Friday, August 28, 2015

A Little Help Never Hurts!!

I have been learning in the Arcanum for almost 3 months now.....
I have learned much and the way it is taught you really don't even realize you are learning!!!!

Here is a link to the website  >> The Arcanum <<
Go visit... tell them I sent you!!!

I'm going to show a progression of photos to you today and let you decide for yourself if I am learning a thing or two!!! All comments and questions welcome!!

This is a photo I took this spring of a Gladiola growing in my yard... Pretty things, these flowers!! They don't need help to be beautiful..... but I'm gonna give it a bit anyway!!!  This photo is what I began with....straight out of camera.


This is the version of the photo I presented to my Cohort (my group of people led by a single Master within the Arcanum guidelines) at Level 3.
 At the time this photo was presented (June 2015) I had a GE x500 camera (a very small dSLR) and a *free* post-processing software called Picasa which is supported and offered by Google.
 >> Picasa website <<
For the longest time I really struggled with the thought changing a photo into something different than what I saw.... post-processing was a thing to be -scorned- avoided, but as I worked on this photo in Picasa and watched the way is sort of "woke up" as I made adjustments to lighting, focus, saturation and a slight crop I really had to reevaluate my hesitation of post-processing!!!
On this version of the photo, I used what is called a "soft focus" on this where the edges get soft, but the center has an enhanced focus. I really like the effect a lot, and I use it quite often on my flower photos.

But there is more, so much more......

As part of my Level 16 work in the Arcanum my Master wanted me to select three of what I thought were my best photos from any level between 1 and 8 and rework them with my newly acquired program "skills" .....Lightroom and  PhotoShop!!! No small task, I tell you!!! I am technologically challenged, but it is good for me to stretch my abilities and grow my skills!!!  This photo is a result of that effort and I really like it!!! My new skills are coming out and making the flower come alive even more!!!
Exciting stuff here!!!!!

But then......

This is the latest (and IMO, best) version of the same photo!!! The only thing I have changed is the program I used and myself!!! =)
I have one more "toy" to play with now thanks to my Master seeing something in me and for pointing me in the right direction!! I now have a tool called "Perfect Effects" and wow!!!! What fun!!! There is so much to do and explore!!! SO many things that can make a photo more!!!!!  I used Lightroom and Perfect Effects in this version...

I am hoping you can see the progression in my skill and artistic interpretation of photography!!
The Arcanum, my Master, and my Cohort have made such a huge impact on my desire to do better!!

I recommend to you that if you in the least bit interested in improving your photography skills check out the Arcanum!!! It is definitely worth it!!!!!


If you have some free time and are so inclined.... here is the link to my Facebook page if you would like to see more of my work.  >>> Bretta's FaceBook Page <<<

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