Adobe and the Zoo

A little over a week ago, I downloaded the free 1 month trial of Adobe Photoshop Elements. I have up until now been using Google's free software for photo editing, Picasa. I wanted to see what features Adobe had to offer and if it was worth upgrading.

The first thing that I finally decided I needed to start dealing with is better organizing my photos. Since I first started digital photography of any sort was in 2004 and I already have over 11,000 photos. Finding anything in all that junk is nearly impossible. So I have set about organizing - tagging the photos with keywords, locations and rating them. For storage and backups, I bought an external hard drive with redundant backup featurs to lower the risk of losing all my photos.

I like how the project is coming along from an organization standpoint. I can quickly select the photos I want to see and while I don't throw anything away I can make all the less interesting shots hide so in general I don't have to look at them anymore.

Since the timeline of my digital photography coincides with my history with M., there is a strange side effect of remembering through the photos all the details of our time together, all the phases, how sweet and fun things had been and how challenging too. Each photo holds an echo of conversations and evokes the sensations that went along with building our garden, making our first Thanksgiving dinner, traveling to Rome, being in Europe the first time, enjoying a käsespätzle slopeside, watching the moonrise at night and the pelicans float overhead in the morning in Tulum, dancing in the living room at the end of one of our silly parties with the neighbors, and so much more. I have reached December of 2006; it is very time consuming but nice to stalk these memories one more time.

The editing is a lot more complicated than Picasa. Adobe has more features and seems a bit more difficult to use. Picasa has all the essential features but you just kind of eyeball it until you like what you see. To some extent Adobe is like that also but with all the raw files I have been shooting, there are also histograms to check. I dabbled here and there with some editing when I wanted a break from organizing but today was the first day I sat with the book and tried to make some sense out of the steps and the process.

The results of editing on four photos taken at the Zurich zoo last weekend:

I think I am still a bit lost with this software but will keep at it. Only 20 days left to decide whether or not to buy it.

Posted from Zürich


aimee said...

your photographs are always wonderful but these are especially lovely with the editing. look forward to seeing more!

Anonymous said...

Adobe is tough to get used to. I find it can be worth it for some photos but not for others. I have a few extra licenses for it. If I can figure out how to get you one perhaps I should!

Also I sent you a message but I don't think it got through properly. My internet is being a dorkbrain right now. Oh well! Basically was saying hi :-)

I like when you take photos of birds - I like to take pictures of birds myself. And to bird watch for that matter.


Expat Traveler said...

Oh I love the penguins! Hey if you need or want a really cool local friend for a photo hunt project there, my friend Pflight might be up for a trip out there again!

I'm jealous - I love those penguins!

Oh we have some local software here that I love. I have elements too, but I prefer the full edition more.