I was going through the way-back files and found a picture I took last year with my point & shot Olympus SP-350.  As I looked at it I was inspired to try a plugin by Topaz called Simplify 4 on it. Simplify 4 is a plugin that turns my pictures into art and I have tried it on two pictures and rather like it. The top one it the original unedited photo and the bottom one of a simple one click preset called Image Crispedge. There are adjustments you can use once the preset is applied but I like it well right out of the box. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



Another One Using PerfectEffects 8

Sometime back I posted two photos I took and post-processed by using freeware by onOne Software called PerfectEffects 8. At that time  I was having computers issues and needed something to post since the issues were cutting into my picture-taking time. Not so this time, it is a new routine The Bride and I have begun as we pursue stress reducing activities and one is regular exercise. Stress will always be with us so we are using exercise, more working together on meal planing and a push to downsize our stuff as a way combat stress. Not that we have any more stress than the next person but it is a constant force in this life and one must find a way to deal with it. Since she is now unemployed and is attending college, now seemed like a good time as any to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. So until I can get out in this weekend and get some new stuff I will post a few of photos I have taken and fiddled more than usual in the post-processing side and some from the way-back-files.

I did the effects on the top photo several weeks back and it is one of the first pictures I used layers on in post-processing. Do not ask me to explain layers: I was just clicking icons and seeing if what I did looked cool. I did convert this to B&W using PerfectEffects 8 and layered on some HDR effects to bring a little flavor to its coolness. The bottom photo is the unedited capture I took with my canon SX10is. I hope you enjoy both (Click on each to enlarge).

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A Good Place To Sit

Spent a lovely evening in a small town not far from our place. Nothing like slowing down with a great meal with friends in a town that is kind of stuck in the past. The Main Street has several shops with either chairs of benches out front. I took several of a character laced old weathered metal chair. One is of an unedited and the other I used FX Photo Studio to apply some effects. I used a blur effect to soften the edges, so the chair was the main focal point, and then used the Napa filter to added little flavor to the already cool color of the chair.

P.S. Sorry about the really big font on the second photo……having a bit of a problem finding the right size font a very small-to-me iPod screen.



Two More To Compare

After a very good day, and a lovely dinner and drive with The Bride, I wanted to post something but realized I have not shot anything for a couple of days. I was looking for something when I revisited my post Two To Compare where I used the two free photo-editing tools Perfect Effects 8 and Paint.NET. So in that vein, and since I had nothing new to bring to the table, I decided show you two unpublished shots from earlier this week. I played with Perfect Effects 8 on these two and I am really happy with the results. I took the top one with my Canon PowerShot S3is and the bottom with my Canon PowerShot SX10is (Click on photos to enlarge them……really they are pretty cool up close).

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Two To Compare

After years of doing very little to no photo-editing of my photos I begun the search for a good, solid editing and management tool. This was last Fall when this journey began but life has a way of setting our priorities and mine did. Now I finally have the time, and truthfully the energy, to try again. I am leaning heavily towards Adobe Lightroom  and adding other software as plugins. Till then I dug around some photographers I respect and see what they are using.  Steve @ daPonte Photography   uses OnOne Software so I looked at their products and decided to downloaded their freeware Perfect Effects 8. The first photo I used Perfect Effects 8  to give it a light HDR/Grunge look. The second is the original with a brightness/contrast adjustment applied with Paint.NET, a software I stumbled upon while digging around the web..

Next week I am hoping to test drive TopazLabs free trail of some of their software. My buddy Mike @ Mike’s Look at Life does some amazing things with his already solid captures using some of their software. Till then here is Two To Compare.

Edited using Perfect Effects 8
Edited using Perfect Effects 8
Light touch of brightness/contrast using Paint.NET
Light touch of brightness/contrast using Paint.NET

2013 In Review by WordPress

I am a pretty clueless guy so I did not know really how many photos I uploaded and shared, nor how many visitors and views I had. I checked to see what was working and to challenge myself on the things that were not. After viewing my annual report I am amazed that so many people dropped by my place and commented on my stuff. It humbles me I am very thankful for you all.

I want to Thank WordPress, and their dedication to bloggers of all shapes, sizes and flavors, for the vehicle with which I have shared a sliver of my world with quite a few folks. The stats helper monkeys prepared this 2013 annual report for my blog. Thanks again and here is to a wonder-filled 2014!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,400 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.