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Using Actions to Shorten Your Photo Editing Process
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Project SG Challenge: Stay motivated to scrap your current photos! Post your 2011 layouts in the Project SG Challenge Gallery to earn one point per layout each month. You can earn up to four points per month this way! Earn a bonus point each month by attending the monthly Project SG Chat! Each point gives you an entry into a quarterly drawing for a special prize! And at the end of the year, each month that you participated in will earn you an entry into the Grand Prize drawing for a 12 X 12, 52 page Keepsakes photobook from Color, Inc! Our second quarterly drawing winner will be announced in the Saturday, July 9th Newsletter.
Suggest a Challenge, Win a Prize! Have a great idea for a Gallery layout challenge? Submit it to [email protected]. If your challenge idea is chosen, you will win a prize! Friday will be Customer Challenge Day, so keep an eye out on the Message Board calendar. It will be fun to see what YOU come up with for us to do!
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Of course, it is a surprise what you will get because birthday presents are always surprises! But you will like it for sure because most people like money… Anyway, make sure your Message Board email address is current and that you have the correct date entered into your profile to participate.
Article written by Syndee Nuckles
Using Actions to Shorten Your Photo Editing Process
Every once in a while, I take a photo that looks great as is - the lighting, the composition, everything works! Unfortunately, that is rare! So, I depend on the editing powers of Photoshop to fake it!
But as you can imagine, that can be very time-consuming and sometimes yields less than desirable results. This is where ScrapSimple Tools - Actions can come to the rescue.
Today I am going to show you three different actions that will really help speed up your photo editing and also give you all kinds of ways to take your photos to the next level.
I started out with Melissa Renfro's ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo Basics 5001 (or for Photoshop Elements, ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo Basics PSE 5001).
Next, I opened up a photo of my son, Brevyn, that really could use some photo editing.
Then I ran the Black and White Action and was pretty amazed at how much better my photo looked just with the click of a button! I personally love black-and-white photos, so nine times out of ten, I change my photos to black and white. I noticed a big difference with his face; where it seemed to be fuzzy in the original, it became much clearer, plus there’s more contrast. I left the original next to it so you could see the difference for yourself!
Next, I used the Classic Sepia with Color Action, and as you can see, it leaves a hint of color. You can get some great vintage effects with this one!
Another great thing about this action set is that Melissa has created them so we can go in and tweak the adjustment layers to our liking. Notice the arrows; the top one is pointing to the icon you will click to open up the adjustment window where you can continue to tweak the settings if you desire. Since this photo is still a bit dark, I would go in and lighten it up a bit.
The next action I ran was called Chocolate. I’ll admit, the name itself intrigued me, and I was so happy with the result. This is probably my favorite of the set. I mean, come on, it’s named chocolate, after all!
As you can see, I gave the photo a desperately needed trim (cropping).
The second action set I played with was Ro's ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Pop Edges for PS 2201, which is also available for PSE users: ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Pop Edges for PSE 2201. The PSE version has its own tutorial since the steps will be a bit different.
After hitting the Play button, a window will pop up asking you to:
The first action I ran was the Pow, and it really gave some nice color saturation and a hint of burnt edges. It is definitely an improvement over the original photo above.
Next, I ran the Radical action - this one is cool! I love how it radically saturated the colors and sharpened the photo.
The final action set I played with was the ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo FX 6301 Mini, also available for PSE users: ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo FX PSE 6301 Mini.
I ran the Soften and Contracts action first which adds contrast to deepen the colors and gives it a softer look.
The last action I played with was the Sharpen and Clarify which works great on photos as well as scanned images or just about anything that needs sharpening. The action creates a sharpening layer above the photo so you can adjust the amount by moving the Opacity slider up and down until you are happy with the result.
There are lots of wonderful Actions and Styles in the Scrap Girls Boutique to help you edit and add the Wow! factor to your photos. Check them out and make your photo editing easier and definitely a whole lot more fun!
Scrap Girls, Etc. is a weekly column pulling bits and pieces from all over Scrap Girls. Stay tuned each week as Scrap Girls' team members bring you tutorials, musings, recipes, interviews, design/software tips and tricks, layout walk-throughs, and who knows what else!
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
With the ScrapSimple Club, you will receive:
Layout by Loni Harris
using October's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Cheré Edwards
using October's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Loni Harris
using October's ScrapSimple Club
Buying a Point-and-Shoot Camera
So, you've decided to buy a point-and-shoot (P&S) camera. Maybe you've never had a digital camera. Maybe you're upgrading. Maybe you have a digital SLR (dSLR) and would like to own a point-and-shoot for casual use. Whatever the reason, researching your options before you buy will definitely ease the oft-overwhelming process of choosing the best camera for you. Let's discuss some features you should look for when buying a point-and-shoot camera.
Megapixels: You don't really need 17 megapixels unless you plan on making poster-sized prints with your photos. If you're using standard print sizes on your digital scrapbooking layouts, such as 4x6 or 8x10, you'll be fine with any camera with 8 megapixels or above.
Size: One of the advantages of P&S cameras is portability; you'll never have to miss a “scrapbook-worthy” moment. The average P&S fits inside your jacket pocket or your bag. There are ultra slim models available, but in order to keep the camera so small, some features have to be sacrificed. On the other end of the spectrum, there are larger, higher-end P&S cameras that are more like “mini dSLRs.” Both super slim and “mini dSLR” cameras tend to be more expensive than the average-sized P&S.
Zoom: When you need to get in close for a shot, you turn to your camera's zoom features. Optical zoom moves the lens itself, so a high optical zoom range is a key feature to look for. Most cameras also include digital zoom to extend overall zoom range; however, photo quality is compromised at high digital zoom options. Also, keep in mind that larger optical zoom lenses will produce a bigger camera. So if you desire an ultra slim camera, you may have to settle for slightly lower optical zoom lenses.
Display/Controls: This is largely dependent on personal preference. Play with a few camera models to see how you like the feel and location of the shutter button/zoom controls on each model. Is the LCD display large enough for you? Are you able to access menu control buttons without pressing other buttons? Maybe you'd like a touch screen instead?
Power: Most cameras come with a proprietary rechargeable battery, but there are some models that use regular AA batteries. It is usually more expensive to replace proprietary batteries, whereas rechargeable AA batteries are considerably cheaper.
Memory cards: Again, some cameras have proprietary memory cards which tend to be more expensive than the average SD card. Also, be careful when purchasing SDHC cards. These cards can hold more images, but some computers are not able to read them. You may have to settle for 2-4GB SD cards versus 1-8GB SDHC card.
Finally, I recommend reading reviews of the camera you're interested in. Often, reviewers will describe their experience with the camera in layman's terms and offer whether they think it's a worthwhile purchase. My favorite site for camera reviews is www.cnet.com. Also, you can post a thread in the Photography Forum here at Scrap Girls for help from our members.
So, now that you know some of the more important features to look for when buying a point-and-shoot camera, you can make your purchase with confidence. Hey, you can even create a layout all about your camera… like I did!
Commercial license versions of Brush Set: On a Whim, ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Bracket Labels and ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo FX 6301 Mini are also available.
Article written by Ashleigh Bronner
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
The first three products are included in this month's Scrap Girls Club offering.
Members receive a substantial discount on these club supplies. They
are also available elsewhere in the Boutique at regular prices for
those individuals who would rather not join a club.
A commercial license version of ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Photo Basics 5001 is also available.
Today's freebie designed by Syndee Nuckles
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
Project SG Chat
Thursday, November 3rd - 6:00PM MDT
Join April (April Showers) and Shannon (tinkerbell11) in the chat room for the monthly Project SG Chat. If you aren't sure what Project SG is, then join us to find out the details. You can even win fantastic prizes for joining in!
What's New in the Scrap Girls Boutique Chat
Friday, November 4th - 9:00AM MDT
Join April (April Showers) and Theresa (teecee) at 9am MT on Friday mornings to chat about all the wonderful new products in the Scrap Girls Boutique! What are your favorite new items? Is your shopping basket full? What did you kaboodle? Have you already done layouts or other projects with your new goodies? Come tell the designers how much you love their work! You never know who will show up. There's a thread every Thursday, and now there's a chat too!
Monday, November 7th - 7:00PM MST
What is NSBR? It's a non-scrapbooking related chat! We talk about everything, including some scrapbooking and usually chocolate. It's a great chance to meet new friends, catch up on what everyone is up to, and just relax. If you have a problem, we'll lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on. Have some great news to share? We'd love to celebrate with you. So join us, Carla (CRS) and Lei (Bride) at 7pm MT!
Life Moments Chat
Tuesday, November 8th - 7:00AM MST
Please join Conda (SodScrap) in the chat room for a Life Moments Chat. These chats are meant to get you started on layouts about your self. Earlier in the day a layout idea will be posted for you to get a jump start.
New Member Chat
Tuesday, November 8th - 7:00PM MST
Join Pat (PBarnes) and Theresa (Tiza126) for the New Member Chat at 7 PM MT (6 PM Pacific, 8PM Central, 9 PM Eastern) in the Live Chat room lobby. This is a great place to ask questions about getting around the Scrap Girls site or about digital scrapbooking in general - and a great place to make some new friends. All are welcome, new and long time members included. You do need to have Java installed on your computer to access the Live Chat.
November Message Board Game: Thankfulness Game!
It's time to give thanks for all the large and small blessings in our life! Each day during November, with the exception of Sundays, a member of the Welcoming Committee will post the name of an item for which we are thankful in the official game thread. To participate in the game, you will search the Scrap Girls Boutique and Gallery for layouts including that item, and then post a link to either the product or gallery page in the game thread.
Each member who links to a Boutique product layout will be entered into a drawing for one of three $3 Gift Certificates. Each member who links to a gallery layout (and leaves love on the layout) will be entered in a drawing for one of five $5 Gift Certificates!
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
November Monthly Layout Contest: This November, let's be a tourist in your own town! Show us around and tell us what makes the area you live in so special! Why do you live there? You can scrap about your town, city, county, or state. Share those layouts in the November Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MST on November 30th. Be sure to list your credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to win a $10 Gift Card to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
Haven't received your prize as a contest winner? Please send an email to [email protected] and we'll get it out to you right away!
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