This is one of those days.

For a thinking type, being given too much time to sit around and think is not good for the soul. I'm trying to stay diverted, but my mind keeps wandering back to negative things. This is going to be one of those days.

One of my good friends let me use her Barnes and Noble gift card recently, so I purchased a great book that I'd been drooling over for a few months: Winning Digital Photo Contests, by Jeff Wignall.


Lots of fantastic pictures by the winners of online photo contests, lots of insight into taking and choosing the kinds of pictures that win, lots of technical help. And he's very funny, too. I'm not ready to actually enter any contests, but I do feel that with each photo session and each new trick learned, my stuff gets better. So maybe one day. :)

I've been thinking that maybe I should join Flickr. I have a general aversion to most wildly popular things, but that doesn't mean I'm always immune. They say to expect negative criticism more than positive because that's just how competitiveness is, even in a seemingly friendly place like Flickr. And that's okay, because I kind of just want to know what other people think about some of my photos. My family and friends have ooohed and ahhhed long enough to bolster me up and give me a little padding for the inevitable tumble of reality.

I briefly mentioned, in another post, wanting to make greeting cards and sell them. I found an excellent photo lab in town and they will do exactly what I have in mind. I just have to download the templates and create the cards in Photoshop.


I didn't have Photoshop when the nice lady on the phone told me. I cheerfully said, "Will do!" and then hung up the phone and cried. Okay, so I didn't cry, but I moped.

Well, wonder of wonders, I was visiting my cousin (the one who was a photographer's assistant once) and she had just bought the latest version of Photoshop Elements and let me download it onto my computer. After all of my complaining about not having Photoshop, guess what? I have it. Heh heh.

It's not the SUPER-DUPER, PROFESSIONAL version of Photoshop that costs $600. It's for people like me, who want to create beautiful pictures even though I'll never make any money off of them. :)

(I can hear my mom now, "you're speaking it into existence!!!")

Anyway, so I got the templates and I opened one and I started trying to make my humble little greeting cards...and quickly realized I have no idea what I'm doing and there's no instruction manual for PSE. There are just 147 different tutorials spread out across the internet.


So, I don't know if I'll ever do the greeting cards. I kind of want to call the photo lab and say, "Is there someone there who can walk me through how to work up the template?" but I'm afraid they'll laugh at me.

C'est la vie. That's just the way it goes.

Lastly, my other cousin is still signed on for the practice photo shoot as is her boyfriend, so I'm starting to gather ideas. I think I'll be a geek and create a "reference binder" like the professionals use. It really does pay to know what you're going to do before you do it, and if all the photos turn out bunk, I at least want the two of them to have had a good, stress-free time.

The end.


  1. Often when I research how to do something, I tend to forget to check YouTube. I know the official tutorials haven't been any help, but sometimes the best help out there is from the average guy who's been in your shoes and decides to post how he finally succeeded.

    I am learning quite a bit from your posts here and enjoying all the photos even more. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I did visit youtube in search of some clearer directions, but (as with any YT tutorials, I suppose) it's so easy for people, especially those overly familiar with the product, to assume that you already know the small stuff. They will tell you to do in one step what really requires knowledge of three substeps in order to achieve. And other issues. When you're looking at a small screen within a small screen, failing to note what that tiny icon you clicked on because it's "so obvious" is a real let-down.