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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Improved Hints on using Photoshop CC 2017 & Lightroom



Over several years I found a large number of public domain images that I could use to illustrate a series of kids books I was planning.

I needed to alter the images to fit the  storylines, and used the free Photoscape program, and then the paid Adobe Elements 12 one.

Neither gave me the quick and effective tool I needed, so I subscribed to the Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 program (an annual fee is paid).


Photoshop is Unhelpful to Beginners:

I downloaded them and was stunned by how unhelpful the program was for a beginner of Photoshopping. Googling for help, I found several good tutorials, and then jotted down How To notes for myself, which I now pass on to beginners of Photoshopping and Lightroom.

The Beginner’s Salvation:

These hints will take you from staring at the blank screen, to loading some of your pics into Lightroom (LR), and then using LR and Photoshop (PS) to edit your images in ways you never dreamed of before!

Just follow these hints and you will be well launched on the road to becoming an expert Photoshopper of your own and other images.

The Big Two Learnings:

Two key learnings:
·       I found how to save my images into LR so that I could start playing with LR and PS, and
·       I also stumbled on an easy way to simplify my life by using LR as my basic program, and moving from LR (which allows you to make a lot of changes that work), to PS (which is the best program to make detailed changes to individual images), and then shifting back to LR to continue your work.
This saves time and is easy to do, so I recommend that you do this.

How do I start?
Just start with the General Hint #1 below, move on to General Hint #2, and then dip into the LR and PS hints.

Have fun, and amaze your friends and family with your in-depth expertise!

Please share this with your friends, and ask them to do the same.

GENERAL HINT #1: The Quick Start on Lightroom

This takes you from staring helplessly at the screen after downloading Photoshop CC 2017, to loading some of your images into Lightroom, and then being able to start experimenting with changing the looks of your pics.

The way to do this is summarized below, and came from this helpful website: Google Total Beginner’s Guide to Lightroom Step by Step Simon Ringsmuth to get there.

Friday, July 14, 2017

TIPS FOR A QUICK START TO USING PHOTOSHOP & LIGHTROOM



Over several years I found a large number of public domain images that I could use to illustrate a series of kids books I was planning.

I needed to alter the images to fit the  storylines, and used the free Photoscape program, and then the paid Adobe Elements 12 one.

Neither gave me the quick and effective tool I needed, so I subscribed to the Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 program (an annual fee is paid).

Photoshop is Unhelpful to Beginners:

I downloaded them and was stunned by how unhelpful the program was for a beginner of Photoshopping. Googling for help, I found several good tutorials, and then jotted down How To notes for myself, which I now pass on to beginners of Photoshopping and Lightroom.

The Beginner’s Salvation:

These hints will take you from staring at the blank screen, to loading some of your pics into Lightroom (LR), and then using LR and Photoshop (PS) to edit your images in ways you never dreamed of before!

Just follow these hints and you will be well launched on the road to becoming an expert Photoshopper of your own and other images.

The Big Two Learnings:

Two key learnings: I found how to save my images into LR so that I could start playing with LR and PS, and I also stumbled on an easy way to simplify my life by using LR as my basic program, and moving from LR (which allows you to make a lot of changes that work), to PS (which is the best program to make detailed changes to individual images), and then shifting back to LR to continue your work.

This saves time and is easy to do, so I recommend that you do this.

How do I start?

Just start with the General Hint #1 below, move on to General Hint #2, and then dip into the LR and PS hints.

Have fun, and amaze your friends and family with your in-depth expertise!

Please share this with your friends, and ask them to do the same.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are you an author? Have you considered writing romances?

It's a massive market in the USA, and is an unreported one, as well!

This site has oodles of interesting facts about the romance market; enough to make any would-be author think twice about other genres...

Dip into it here.

And share the good news of this massive, hungry, greedy and profitable market, far and wide?


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mom, Dad, a metal time capsule, and a deep cave



MOM, DAD AND THE TIME CAPSULE HIDDEN IN THE CAVE

When my partner Loraine had a Significant Birthday coming up, I suggested that we celebrate it by circumnavigating the world, using any means of transport she wanted: plane, car, bus, train, camel, donkey, rickshaw, canoe …

And we would go to any country of her choosing.

She thought about it and picked South Africa as one of the countries. I had left there many years ago, and had last been there 36 years ago, in 1981, to attend Mom’s funeral. 

I had met my eldest sister in Florida, where she moved after becoming an American, and my brother in Bellingham, where he was staying for a while after also becoming an American. 

But my two younger sisters and I had not met for 36 years.

So we started our 45-day circumnavigation of the world and flew from London down to South Africa. Before we left, I used photos and stories sent to me by my siblings, and stories I knew, to write a book about our Mom and Dad.

I self-published it on Amazon and sent copies to my siblings before we arrived, so that they could give each of their own children copies as well.

I named it Ray & Shiny, and the blurb on the back cover reads:


When I took pen in hand, I wanted answers to 10 questions:

1.      The blood of which nations pumps through the veins of the five Van Siblings?

2.     What crooked paths did our ancestors wander before we dropped, in rapid succession, onto the scene between 1940 and 1949?

3.     Who was the first van Schalkwyk to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope?

4.     Who was the first Linforth to arrive in South Africa?

5.     Where did Mom meet Dad?

6.     What made Mom marry Dad?

7.     Where did the Vans wander before we ended up in 15 Contact Street, where we Siblings spent most of our younger years?

8.     What forces shaped Mom and Dad?

9.     What was it like to grow up with them as our parents?

10.  How much of Mom and of Dad lives on in the Siblings?


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Can massive methane blowout craters create runaway global warming?

Scientists are concerned about this, and a recent study of hundreds of massive craters and mounds (some mounds half a mile wide) heightens their concern, as this article explains:


But the bigger potential threat to climate change is not small methane blow-outs in the Barents Sea; it’s massive blow-outs that could happen in areas currently covered by ice.

If ice sheets keep retreating in places like Greenland and Antarctica, it could leave more land bare and release long pent-up reservoirs of methane.

This study adds to existing uncertainty about the behavior of methane trapped near the poles.

Methane is worrying because it can have an accelerating effect: As ice and permafrost melt, they release more methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, which makes the Earth warmer, so more ice melts, and more methane is released and so on.


Methane is the big elephant in the room of possible irreparable harm to earth from global warming.

In our novel Obelisk Seven, our hero is concerned about the threat of methane.

Obelisk Seven is about global warming, ancient Egyptian obelisks, and mysterious signals from seven obelisks, including the lovely one in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Our elevator speech for our thriller puts it this way:

When Nick Kangles, the wealthy host of a global warming TV show, and Kate Stanton, the top notch microbiologist, try to solve the mystery of seven obelisks that are sending out signals, they uncover the countdown of a threat to our civilization.
 After a chance encounter in Rome, Nick and Kate detect signals from seven obelisks in Rome, Paris,  London, New York and Egypt. They set out on an increasingly dangerous hunt to find the link between these obelisks and a new microbe that threatens the world’s oil supply, and discover that someone is willing to kill to keep the link secret.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Composing your novel using yWriter



Simon Haynes author of yWrite
Building your novel is tough, but not thinking about how it will be structured is a sure recipe for disaster. 

If you just plunge into writing, without thinking structure, characters, and scenes, you are sure to end up with a mish mash and waste a lot of time.

I’ve just dipped into a FREE program named yWriter which was written by Simon Haynes, a designer and programmer, and also an author. Here’s his website: http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html

What does yWriter do? It’s a word processor that breaks your novel into chapters and scenes, so that you can keep track of your novel as it progresses. That’s all it does: no plot suggestions, no critiques of your writing style – none of that.

But what it does is take a load off your shoulders by making your writing easier and more focused.

Here are some of its features, lifted from Simon Haynes’ website:
1 
  Organise your novel using a project.
Add chapters to the project.
Add scenes, characters, items and locations.
Display the word count for every file in the project, along with a total.
Saves a log file every day, showing words per file and the total. (Tracks your progress)
Saves automatic backups at user-specified intervals.
Allows multiple scenes within chapters
Viewpoint character, goal, conflict and outcome fields for each scene.
Multiple characters per scene.
Storyboard view, a visual layout of your work.
Re-order scenes within chapters.
Drag and drop of chapters, scenes, characters, items and locations.
Automatic chapter renumbering.

All of that, for nothing!

The program focuses on scenes.

Why?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Still not sure why Trump won?

The reread the Michael Moore analysis of the Brexit States (Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan).

And click on his speech to hear his stunningly assessment of Trump as Molotov Cocktail.

And weigh Moore's words against the chattering classes in the major news groups, and the disbelief by many - including President Obama - that Trump will do most of what he said he planned to do if elected.


Some more of my random posts for you:

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