Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ray’s Corner Soapbox – A Song and Dance for our Photo Group

We, the Elfrida Photography Group and the Sembrando Salud Art Classes are having a Photography and Art Show in the community garden on the 30th of April from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.  This is also the opening of the Community Garden/Farmer’s Market which is one reason we will be in the garden.  Take a look at this quick video to see what Sembrando Salud is about:

The Sembrando Salud has a grant to fund various classes for the citizens of Cochise County of which the Photo Group is one of these projects.  If you happen to be in or near our area on the 30th of April, please stop by and give us your thoughts on our work.


The main purpose of this posting is to prepare the group members (hmmm….should I call them groupies??) in selecting and printing their pictures.  I will start with number one (#1) because it didn’t make sense to me to start with number six.

#1  Take the picture.  Hey, sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Our members have discovered over the past few months that taking a picture is an art form in itself.  It is suggested that the fellers do not take pictures of nekkid womans, especially your wiffy.  They tend to get rather testy either way.  So it is safer to take pictures of general subjects like birds, pets, scenery, still life, birds, animals (other than human), kids (usually younger than 2-3 years old), dogs, birds and etc.  Upload these pictures from your camera into your computer. Place these pictures in your Master Folder (see disillusion below)

#2 Rename and Change the file extension for the picture.  I know most of you have seen me jump up and down on the tables or stand in a corner crying but the doctor has given me a bunch of pills to help with that now.  Jean also has a special jacket for me to wear if I get chilly (that’s what she told me).  What is the number one rule of taking electronic pictures???  Guess.  That’s right, we don’t have physical negatives so…backup, backup, backup.  Upload them suckers out of your camera to a MASTER file (see disillusion below).  What you wish to label your picture is up to you.  I will give you an example in just a minute….puts your hands down, please!!!  All right, I’ll do it now.  Give the picture a name so you will be able to relocate it.  It helps if you don’t name your cat “DOG” or your dog “CAT”.   (How am I doing, Al??)  Next picture….someone hit the switch on the projector.


Windows File Management 640x426

This disillusionment (more pills, please) shows the basic flow (ya, right) of taking a picture and getting ready to print it.  What is the difference between the 1st two boxes?  The “Working Folder” is your second backup of the picture.  Open the “working” copy in Photoshop Elements, Paint-Dot-Net, or GIMP and IMMEDIATELY (Did I say do it right away??? YES I DID!!!) and do a “Save As… “ command changing the name (optional) and extension (not optional).  You have two basic extensions to use: TIF and PNG.  Do you notice I did not say JPG ???  Save this file into the 2nd folder under the Master Folder called (strangely enough) “TIF or PNG”.  This the copy of the picture that you will actually work your magic on.

#3  Open your choice of photo manipulation software and open the TIF or PNG file.  Crop it, change it, reverse it, turn it upside down, make it B&W, Posterize it, change it to water paint.  Just make sure you SAVE it back into the TIF/PNG Folder (renaming it will give you yet another copy of this photo).  PLEASE PAY ATTENTION…ya, I know.  You’re so broke you can’t pay attention (old joke).  I did not mention Picasa.  After you are through with all your editing and feel you a need to use the options in Picasa, then use it BUT ONLY USE IT ONCE.  Why??  Picasa will only save in JPG.  One of our members asked me to make a 8X10” print of his selected pictures but the file is so small it MAY only be able to print in 5X7” or 4X6”.  BEWARE THE COMPRESSION BUG!!!  No, that is not a virus or worm on your computer but a fact of life for JPG files.  Each time you save the file in JPG, it compresses the photo more which gives you a smaller and smaller (compact) file.  The smaller the file, the less detail your photo will have.  The less detail, the worse your larger prints will look.  ‘NUFF SAID FER NOW.’

OK, I’ll get off the soapbox.  Just remember, big file….good; small file….bad.

That’s my story and I’m stickin to it.


  1. Hey Ray, I've probably got 10 or 20 thousand photos here. If I start doing all that right now do you suppose I will live long enough to git er all done.
    The Photo & Arts show in the Community Gardens next door sounds like fun. Good to see the Photo Group's activities picking up. Say hello to the gang for me:))

  2. Nice to see you back again,was beginning to think you fell overboard, I've been bitten a couple times by the jpeg bug,it gets easy to fall into the trap of saving everything as a jpeg. All the publishers for train pictures ask for tiff's so that is what I use.Stay safe in the downtown area of the Metropolitan Gleason area. Sam & Donna