What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with

Opinion

My wise old grandmotherWhen I was young and living with my wise old grandmother (picture ►), she used to sit at the dining room table during the day creating her scrapbooks and photo albums. Her sons used to chastise her because she would cut up her pictures to create what she wanted. As she used to say: “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.” I can only imagine how much fun she would have in today’s world with Photoshop.

I bought Photoshop when it hit the PC market in the early 1990s. Throughout the years, my photo editing skills have continued to improve. Since I know what I can do with Photoshop, as well as video editing programs, basically I don’t believe anything I see on the Internet. Instead, if I like it, I enjoy it, perhaps even sharing it. But there is so much stuff that I know is fake, most, but not all, of it involving still pictures.

That reminds me of the broadcast from Times Square on December 31, 1999. The broadcast, of course, was live, as had been all the New Year’s Eve broadcasts for as long as I can remember. Not until later, though, was it disclosed that the broadcast wasn’t as live as we thought. Turns out that a big lighting display in Times Square was broadcasting an advertisement by a competitor of the television station that I was watching. I never saw the advertisement because it was being edited out as the video was being broadcast “live.” So even live events might not be the truth!

A couple of years ago I experimented with my own video editing. Watch this one minutes video of a Coaster train in the Miramar area of San Diego and tell me which way the train is traveling.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you think the train is traveling left to right, well, only in the video. In actuality, it was traveling from right to left. I changed it in about five seconds and one click of the mouse using Corel Video Studio Pro.

Here in San Diego, commuter trains are of the push/pull configuration. In other words, sometimes the engine is at the front, pulling the train, and sometimes the engine is at the rear, pushing the train. I have never liked the push configuration; it just looks wrong. So when I discovered the “reverse” function in Video Studio Pro, well, I couldn’t help but click on it. Voilá!

I have had fun with still pictures, too, like this one:

Sandstone arch at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In that one, there actually is only one bridge. The hole looked like an eye, so I thought that two eyes were better than one. Here is the original with just the one eye:

Sandstone arch at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

So remember: Just because you see it on the Internet and it’s been shared by 159,472 people and viewed 9,471,002 times doesn’t mean it’s true. That doesn’t mean you can’t simply enjoy it. As Edgar Degas said a century ago: “Art is not what you see but what you make others see.”

Abraham Lincoln

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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22 thoughts on “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      There are some very good photo editing programs that are free. The way I learned, and continue to learn, is that when I come across a picture that has a specific problem, I learn how to fix that specific problem. So I never sit down for hours, days, or weeks at a time to learn the complete program.

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          We’re all lazy, and that includes me! Scroll up to see the Zoey the Cool Cat “Thank you!” stamp. For seven years I’ve wanted to do special ZCC stamps–thank you, you’re welcome, happy birthday, happy anniversary, etc.–but I always wanted to do a hundred or more. I just don’t have time to sit down and do a 100 in each category. Finally, I decided that whenever I needed a special stamp, I’d create it then and there. Once I have a 100 in a category, I’ll no longer have to do that category. Eventually, I’ll have 100 in every category without having to take a day out of my life for each category.

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  1. The Emu

    Great post mate, enjoyed it, you have certainly developed a keen eye for what is real on the internet, made me think, even your quote by Abraham Lincoln is not real, unless he knew about Internets way back then.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I do recommend Photoshop, especially now that it only costs me $9.99 a month. However, I use Photoshop only because it is the de facto standard. I also can highly recommend Corel Paintshop Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom, and GIMP. I think GIMP is free online.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Lincoln was way ahead of his time. I think I first realized that when I went to buy a car in 1977 after graduating from college. One of the first places I went to was a Lincoln dealership……….LOL

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  2. insearchofitall

    Great post. Good explanations without a lot of techno babble. My son uses photo shop and I use what’s free on my computer to do the basics of making a photo viewable. It it needs more, I hand it off to tech support. (my son) He has taught me a lot about what can be done in photography to trick the eye as well as please it. Me, I’m blind in one eye and can’t see out the other so I point, shoot and pray. So far so good.

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