Tuesday, 28 July 2009


This morning the news included an item about Broadband speeds. "Broadband users are not getting the speeds they are paying for, according to the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken by telecoms regulator Ofcom."

Here is the article on the BBC website, BBC News.

I am frustrated by our Broadband speeds, especially when trying to work. So much work is done on-line, for instance, web design, blogging, Google everything, getting photos printed, BBC iplayer. I have spoken to BT, our broadband and phone provider and they have checked the line etc and apparently we are a long way from the exchange, which I believe is in Thornbury 3.5 miles away.

So today I had a look on the BT site, this is what I found.

So it appears that actually I am not able to receive a broadband service, no wonder I am frustrated at the speeds. And I am paying this, see below, for the service I am supposedly unable to receive.Add VAT and that comes to about £45. Do I look into Dial-up, costs and speeds, will that help? Well I would except I got my username and password wrong, 3 times, so now I can't access my account to find out. And BT are supposedly putting money in to a super broadband that will give 20MB or even 40MB. I would think all my Christmasses had come at once if we got 4MB!!

Rant over. :-)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Day 12: Storyboards

These photos were taken by Jeff. We had been to Kendrick's, a great restaurant in Dartmouth. The food there is lovely and there is something for everyone. You can see we were all prepared for the rain.

Jessica showed us how to put this storyboard together. I might try something similar for a mini book for the new Tarling baby.

Day 11: Selective/Spot Recolouring

This is such an effective Photoshop lesson, it has so many uses. I did one before with a red post box highlighted on a very snowy day. Here is today's take on the lesson.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Day 10: Project Start to Finish

This was a fun quickie, bringing in all we have done so far.
Clipping Mask

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Chicken Poem

I just spotted this in the Omlet newsletter. It is a poem written by Justine Teeling and is so true, they are fascinating.

So, You Want Chickens?

I’m cultivating cobwebs
Collecting lint and dust
Only doing housework
When I absolutely must

You see I have a reason
For this abundance of refuse
It’s not a very valid one
Just some fowl excuse

There are chickens in my garden
I got them just to lay
Now I find I’m captivated
Watching them all day!!!!

So, fair warning if you’re pondering

And trying to bribe the spouse
You may find yourself on telly
On ‘How Clean is Your House?”!

www.omlet.co.uk is where you can find all things chicken especially the Omlet Eglu, perfect for chickens in the garden. I love the Eglu but decided to go for a wooden hen house instead, it was more suitable for what I wanted.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Day 9: Edge Burn

This technique used a levels adjustment layer which was painted through to bring more light to the faces in this photo.

This was the same but in black and white.

I think it is quite subtle in these photos but when I compare it to the original there is a difference and obviously can be made different by experimenting.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Day 8: Text

I didn't miss a day, it was just that it wasn't a practical.

Adding text, a simple effective piece of info. I like the creased paper effect.

This is fun to do while I recuperate on the sofa. It is two weeks long so still more to do, but they don't take long so should manage to keep up.

Day 6: TTV & Mega-Challenge

I know, 2 in one day, there may even be another later. Just catching up.

TTV = Through the Viewfinder.

Note the darkened edges and corners, similar to how old photos used to turn out. Just added a frame flourish to highlight the sepia/aged primulas.

Day5 - Textures

Textures are a fun way to add depth to your photo, using layers with soft light, multiple or hard light. Experimenting gives all sorts of interesting variations, I chose to use the given examples and here is what I came up with.

This is a plaster hand Jeff produced for an art class piece.

I do find it strange that most of the time photo manipulation is to reduce lines and blemishes to get a pure picture and then here we are adding them!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Day 4: Clipping Masks

"A clipping mask is basically a shape - any shape - that you can "clip" your photo onto, to cause your photo to conform itself to that shape. Want a heart-shaped photo? You can clip a rectangular photo onto a heart shape, and boom! Heart. I like to call clipping masks "cropping without cropping", because in addition to conforming itself to a particular shape, you don't actually CUT your photo at all - the edges that aren't inside the mask are simply hidden, or masked out. So you can still move your photo within the shape itself. Pretty mind-blowing, right? Yeah. :) "

Here is my version. Photo taken in June on holiday in Cumbria, this is Derwentwater.

Day 3 - Frame + Brush + Hand-tint

This was exploring what adjustment layers do, and sample the Soft Light blending mode as you add in a vintage tint and some hand-tinted effects with brushes.

So a subtle washed out sepia tone, a little pink to the cheeks and stars, in her hair and coming out of the drinks can. This actually was the day Abbie's 'A' level results came out and the moment in which she heard she had her place at University.

Photo Editing: Frame-Ups & Special Effects - Day 2 - Brushes

I love brushes, they are so versatile, not only can you paint or draw, but brushes can be swirls, special effects or words and there are so many uses for all the varieties of brushes. A quick search on the internet will produce loads and many free ones.

Here is my class pic.

Jeff flying a kite on cliffs by Dartmouth.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Photo Editing: Frame-ups and Special Effects

I am working on Jessica Spraque's free photo editing class on-line. It is about Frames and Special effects. Here is her website. http://www.jessicasprague.com/

I am working in Photoshop CS3 and was pleased to have learnt something from the first class. Which was how to resize a frame once it had been moved to the photo. I thought I needed to do it before moving it to the photo. Chuffed

And my version using frames and word art from House of 3:

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Summer Birthday

Rob's birthday today, hip, hip, hooray! This is how Rob's birthday should be, on one of the hottest days of the year, Pimms on the terrace, lots of strawberries, peace and quiet.

Just us two, so we had Scallops and Chorizo on a bed of salad, thanks to Nigella Lawson, followed by this yummy fresh cream and strawberry cake, with drizzled chocolate over the top. That was Abbie's request and that Daddy should have a birthday cake. :-)