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Crop On

It was only a year and a half ago that I finally made the terrifying leap from film to digital. Not being very technologically savvy, the though of changing everything I knew and relying on digital media was quite daunting! But not even days after my new digital SLR purchase, I knew I could never go back. The opportunities for learning, growth and fantastic pictures were much too great to pass up on, especially for a scrapbooker!

Crop on!

I started experimenting with the settings on my camera – starting off with simply shooting in auto picture to warm up and feel comfortable with what I had to work with. Figuring out my zoom and focus, noting the difference in picture with and without flash, and of course playing around with angles, framing and cropping my subjects – this is where the fun begins! I like to try and find an artistic view of everything I shoot. The possibilities for playing around with manual cropping are literally endless. Getting close to your subjects, tilting the camera, zooming right in, moving yourself into different positions and angles is the way you will learn and discover how to get a great shot. Why NOT fill your entire lens with baby’s chubby face? Why NOT crop out part of somebodies head to get the look you are after? Sometimes it feels uncomfortable to move away from ‘traditional’ shots you may have been taking for years, but you will find your efforts worthwhile and your scrapbooks more diverse. To play it safe in the beginning, you may want to save your cropping for later on the computer (just incase that piece of missing head was REALLY important to you!). This is also handy for when you may have taken a quick snapshot without really having the time to frame it the way you wanted. When you open up your picture in your photos editing software, you will find a button to ‘crop’. Select this option and then highlight the part of your photo that you wish to keep. The rest will be cropped out! This is great to be able to play around with and see what type of look you want, and will then help you to become more confident when cropping manually. The other great thing about digital photos is that you can easily print as many pictures as you like and crop them traditionally, (yes! Crop your photos with scissors and trimmers – who would have thought?!!) without the stress of reprinting from the negative or losing your original image for good. You can basically crop till you drop!

Edit your way…

So, you’ve managed to take some pictures, and you’re pretty darn proud of them. Should you go and print them out in a fluster of excitement and start scrapping? No, my friends! Be patient! There is another world of possibilities out there as to what to DO with these fabulous little shots you took. It’s called editing, and it’s not as scary as you’d think!
If you take your memory card/disk into a camera place to use the printing machines then you will be happy to know that you can do your basic editing right there in the store with the simple press of a few buttons! Your photos will all appear on the touchscreen of the machine, and you can select each one that you wish to play around with. Follow the prompts to convert the picture into black and white or sepia. Make the picture lighter, darker, sharper – you name it. It’s the plastic surgery for photos! Crop out unwanted backgrounds, arrange text to be printed over your picture, get rid of those scary devil red eyes! It can all be done quite simply on these machines before you print.
Of course you can also do all of this and MORE in adobe photoshop and other photo editing software. Playing around on the computer is the key to discovering the variety of looks you can create from your one original picture.

Funniest home videos…

Many digital cameras nowadays are able to record live footage for a certain amount of time. Imagine how fun it would be to create a scrapbook page or minibook of…lets say your daughter’s birthday. You have several gorgeous photos of the day, combined with some cards and other memorabilia. In creating this layout, you hope to capture the memories of this special event completely. So…imagine how cool it would be to include a disk somewhere on the layout containing footage of everyone singing happy birthday, and your daughter blowing out her candles and making a wish! You can’t capture voice on your layout any other way!

Sound tricky? If I can do it – I promise You can too!. You upload the data from your camera onto your computer. The footage will open as a separate file. You save the file and then burn/save it to disk. You can then artistically include it on your project! Your daughter will be delighted as an adult to look through her scrapbooks and find this little treasure hidden along with it!

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So, for those of us that may feel a little digitally challenged, I urge you to take the plunge and see what this amazing digital world has to offer! I am completely feeling my way around and experimenting, I love it when I learn how to do something new or find a way to enhance what I already thought was looking good! With so many talented and knowledgable scrapbooker out there you are bound ti find someone willing to help show you the ropes…and who knows, you could turn into a digital diva yourself before too long! Good luck and enjoy!

by manually cropping your picture, you can get much better results! Either zoom in, or physically move to fill your frame with the image you want, and get a gorgeous picture in an ordinary background.

convert a picture from color to black and white with your photo editing program on your computer, or in a printing kiosk.

brighten and sharpen a picture in your photo editing program to really make a photo pop. Change the levels on exposure, sharpness and contrast – play around to really learn and see what you love!

create a funky edgy look to your photos by again changing the levels in your photo editing program/image correction program. Here, I changed the brightness and contrast to achieve this look.


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