Thursday, February 24, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Thanks to Holly at decor8  for this inspiration. Where were you then and where are you now..connect those dots. Ok, Holly, I'm connecting.

The first thing that came to me is one I think of often when I read someone in an on-line class or digital forum talk about not understanding the digital process or being so frustrated in doing something in Photoshop Elements, the supposedly simpler little sister of the heavyweight, muscular Photoshop. I think I did my first bit of digital experimentation in 2006. Seeing things like this digital card I received and feeling they were so far beyond me. I felt as if I would never get to this point!

I was working in PSE4 on a Mac Mini. I had Photoshop CS but was totally clueless in how it worked and decided to get the PSE program. That was still frustrating because PSE6 was the standard but that version wasn't available for Mac yet. I would watch tutorials like Jessica Sprague's or Ali Edwards' and do my best to follow along. There was a lot of frustration, and there were even tears at times. My little old Mini would freeze up and/or crash, and usually by then I was just glad to lose what I had done. Sometimes I still had it saved but mostly I just wanted to get away from it all. I understood the layers concept but the clipping of a photo to a layer mask was so hard for me to do. The photos tended to wander all around the page and I felt like they were trying to get away from me.

Christmas 2007 saw the arrival of my beloved 24" iMac. What a difference that made. I had more memory, the crashes ended, and I feel I took off. My first digital layout was in may 2008. I also dealt with my frustration by making ATCs and digital postcards to exchange.

I was still seriously learning and when I found the forums at Designer Digitals I started asking questions and learning. Finally I was able to get PSE6 for Mac which came free on a $99. Bamboo Fun tablet. I've never got round to using that tablet but...the PSE6 really got me going. I WAS finally having fun. I played around with making things on my own to see if I could do it, and I could. However, I also came to realize that it was well worth the $3 or so to pay a designer for something that would never run out or expire! I knew how to tweak things so I could change a lot ...if I felt like it. Things fell into place in 2009 and I started taking on line classes. I almost overdosed on classes, but boy what a godsend that was. I still have not found anyone nearby who scraps digitally so my computer has also become my classroom and my community. 2009 also saw me install additional memory by MYSELF on the iMac and the arrival of a Macbook at Christmas. I could now scrap on vacation, tho 13" is not the same as 24" to these old eyes.

2010 found me comfortable with digital scrapping, making Shutterfly albums and documenting lots of trips both long and short. I am now up to PSE8 and while I have PSE9, I dread the process of relocating all of my actions. I am still enjoying digital classes but more for subject material and inspiration rather than technique. I like learning more of the how-to's but realize that I do like simple the best.

I've left my point and shoot digital camera behind and switched totally to my iPhone4. I also realized that I wasn't as concerned about the quality of the photo as I was about telling a story. I know I can still use a lot of guidance and inspiration in adding some of the 'pretty stuff' so I look at others, see what they use and how they use it, and test it out myself. I see that I have posted 377 layouts since May 2008 which amazes me. I like to help others learn the easiest ways so I am most likely to post in answer to a digital question. PDF tutorials are good but I much prefer a video. Hello Vimeo and YouTube!

Now I just have to get around to installing PSE9 and all those actions! Soon.

1 comment:

Carole said...

What about the black taxis in London then?! You're right about these icons disappearing though, there are no more of the buses with the open backs any more which is such a shame, and the phone boxes are rapidly vanishing, but the lovely post boxes are still very much around, and hopefully will be for a long time.

Lovely page with lovely memories for you.

Carole x

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