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Saturday, December 24, 2005

I'm not a professional photographer. My main interest in my photos, is to get reference work so I can create paintings. Along the way in this process, I've discovered some things that might help you if you're interested in taking good photographs.

The photo of the doorknob I posted just before this one is a cropped version of this photo. Sometimes your photo is inside the image you first capture. Don't be afraid to crop your images. I use photoshop elements, it came with my computer software. It's a simple program and doesn't cost a fortune like photoshop does.

Photo hints and tips for working with an image like this.

When you open your software program and then open your image file, create a duplicate file to work with. If you change your original file, and click save, you might never get your original back. Another way to keep your originals safe, is to back them up. Burn a lot of cd's! Or store them on another hard drive. Don't leave it to chance they'll be ok on your computer forever.

For one thing, I have 20,000 photos. It's only taken me two years to have this many pictures! Back up is essential, you can't keep that many files on your computer.

It's also helful to sort the photos into files as soon as you download them. I sort as to subject matter. If I don't, I can't find a deer when I want to create a painting of one. I've tried different software, my mac comes with iPhoto. I don't like the program. I have to many photos for it to be useful to me. Some people love it, I don't. When I tried to get serious about using it, it took forever to start up. It creates files, and files, and files, and more files. It creates galleries and thumbnails and originals. If you try to find where it's put your original photo file on your harddrive, you might look for a week.

I download my photos into a download file, I then go through them with the preview program, from there, I grab each photo and put it into a file I've named for the purpose. It's a tedious system, but it works for me.

Back to the photo above, and the way I cropped it. I wanted my door knob to be a little off center. When I got the photo home and on the conputer, I realized I'd centered the knob in the photo. There was an even division between the brown on one side and the blue on the other side. I also included the knot hole in the crop, it balanced everything out.

Now someone else might crop this differently, but for me, the photo in the post below is what I liked best. I hope some of my photo tips help you to get the pictures you want! Donna