Sea Blue Lens


Fun with Photoshop

I have been having the best time! The lovely Kim Klassen offered a free, 10-day mini-Photoshop class and I took her up on her generosity. It’s very, very basic — like how to use layers and layer masks and other such elementary things — but it’s been a revelation to me. And this despite my having used PS (self-taught) for nearly a dozen years at my work.

Somehow I always managed to get the job done, even though I knew I wasn’t really doing it “right.” I know this sounds like a shameless plug for Kim’s classes, but I have been truly impressed. I was learning new stuff from the very first lesson. It’s mostly the same things I was already doing in my own muddling way, but oh, so much easier now.

I’ve even tried textures. And while I still don’t totally get the texture thing, I have to admit it was fun and I can see its occasional usefulness. (I have a friend who’s probably laughing her head off right now. You know who you are.)

Here are a few samples of my “homework”:

I have so much more to learn. But I really enjoy Kim’s teaching style, so I’ve signed up for more. Her voice is calm and somehow comforting, and she makes it all seem so simple. She doesn’t even know me, but she tells me I can do this and I believe her.



Shhh…photographer at work. I’m thinking.

I’m very glad the weekend is finally here. It seems like it’s been a long week, and I’ve been feeling very tired. Last night I slept for ten hours straight, something that’s almost unheard of for me. I’m looking forward to catching up with my lessons and photojournal posts.

Lesson 5 in the Find Your Eye: Journey of Recognition course asked me to consider which part(s) of the photographic process I’m most inspired by. Intending, seeing, taking, editing, sharing, getting feedback, and so on. I’ve never even considered before that there were steps to the photographic process, never mind breaking down which parts inspire me the most.

I’ve been thinking about this for almost a week now. I’ve realized that what excites and inspires me most about photography is discovery. And capture. I am most excited about photography when I go to a new location, or when returning to a favorite place that I don’t visit often. I’m stimulated by new things I see and feel, and I want to explore and capture them with my camera – both the “thing,” whether it be a single object or an entire landscape, and the feeling it gives me. It’s a way of holding on to “there” even though I have to return to reality here.

Here is an example. These photos were taken on two separate trips to the same place in downeast Maine. On my first visit to this spot, I took dozens of photos of this old smokehouse from all angles, inside and out, in various weathers and times of day. (It’s where I found the spiderweb shown here.)

I also loved this old shed in its field of wildflowers.

A year later, a new discovery: winter storms had further decimated the shed, and I could frame the old smokehouse through what was left of the shed roof.

After a photo shoot, I typically download the photos and take a quick look at them. Then they become a slideshow screensaver on my computer, where I enjoy seeing them every day, and that’s the end of it. However, in this class, I’ve become interested in the other aspects of the photographic process. The  assignments make me photograph with deliberate intention. I’m then reviewing, considering, choosing, and editing. I have to think. And try to express what I’m thinking in writing. All of that is much harder than just snapping away as the mood strikes me. But I’m learning to enjoy those parts, too, more so as I practice and become more skilled at them.

Through this photojournal, I am also sharing my photos publicly for the first time. The response to these posts and my photographs has been encouraging and confidence-building, and has made me think and helped me grow. Receiving feedback is not the reason I take photographs, but I’ve discovered it can be a very rewarding part of the process, and for that I thank all of you!