Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Friday, September 26, 2008

How To Be Self-Taught at Anything.

Thank you, everyone, for all the birthday wishes. Nothing like a birthday to make me feel like everybody loves me. On a birthday, I have no enemies. On a birthday, I'm everyone's favourite person. Updates of the day will be coming next week.

But until then, I'm trying to learn the ever-so-complicated art of Photoshop CS3. [What? They have a CS4 now? Shoot.] It's not an easy task. Poor Kyle taught me what a layer was and how to use one, and Ree Drummond taught me everything else.

I don't want to take any classes or any true tutorials, because I would very much like to go around smugly telling people that "I am a self-taught Photoshop extraordinaire." There's something about being self-taught [at anything!] that makes me feel really vain.

So far so good. I know I like how this one turned out. What a cute little tongue my nephew has. All the better to exploit him with--that's what I say.

But when it came to this photo, I couldn't decide if I liked Option #1 or Option #2 better...

On the one hand, in the above photo (Option #1), Inquisitive Baby's eyes are bright and crisp, and his face looks soft and fluffy.

But on the other hand, in Option #2, my Inquisitive Baby's background is dark, and there's just enough contrast to provide visual stimulation.

Visual stimulation? I don't even know what an aperture is--how can I possibly talk about visual stimulation and get away with it?

So it's up to you, e-friends. Should I like #1 or #2 better? The differences are subtle, but I feel like I should have an opinion either way. And you are going to form that opinion for me [please, that is]! You can vote in the poll to the right, or comment on this post if you'd like to expound your reasoning. Also, if there are any amazing photography sites that make your world go round, please let me know of them.

I'm in the market for some inspiration.

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Blogger HeatherPride said...

I like #1 better. In #1 the world is bright and optimistic. In #2 the world is dark and scary.

Although nephew is adorable in both!

September 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Chris and Katie said...

I like #1, but those boys would be cute in any picture! So adorable!

September 26, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger RPH said...

#1 all the way! i love the bright eyes.
what kind of camera do you have? please tell.

September 26, 2008 at 11:42 AM  
Anonymous Kyrie Shumway said...

I choose #1 because it keeps his eyes as the center of my eyes "visual stimulation"

September 26, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger RPH said...

by the way, you can check out this photo site.

funny their question of the week is similar to what you are asking in this post...

i love these girls photography point of view. they are creative.

and they have some links for free photoshop actions if you are interested.

September 26, 2008 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


He's my kid and I really can't even tell a difference.

September 26, 2008 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger RatalieNose said...


September 26, 2008 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger Mikelle said...

Love those chubby cheeks. I'm going against everyone else, and saying I like number #2 better.

September 26, 2008 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger A Letter To Kayleen said...

#2. hands down.

when you don't have enough contrast in a photo, or no "real blacks", the photo starts to look muddy with too many greys. you know?

but i'm more of a photos in color type person, so what do i know about b&w.

i like to edit photos with. it's about a million times easier than photoshop. and free.

September 26, 2008 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

ARG!! I had a nice long comment that farted when I tried posting it!

So I'll summarize: #2. It sucks that there's a CS4 and that it is $700. And Happy Birthday yesterday; sorry I'm a bad person for not finding a computer to tell you that on time.

September 26, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CS3 how fun? It's not too hard at all, I'm sure you will do fine in teaching yourself. I learned most of what I know about it myself as well! ~A

September 26, 2008 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My professional opinion is that two is better. It has a better tonal range and the contrast makes it pop more. (Really though I like #0 best.)

Shameless plug: check out

Learn how to light at
Also good is is amazing!


September 26, 2008 at 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

#2, he's the cutest little boy I've ever seen.

September 27, 2008 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Kim and Jason said...

Yup, I'm a #2 fan myself. Love the contrast, it just pops more. Pictures look great!

Oh, and you've been tagged over at

(I gotta get you over there somehow!) ;-)

September 28, 2008 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger Geneva said...

I agree with the number two. But I did have to stare at it for quite sometime. As for photshop, I married a computer nerd so I use the open source version (Open source is this whole computer genius movement that you should wikipedia. Basically it is software for free). It's called The Gimp. Such an appropriate name for users such as myself. The best part is that you can find out how to do anything on it by looking online. The programmers have very nice tutorials that teach you step by step. But if you are in love with photoshop, get a book from the library like my mother-in-law. Oh and e-mail me your address. I'm not afraid of postage.

September 28, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

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