Photo Collage
The photo collage from the back of our 2009 Holiday Card

Today, maybe even as you are reading this, I am taking a Photoshop class.

I love taking photos. One of the things I love the most about taking them is sharing them – especially with family and friends (and now on my blog).

If you haven’t viewed my Photo Blog yet it’s a site where I try to put up a new photo every few days or so related to what is going on in my life right at that moment. (I also post more photos on my Flickr account.)

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer by any stretch of the word. In fact, one of the biggest reasons I love taking photos is I love manipulating them later in Photoshop (or iPhoto or Aperture or Nikon Capture NX or….). I think it’s just amazing all the moods, tones and looks you can adjust in just one photograph. I can easily get very consumed with adjusting just one photograph. The geeky techie side in me fulfilled!

Which is why I’m at a Photoshop Class today. I try to take at least 1 class a year simply because I know there’s always so much more to learn and, it fascinates me.

Today, I’m at The Aperture Academy which is owned by one of my favorite photographers Stephen W. Oachs. Aside from loving his shots, I love his story. His success as a landscape and wildlife photographer is built solely on his passion for the art. What more could be a more true success be than fulfilling your passion?

He shares his passion and knowledge by offering photography classes and in-field (on-location) workshops. He even offers a place on his site to create your own photo gallery. Truly, he’s just an inspiration.

Photography Software

As I mentioned above, I use a variety of software to manipulate and organize my photos.There are so many programs to choose from. Apart from basic photo manipulation (exposure, white balance, sharpness) they all seem to offer their own little treats and techniques to apply. The learning is really endless – which might be what I love most about manipulating photos. I’m always amazed to see before and after shots where someone takes an everyday photo and makes it POP off the page or screen.

There are so many talented professional and amateur photographers who share information on their photo styling techniques on the internet. Here are some of my favorite sites for ideas, tips, actions and presets:

  • MCP Actions – Jodi offers everything – tutorials, workshops, actions and also tips on equipment.
  • The Pioneer Woman – If you already read this blog, you know that Rhee shares everything – ideas, tips, actions, equipment and much, much more beyond her Photography section. Also, her contests are fun to watch and enter if you want to.
  • The CoffeeShop Blog -Lots of free tips, actions and presets and just overall inspiration!
  • Clickin Moms – another fabulous site offering lots of tips, ideas, tutorials and community. Just checking out all the beautiful children photos on this site can brighten your day!
  • Shuttermom University – ditto as above. The online workshops that Shuttermom offers are fabulous too!
  • – offers classes in just about anything program you could use. I love the easy to follow video tutorials that hold your place even after you pause and logout.
  • Leefee Blog – Silvana shares her amazing eye through her beautiful photos – truly inspirational.
  • The ModChik – Lindsey is a super fun blogger with a passion for photography – I mean a real passion. You can see feel this passion through her shots – bonus, she’s such a sweet person too!

Truly this is a small list with all that’s offered online. I’d love to know if you’ve found any favorites too.

Camera Purchasing

I’m sure there’s a ton of information online about different cameras and what they cost/offer, etc. but, I haven’t found a better site to explore than Ken Rockwell’s. You name the camera and he’s tried it and he’ll have plenty of feedback to give you on what would work best for the type of shooting you’d like to pursue. He really gets down to the nitty gritty, but shares the information in a way that is easy to understand.

Though it’s easy to get consumed (trust me) reading all the information on techniques to learn, I still think the most important part of photography is simply snapping the photo. You can’t share it if you don’t take it. And, it’s the memories that these photos bring that are the most precious part.

Please share your photos or sites or ones you’ve found that you love…let’s share the inspiration.

~ Lita


2 Comments on Photography & Photoshop

  1. Hi Jen! What a fantastic post! Thanks so much for including my little blog in your list of resources. x Learning Photoshop has been a real creative gift for me. I’ve used many of the sites you list (I love Ken Rockwell – I did most of my research on his site for every camera I’ve bought). I love to use Florabella Actions. Flickr is a great place to find folks producing their own free actions and textures (not to mention the never-ending supply of inspiration you find there). When you have kids (I can’t wait for my first to arrive), knowing how to edit family photographs creatively becomes a gift to them – one they will always treasure. By the way, your photo blog is gorgeous, talented lady!

    • Silvana,

      Thank you so much for your kind words!! I’ll definitely be checking out the Florabella Actions now…and agree with you about Ken Rockwell’s site. I love how he keeps it simple, practical and straight-forward. I trust him completely!!

      I absolutely love your photos…they evoke such calming moods in me when I view them. I spend my days working in an engineering office as their only graphics/marketing person and, while I’m grateful to have this job, at times I dream about working with a group of creative people who share the same passions. I’m so happy to have sites like yours to look at when I need to feed my inspirations!

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      ~ Jen

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