborn (14 days old) and my second newborn portrait session and my first CS5 processing (that’s Photoshop).

A peaceful Slumber

Living Angel

Two Sisters

Big Brother & Sister Love

New Love

She is precious, isn’t it?

There is such a delicate sweetness to newborns and their families. The wonder of a tiny miracle and how they meld into their circle of love.

I did my best to capture the pureness, but when the talent is done? Well, the talent is done.

Her Sign

Here’s your sign.

Is that my take a final bow sign? Like, hey lady, take a hike and go point that thing at someone your own size. Or is it a message to her mom? I’m the third. I’m the last and we go by my schedule. HA! What a stinker. This picture really cracked me up.

So there are days when processing is hard, when time is my enemy, and when I think I am not cut out for this. That’s when I think I should lock myself inside a product tent, taking photos of wine glasses, and bottles (empty?).

And there are other days when I wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.

What is in store for me down this road? I don’t know. I guess I have to keep going to find out.