September is Save Your Photos Month

YOUR PHOTOS ARE ONE OF YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSIONS.

Photos tell the stories of our lives.

However, in this chaotic, rapid and ever-changing digital landscape, our photos are scattered across multiple devices, in numerous boxes tucked in a closet and stored in outdated media. They’re disorganized, vulnerable, and in some cases, inaccessible.

Save Your Photos Month is the direct result of witnessing devastating losses many people experienced after natural disaster struck their communities. Wild fires, gas explosions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters are a constant in the daily news. Natural disasters or human error will always be a threat to your photo collection. We can help you safeguard your memories so you can prevent the loss of these irreplaceable treasures.

Follow the whole blog at Save your Photos  a professional photo organizer group.

Aaron Siskind once said,
“Photography is a way of feeling, loving, and touching.
What we have caught on film is captured forever.
It remembers little things long after we have forgotten everything.”

Also there is a very interesting blog,  DIY for using Photodex Pro Show video slide show maker.  Andrea Sims writes a comprehensive blog on how to organize, get started and execute your video slide show from photos. Read the rest of it here.

If video is not your favorite form of saving photos, try our September Make a Book class or Restoring your old photos or Learning Adobe Photoshop Elements . Nothing is more permanent for future generations than keeping and treasuring a book. cat-254572_1920.jpg

Tech Tips for the Summer

1. Are you  looking for new and easy ways to make your computing life stress free? Here are a few random tips that I found helpful.

Check out our August and September calendar for more classes and tips.

Techspot for all PC Tips and Tricks techtips

2. Did you know that Amazon has thousands of Kindle ebooks on photography, from beginner to advanced – and every level in between?

Many titles are absolutely free, and you won’t even need a Kindle device to enjoy them!

Click here to check out the awesome selection of free and low-cost photography ebooks at Amazon!photo tips

3. For whatever reason, the folks at Microsoft have decided that it’s a good idea to hide file extensions by default in recent versions of Windows, and Windows 10 is no exception.

You can easily force Windows 10 to display all file extensions from this point forward. Here’s how: 

1 – Press the Windows+E key combination to launch File Explorer.

2 – Select the View tab.

3 – Click Options (located at the top right-hand side of the window). The “Folder Options” dialog box should appear.

4 – Select the View tab.

5 – Uncheck the box beside Hide file extensions for known file types.

6 – Click Apply, then click Ok.

That’s all there is to it. From now on all of the filenames listed in File Explorer will include their file extensions.Windows-10-logo-300x154

Camera Cheat Sheet

Print this off and keep as a handy reference in your backpack or pocket. Watch for some out in field photo excursions in June and July. Info courtesy of Pic Monkey photography-cheat-sheet.jpg

Aperture

Aperture is all about light, numbers, and the sixth letter of the alphabet. Keeping track of how those things combine can be tricky, especially if you’re new to photography or haven’t had enough coffee. Take a look at the aperture section of this cheat sheet and determine which f stop suits your purpose.

Shutter speed

Is your shutter feeling the need, the need for speed? It better, if you’re after an outstanding action shot. But it should probably go slow if you’re looking for some beautimous motion blurring. To make sure you know just how fast or slow your shutter should go, we’ve included this handy shutter speed section on the cheat sheet.

ISO

Check out the ISO section of this cheat sheet to get an idea of the proper degree of light sensitivity for the setting. ISO settings range depending on the camera, but “normal” is said to be between 200 and 1,600. The lower the number, the less sensitive your camera’s sensor or film will be to light.

Exposure

If you’ve ever seen the exposure triangle, you know that exposure has to do with ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. On this cheat sheet, the exposure section is all about your light meter. Use it to remember whether that + or – in your display means your image will be over or underexposed, and adjust your shutter speed and aperture accordingly.

Out and About Photos

Now that summer is approaching, our travel and leisure time away from all the hustle and activities of school, and sports are upon us. This time of year, before the dog days of summer and heat, are the best time in Austin to explore your city.

If you haven’t checked out the National Park IMax movie at the Bob Bullock Museum you need to put it on your list. The Bullock also has a nice photographic exhibit on Big Bend. It is always interesting to see what other travelers and hikers see that you missed.

In  Austin, there are many new street art murals popping up. We have some very talented artists in our city and they need to be documented before they are defaced. austin-street-art-guide.jpg

Here is a quick guide to some of the more famous sites. Infographic courtesy of the freepeople blog. 20160425_151323 - Copy.jpg

I found this one  on Comal and 4th.

Take you phone, lock the focus, and expose for the wall not the light behind it.

Stayed tuned for more tips on taking street art in the next blog. Join us in June for photo editors and photo storage classes.

June 2016

Free Photo Editors
Online Photo Storage
Travel and Technology
Microsoft Outlook: Ask the Expert
Google Office – A Free Alternative
All About Gmail
Microsoft Word: Ask the Expert
Coloring Workshop with Grandkids
Microsoft Windows 10 Introduction
Book Making – Special Effects
Coptic Christians, Who?

Using your smartphone

yellow rose  Having a little art background makes me dangerous. I have always been interested in light and the interplay with color but it hasn’t been fun, really fun until I met my smartphone. . Being “older” makes instant gratification a MUST. Take the photo, play with a free app, download or upload and VOILA!   Five minutes while you are waiting for the coffee pot to make your one cup of coffee.

There are a lot of reasons for owning a phone, calling people, texting long distance to the family, staying involved in your friend community, using a magnifier, maps, finding bathrooms and gas stations and making art creations out of your photos.

As the phones replace our point and shoots, you need to get more familiar with how the camera works, the possibility for exposure, focus, contrast, and post editing. The app stores are loaded with options. Overwhelming? I’ll say!

If you need help one on one help, with a calendar, your phone list, taking a photo, storage, using the music features, come and see us. Both platforms, iPhones and Androids are welcome. Check out the calendar for dates and times.

I took the photo above with the app Camera Awesome from SmugMug. Great for locking in focus and exposure. I post processed in Photo Viva. Available for both iOS and Android. If you check out there website at the app store, they have helpful hints on the painting. photoviva Remember after using the paint strokes, use the copy feature to blend in the brush strokes. You also can brush away unwanted strokes.

Time to go swimming and get outside on this beautiful day. See you in class.

Roberta

Spring has arrived in the lab.

Now that April is upon us I wish I had spent more time learning Simple Record Keeping. I promise before tax time next year to take one of our Excel or Record Keeping classes.

Along the sidewalk into our computer lab, there is a row of iris. After 15 years, I can’t remember them being this pretty. If photography is your thing, come to our class on April 6th at 10 to learn how to take close up and other type of flower shots. We will use a variety of lens, including Lens Baby. Flowers will be outside as well as inside. 20150209_123741 (3)

If you like to take photos with your phone, especially for flowers, use a selfie stick to get down low and a remote. Your back camera is anywhere from 8 to 13 megapixels on your phone. Your front camera (selfie) is only 1 to 3 megapixels. Put the phone on the selfie stick and use it as an extension of your arm. Remember to point it at the flower.  Tanga, an online retail store, has selfie sticks with remotes for $8.99.

Favorite f stop for me for flowers  is f-8 to f-11 for the sharpest image. The smaller apertures require no wind ( f22) but will give you that blur background and nice effect. If the wind is blowing, try using a foam board to block it, up your ISO to 400 or 800 even if it is a sunny day and use a faster shutter speed.

Speaking of shutter speed, we have two classes to help you decide if 1/125 is best or 1/ 25 or 1/ 2500 . Doug and Kathy are offering shutter speed classes this month. One will be inside and Doug’s will be an outside field trip.  When you are finished taking photos we need you back in the lab for computer work. The Plug-In Club has a few openings left and Corel Paint Shop Pro Editing club also has openings. See the flower below that has phone apps , layering from Corel, and plug-ins. So much fun after the shot…

Julia is stopping by to share her knowledge of iPhone medical apps just in time for your vacations. Last time I went to the emergency room, I was searching for all of my information. Wish I had taken the time to input the doctors, the medicines, and specialties BEFORE I had my unexpected visit .

If you like to write about your flower experience , see you in the Advanced Word class taught by Rod especially for writers and bloggers. Wouldn’t a poem or motivational quote make a complement for your photography?flower spring.

If you have any special request classes for example, genealogy, video memories, travel blogs, phone apps, Word classes, Windows,Photoshop classes, please let us know. Drop a line or two in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Our lab is here to help you navigate the technology available.

Roberta