quaking aspen, previously

the blunt end of technology

Posted on: October 1, 2007

The laptop obsession only grows. (It’s particularly bad whenever I have a scrapbook crop coming up.) I got a birthday check from my dad that helps in the cost department. The real problem is not even so much the money (which I would probably blissfully, if unwisely, ignore in a hot second), but more the fact that I appear to be something of a technological heel-dragger.

The I.T. Man Cometh

This is totally me. My dilemma comes from not being ready to upgrade (questionable term in this case) to Vista yet. Mostly because Photoshop Elements 3.0 (yeah, yeah, I know 6.0 is out now, what’s yer point) doesn’t work with it at all. So I’m looking at possibly getting a laptop, then wiping it and installing XP. At least for now. I don’t know. I feel a bit stymied.

I could just take the plunge, and upgrade Elements at the same time. (Though I’m concerned about sharing a catalog or whatever between two computers, with two different versions of the program.) But also I’ve been making such huge leaps (for me) with PSE lately that I just can’t bear the thought of having to learn a whole new program right now. Okay, not ALL new, but y’know what I mean. For fun, I will list some of the things I have learned recently. Yes, some of them are no doubt painfully obvious basic things, but hey, I’m finally feeling comfortable enough with it that digiscrapping feels easy, instead of somewhat laborious like it used to for me.

  1. How to drag files (like photos) into another file (like a layout) in the editor: hold down shift and drag from the main window down to the second file in the bar below.
  2. How and why to use (at least somewhat) adjustment layers — totally awesome. Now I can add and adjust pattern texture to a background color to make it look like textured cardstock (pattern fill adjustment layer > Dark Coarse Weave (under Artist Surface) > adjust scale (I’m using 100% for my 8×8 reunion album, I heard 270% is good for 12×12), set the blend mode to Overlay, and adjust the opacity till it looks good (I’m using 25% at the moment). Also I can adjust the levels on a photo AFTER I’ve already put it onto my layout – yay!
  3. Starting to learn a little about blending modes. At least about the possibility of experimenting with them.
  4. Using the Shape tool to create my own templates — which I really love doing.
  5. Batch process multiple files with the editor — turn a bunch of .psd layouts into .jpgs. This is especially cool when I’m doing a whole album and finishing several pages at once — so much less laborious! Also you can add a watermark, though if you don’t want one, you have to DELETE THE TEXT, else you’ll end up with it on your to-be-printed version photo. Oops.
  6. Cutting masks (Ctrl-G), linking layers, merging 2 linked layers (Ctrl-E): all this is so useful for digiscrapping.
  7. How to organize and save my brushes into sets with the Preset Manager. Also how to make (define) brushes. And getting a little more comfortable using them.
  8. Have done some pretty cool things with adjusting the lighting in backlit photos. Also moved my brother’s head closer to my dad in one — wish I could remember just how I did that. It involved lots of copies of the main layer, probably more than were strictly necessary. But it sure did come out perfect.

Anyway. I’m just not ready, just not ready! “We fear change….” (That’s the line from Wayne’s World that I always come back to. I’m sure it says something about my life, I’d just rather not go there now.) We’ll see how long it takes my desire to be technologically mobile to outweigh my anxiety about it…. (NaNoWriMo is coming up again soon, too, you know…)

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1 Response to "the blunt end of technology"

[…] I listed some other tips in this former entry. […]

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