Tag Archives: Photoshop Elements

Rudbeckia and My New Lens

I bought a new lens (Tamron 70-200mm/ 2.8) a few weeks ago to try to capture some better pictures of my kiddos at their sporting events.  Over these past weeks, I have taken hundreds of pictures trying to get the feel for the new lens.  I’m not convinced yet.  The return policy is within 30 days and I am facing that deadline in about 10 days.

I called to talk to the technical people at the store yesterday to ask about some of my problems with the lens.  The kind gentleman was very honest and told me it was most likely a combination of my “older” Nikon D40 (It’s only 3 years old!!!) and what he called, “the operator.”  I managed to stay calm, mostly because I knew he was right.  I’m still learning all this photography stuff and this fancy schmancy lens might just be too much for my “outdated” camera and my fledgling ability.

Nonetheless, I took the lens outside today to try a few more shots.  I tried shooting in a variety of modes, settings, etc.

The Rudbeckia is blooming in the garden and I thought these two shots turned out nice.

The low aperture setting allows some nice depth of field effects.  I did a little editing to them in Photoshop Elements:  cropping and running Pioneer Woman’s soft and faded action.

The final test for the lens will be over the next two evenings at an indoor swim meet and a Friday night football game.  If I still can’t manage to capture some good shots after talking to my friend at the camera store, I might return the lens and try something else.  Any suggestions?

This photography stuff is fun, but frustrating.



Filed under Flower, Gardens, Photography

Actions for Photoshop Elements from Pioneer Woman

I have never used any photo-editing software, other than doing some basic cropping or red-eye removal.  As part of my quest to improve my photography skills, and after being inspired by seeing the photos of other bloggers, I decided to take the leap into photo-editing.  I purchased Photoshop Elements (PSE) 8.0 for my new Mac laptop as a Christmas present for myself. 

It was immediately clear to me that one can get completely sucked into this photo-editing stuff and spend several hours playing with photos.  I happen to have a lot of time to experiment with photos as I wait for kids at lessons, rehearsals and practices.  I have experimented a lot with PSE and have found that while fun, it can also be completely overwhelming. 

Luckily, out on the web, there are many generous bloggers who have developed “actions” for PSE that they share with others at no cost.  Once downloaded (which can sometimes be a challenge in itself), these actions allow you to quickly apply the photo effects of the action by simply clicking on the icon in the Effects area of PSE. 

My two favorite sites for free actions that I have found so far are from Pioneer Woman and the Coffeeshop Blog

Last week, I took this straight-out-of-the-camera shot of a bee pollinating our crabapple tree. 

I loved the picture, but wanted to see the bee a little closer, so I first cropped it down.  I also boosted the color a little by using the “soft light” effect and then sharpened the image with the “unsharp mask.” 

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Filed under Bees, Photography