Photo Time

I tried to catch up on some loose photography today. The four photos (of 325) I wanted to keep from my Atlantic City trip got tweaked in Photoshop and then uploaded to a photo finisher.

Some of my friends print their own photos. My friend Peter, near Atlantic City as it turns out, has printed some gigundo photos which hang on his wall and look great. I’ve never been that lucky and I’ve read it’s no cheaper to print at home.

Anyway, any time I’ve ever tried to print something ‘critical’ it’s always taken at least two tries! I’m saving myself cash and grief by waiting for the postman to deliver my photos.

Getting the Atlantic City shots out of the way was simple. The big job is the one I’ve put off since October – our Southwest vacation photos.

My goal with those was to print a photo book, like the one I did for my ‘mancation’ to Maine with my friend Bob. The problem is, there are just so many photos and many of them are pretty good.

No photo gets printed ‘as is.’ Every shot needs some tweaking, though I’m trying to keep it at a minimum for this album. Instead of Photoshop, I’m relying on Picasa, the free photofinishing software from Google. Picasa can sharpen and adjust levels at the touch of a button.

Unfortunately, some shots have tiny marks caused by dust on the camera’s sensor. It’s a real problem in first generation DSLRs, though now solved in most modern cameras. Photoshop is the cure, which just adds another layer of complexity to what I wanted to be simple.

I’m through 13 pages in what I anticipate will be a 30-40 page book. It is tedious work. If this comes out anywhere near the last one, it will have been worth it.

Once the book is done, I need to pick 5-6 shots to enlarge. I have claimed the two walls that make the hallway to the attic stairs for my gallery. It’s beginning to fill up nicely.

I’ve been through these pictures many times and I continue to discover shots worth looking at. Often, I’ll play with them just to play. It’s amazing how you can change the look and feel of a photo with the right tools on your computer.

My photography hobby has turned into a lot of fun. I can see why so many people are hooked and throw money at it for all sorts of neat equipment.

What I don’t understand is how people were able to get good at it before the digital era. To me at least, good photography demands practice. That’s one reason I have no qualms shooting 325 pictures, mostly in one afternoon and evening in Atlantic City, to get four I’ll keep.

With film this would have been a prohibitively expensive undertaking. On top of that, by the time the prints were back I’d have forgotten exactly how the shots were set-up.

I am the un-Luddite.

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