Sunday, June 03, 2012


Yes I'm still around.  I know I said I would be better about posting but I guess that I haven't.  Maybe my excuse is the weather still isn't so hot that I don't want to be out and about.  Actually I'm not sure that is will ever be down here.  One of the things I find so different about the heat here compared to MD summer heat is that here there is always a wonderful breeze.  Also most places I go have so much available shade that between the breeze and being able to often get out of the direct sun the heat is very bearable and for me even enjoyable.  Also the humidity, at least so far has not been at all oppressive. I think that also has to do with the breezes.

So what have I been up to?  Still meeting people though I have seemed to settle into 6 different groups and am focusing on meeting and getting to know people within these groups.  Some are purely social groups, others are craft oriented ones and others are groups that deal with issues of being single in a couples world.
 One of the groups is focused on learning how to use Photo Shop Elements and edit pictures that are less than perfect.  This is what I did last Friday.  I have owned and attempted to use PSE for quite a few years.  I could do a bit with it; lots of cropping and auto fixing.  I knew it could do so much more though. Not being particularly "computer literate" I struggled with understanding how to do anything but the basics.  The PSE Club which meets once a month has been a wonderful learning experience.  This Friday I learned one method for taking a photo and making it better.  The instructor said she used it on basically all photos even the ones that originally look very nice.  This is the picture we learned on:

 A beautiful passion flower.  Not a bad picture by most standards, at least not in my mind.

Here is what we ended up with after doing a bit of photo editing:

I think after the editing the flower really pulls out from the background and pops.  Even the colors are more vibrant. It probably still isn't the best it could be, but I was impressed. One thing that does pother me about photo editing on a lap top though is that I'm still not sure how it really looks since it changes with how I have my screen angled.  So I guess until you do a test print I really wouldn't know how it truly is.  You may actually be seeing on your monitor a not so good picture.  I don't know, but for me I am very happy with it.

Next I tackled a picture that I took after Stephanie's graduation.  I didn't think the picture was going to turn out too well because of the direction of the sun and when I downloaded it I was so right.  It was not at all a good picture.  Before the class I played around with some auto correction, but I still was not happy with it.

Here is what I ended up with after the class.  Still not perfect but I think much better.  Maybe in future classes I will learn some other techniques to fix some of the remaining problems like the white spots on her robe.  Maybe I will get up the courage to try and figure out how to fix them on my own now that I am understanding some of the ways PSE does things.

 Ah yes life in The Villages is good on many levels.  I like the weather so far, I like the people I am meeting, and I really like the opportunities I have to learn new things without having to pay for each class.  The clubs here are amazing and people are so willing to share their knowledge with others.