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Author Topic: Playing in Photoshop  (Read 3732 times)
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PhilL
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« on: August 07, 2013, 07:25:09 AM »

I got an new iMac a couple of months ago and it's bigger and faster, but not everything transferred from my old computer to the new one. The reason I own a Mac is because when I got my first computer I heard Mac was the way to go. I cut my teeth in graphics using the free Adobe program that came with my printer, I got pretty good with it. By the time I got my first real copy of Photoshop I felt there was nothing I couldn't do.

The problem now is that my old version of Photoshop on my new iMac is acting kind of wonky. My Wacom Graphics Tablet doesn't work at all and I'm back to using a mouse, which is like trying to write your name with an Etch-A-Sketch. Not fun. So, it's time to upgrade my image editing program and my graphics tablet. The problem is that the latest version of Adobe Photoshop runs about $1000 and a top of the line Wacom 'Cintiq' could run another $2000... I just don't have it. I need a less expensive solution.

I was on chat last night with Ed, Chris, Jared and my friend Joe C. www.caltoncutlery.com
I was suggesting to Joe that to improve the pics of his knives that he needed to get his hands on an image editing program. I thought he should look at a Wacom 'Bamboo' tablet which comes Free with Adobe Photoshop 'Elements' for between $100 and $200 (depending on size). The more I thought about the more I thought that might be my answer as well. Why not take my own advice.
I'm thinking the medium size tablet for myself.
http://www.staples.com/Wacom-CTH670-Bamboo-Create-Pen-Touch-Tablet-Medium/product_364782?cid=BNR:CORP:CRITEO:CRITEO:FY13REMARKET:1:DYNAMIC:VARIOUS:N

Now, I can get by with what I have...



but, I'm liking the idea of the Wacom 'Bamboo' and Photoshop 'Elements' for myself as well.

Who else could use some help with their photos?    

« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 07:44:46 AM by PhilL » Logged

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PhilL
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 05:39:15 PM »

Good stuff Clay,
Here's the larger Bamboo on Amazon with the wireless for $177.53 with Free shipping.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005HGBF9W/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3010004959&ref=pd_sl_54wgig0tvq_p

My old Wacom is an 'Intuos 2' the small tablet the working area was about 4" X 5" and came with the pen and a wireless mouse. The medium sized Bamboo would be a nice improvement. Instead of the mouse you do finger tip movements. I'm starting to hate my mouse.
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PhilL
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 10:47:50 AM »

Why Photoshop or any other Image Editing program?

Because all photos can be improved by a few clicks in an image editing program, and your job as a knife maker that wants to sell knives is to make those knives as attractive to potential buyers as you can.

Joe Calton is one of 13 HEPK Mastersmiths, that?s quite an accomplishment. He also happens to be ?business minded?, meaning he wants to be able to sell what he makes. He knows in order to do that he has to attract potential buyers to his work, and to show that work in it?s best light. He emailed me that his photos could use some help. Guess what, everybody's photos could use some help. That?s where Image Editing comes in.

I don?t happen to think that Joe?s photos were that bad, but he was thinking of a better camera, taking a college photo course. All good ideas, but I told him his time and efforts would be better spent learning to do some basic image editing and a little composition.

As an example, here is a photo that Joe sent me. As I said ?Not bad!? It?s in focus, well lighted, doesn?t need any color correction. All it really needs in my opinion is just a little boost in Contrast and a better use of the space. Joe had some pictures where he added bullets, a fishing reel and other stuff. I?m not against props, but I think the dead space in a photo can be put to better use. I like to use that space to show another view of the knife or a close up of part of the knife. Adding a logo, or website address or some other text can all help to tell the story all in one image.



or



Once you learn the basics of image editing your choices are endless. You can make the style you use in your photos to be as distinctive as the knives you make.

Of course it is easy to get carried away, once you start playing.

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 12:30:42 PM »

Man I want to learn how to do that!! that's sweet Phil!!
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PhilL
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 12:43:35 PM »

Man I want to learn how to do that!! that's sweet Phil!!


We'll get you there Daniel.

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Joe Calton
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 01:12:31 AM »

Phil, you are amazing with pictures!!

I will have to get the Wacom with the photoshop!

now the photoshop with the Wacom, is it a one time purchase? or do you have to pay a monthly fee for photoshop? I had my wife looking into it, and she seemed to think that you have to pay monthly for it along with the starting purchase.

I also notice that while most guys put the background in with the knife while they are taking the picture, you do the opposite and take the picture on a clean white background, and then add in the different backgrounds with photoshop.

this sounds like a heck of an idea! especially since the other day, we were playing with the cameras, and noticed that when we added backgrounds, like black or burlap, that it made it much more difficult to take a good picture. the background seemed to really mess with the reflections in the blade.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 05:31:02 AM »

The software that comes with the Wacom is Photoshop 'Elements', it's free and there is no monthly fee. The new version of Photoshop (the full blown version) is CC which does come with Cloud service and does have a monthly fee. I've been using Photoshop for over ten years and I know that 'Elements' will handle whatever I need to do with images. Don't get me wrong, if I had an extra $1000 I would get Photoshop CC.

Joe I prefer a clean white background, for the reasons you mentioned. Black is the worst choice because with the shadow cast by the knife it can sometimes be hard to see the true shape of the knife. When doing a montage of different views of a knife and text it's just easier to keep the background as clean as possible. Once you learn to make selections and use layers it's easy to put your subject on a different background after.



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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 06:46:55 AM »

If you want to start playing with image editing for FREE, you can download GIMP.

http://www.gimp.org/

Or just check out the YouTube tutorials for GIMP, there's a bunch of them.

For me Image Editing has always been more fun and more productive than playing Video Games.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 11:14:57 AM by PhilL » Logged

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Joe Calton
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2013, 08:41:46 AM »

ok Phil, its ordered, the one you were looking at on amazon, the bamboo. Im pretty excited to get started doing the things you do to my pictures!!
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2013, 09:06:10 AM »

That's great Joe, you're going to up and running in no time.
Watch all of the free 'Elements 11' tutorials you can, take baby steps, get your wife and kids involved, let them play, learn from each other. Get your basic image corrections under your belt first. The Basics for me are; Contrast, Color, Crop, Retouch, Sharpen, Size, Save for the Web. I know this sounds like a lot, but you'll soon be doing these steps in seconds. Then start learning about Layers, Selections and the more advanced manipulations.

You're going to have 'Elements' before I do, but I'll walk you through the things I do in Photoshop and you will be able to work them out in 'Elements'. The tools, terms and format are the same in both.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 09:33:20 AM by PhilL » Logged

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2013, 01:44:52 PM »

how good of work can you do with gimp?
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PhilL
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2013, 02:20:32 PM »

Daniel, I think you can do anything you want with GIMP, I've heard it' that good. You should download it if you have no image editing program, watch as many YouTube videos as you can. Learn how to do the Basics, and then see how GIMP handles Selections and Layers. Once you know how to do that you will be able to do just about anything.

The only reason I would choose 'Elements' for myself is that it is an Adobe product, and everything is right in step with Photoshop. If I needed to get a graphics tablet (which I do) and it came with 'Elements' for free, then the cost of GIMP and Elements are exactly the same.

The thing that really makes a difference is the Wacom tablet.

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Daniel Rohde (D-Vision)
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2013, 03:09:09 PM »

so can I mold two pictures into one with it? I think I'll give it some time and try it (can't hurt)
Thanks
DV...
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2013, 03:44:01 PM »

so can I mold two pictures into one with it?

Yes, you can.
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2013, 12:55:57 PM »

I figured out how to mold pictures (I used gimp)

it's kind of fun
Thanks
DV...
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