Archive › October, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

I can’t believe it’s the last day of Pixel This! Something about sitting in front of a computer all week—it’s so easy to lose track of the time. Especially when you have an assignment to finish…

After singing and devotions this morning, we dove into our final project. We’d suddenly become art editors for a day, preparing images for publication in a posing guide. After cataloging and rating the images in Portfolio we chose five images to use and got to work. Each needed color correction, removal of blemishes and distractions, and formatting for printing at a specific size and quality. For one image, the person had to be cut out from the background. With so many new techniques at our disposal from this week’s sessions, we hit the ground running!

Time screamed by as we worked to improve each image as much as possible. Healing Brush…Clone Stamp tool…masks…Levels and Hue & Saturation layers…endless small tweaks in a Curves layer…hmm, just how much can I do in the time alotted? The frustrating thing was that each of these images could have been edited a lot more, but we only had so much time. Heh, welcome to the real world of art editing! Time constraints are just as much a part of the job as the tools in Photoshop!

After lunch we went on an outing. Our instructors didn’t tell us where we were going; we all just piled into the van and drove *somewhere*…to Fry’s! Here was a new assignment: we each had a fictional $1,500 to spend in order to set ourselves up as art editors. We had to find everything we’d need there at Fry’s and report back in an hour. Hey, it’s fun spending imaginary money! I got some great stuff…but then…it all disappeared when the assignment was finished. Sigh. (Now I know how Cinderella felt.) But it was a good learning experience. How often do you get to discuss your editing setup with experts like Peter and Mandy?! It’s a privilege to be around such walking encyclopedias!

Then back to our dark little bat cave at the Training Center…computer screens glowed an eerie blue…mice clicked incessantly…things were coming together. I thought I was done, and hit the print button. Hah, that opened a whole new can of worms. More adjusting, more test prints. Finally after dinner the nine bleary-eyed Photoshoppers finished their projects…and hallelujah, was that ever a good feeling!

After one last short session we had ice cream sundaes, and then Rowan gave us a final charge to use the tools we’ve learned for God’s kingdom. Just that afternoon he’d run across another situation where his photographic skills could be used to confront society with important issues and have an impact on public policy. It was inspiring—God’s given us these interests and skills to go use for Him!

It’s a little sad to come to the end of a course like this. You’ve made new friends, learned new skills, gotten valuable experience and critique, and it’s hard to say goodbye. But the exciting part is that now we get to go home and use what we’ve learned. As we all stood and sang together, a sudden thought rushed into my mind. Someday in heaven it’ll be like this—and we won’t have to stop, ever. We can sing God’s praises together, without end, shoulder to shoulder with millions of other Christians who loved and served Him throughout the ages. We’ll be face to face with our Savior Himself!

Digital imaging skills are a powerful tool. We’ve learned a ton this week. And as we head out, I’m praying that we’ll each take to heart the central focus of this class: to use these skills to impact others for Christ, and bring His truth to a world that He loves.

—Pixel This Student Kelsey Schweickert

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

IPS courses are incredible. Which is why I enjoy writing updates. I love letting people know what is going on in these courses—giving them a little piece of our photography world here.

However, this time, I thought the best way to give people a glimpse of our time here is to “and I quote”… So I spent most of the day on Monday and Tuesday honing my listening skills and “capturing” the words of our cool instructors Peter Pallock and Mandy Novotny.

I hope these statements whirl you away from your current reality and into the world of Pixel This, where “Our dreams become reality, and reality a dream” (Peter on the beauty of Photoshop CS2).


  • “That is more your name than you know…” —Rowan in devotions
  • “Zoop zoop…” —Mandy on cool effects
  • “Shmoosh…” —Mandy on PPI
  • “…depth of field…write it in your diary…” —Peter on composition
  • “Anywho…” —Peter on moving along with the slide
  • “Stupid RGB” —Peter on why we don’t use sRGB
  • “IPS-ites” —Abby on how we are identified
  • “Twitching happens to my left eye…” —Mandy on what happens when people mention Pentax
  • “Bad Christmas Spirit” —Mandy on anything that is not cool
  • “We are mere mortals and not independently wealthy.” —Peter on why he doesn’t buy both computer and camera equipment
  • “They’ll take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.” —Peter on CompactFlash cards
  • “What’s in it for me?” —Mandy and Peter on how digital theory relates to reality
  • “LAB is the superman/spiderman/batman/superwoman/superhero of superheroes color combinations of the great color space in the sky…” —Mandy on color spaces
  • “We are making compensation for the incompetence of others.” —Mandy on calibrating computer screens
  • “I wouldn’t do nothing else.” —Mandyís movie on herding cats and color management
  • “If you don’t have a white piece of paper, let me know and I’ll sell one to you for $.85 plus shipping and handling.” —Peter on cleaning your scanner
  • “‘Curves’ is one of the most powerful tools in CS2, in my not-so-humble opinion…” —Peter on Curves
  • “I’m sure there are some criminal cases which have been solved because a thief picked up a glossy picture and left his fingerprints…” —Peter on why you don’t want to scan matte photos
  • “Whenever they have to put ‘deluxe’ on it, you know that it’s not.” —Peter on Adobe PhotoDeluxe
  • “Being as lazy as I am, there’s no way I’m going to waste any smidgen of work I’ve done.” —Peter on the Hue/Saturation options
  • “I need to tone it down, don’t I?” —Peter on his random comments
  • “I like how his head has a little more… shape…” —Peter on a touch up portrait
  • “Corrupted files are notoriously difficult to color correct because they are normally black and white; so we have contrast but we lose the skin tones…” —Peter on color-correcting a corrupted image
  • “Some memories are best left in the past.” —Peter on bad color correction jobs
  • “If you’re just wanting to print flyers like ‘Oh please help me I lost my poor kitty cat’ you should be fine.” —Peter on cheap inks and home photo printing
  • “It’s silly, it’s stupid, and I want to fire them when they do that.” —Peter on inkjet printers resizing for borderless printing
  • “I don’t believe you… okay, maybe I do believe you.” —Peter after Brent’s comment that he does not have a landscape option
  • “Itís only ‘deluxe’ that lies… this says ‘Premium’, not deluxe.” —Peter on paper quality options
  • “This is not your book report or essay on Hamlet.” —Peter on printing out photos
  • “Have some lemonade, watch the trees grow…” —Peter on completing your print
  • “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you. I’m serious…” —Peter
  • “This is the highly technical term of ‘schmoozing’.” —Mandy on befriending the workers at a printing lab


—Pixel This Student Christina Dickson

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Monday, October 9, 2006

After a somewhat restful night sleep, and a good breakfast, we started this morning with some praise and worship, with Rowan playing on the guitar. When we were through with group devotions, we split into our respective classes (Pixel This and Portraiture & Lighting). This morning Mandy talked on Digital Imaging, which included a full lecture on pixels, bits and bytes, depth, color, and resolution. Cool stuff. After that, Peter reviewed with us some basic shooting techniques.

As soon as lunch was over, we went to the Farmer’s Market with a huge list of assignments to shoot (thankfully they weren’t too hard). :-) We wandered around for a couple of hours making sure we had shot photos in different ISO speeds, different white balance settings, different qualities, and different RGB settings. It was interesting how everyone seemed to melt off the face of the earth. I hardly saw anyone from my class until it was time to leave.

This evening Rowan shared different workflow techniques and how to download and sort our images. For those of us here from last week’s course (Prizewinning Photography 2), we are learning more advanced ways of sorting our photos (for example, we are now using Adobe Bridge instead of Picasa). Afterwards, Mandy talked on color management, and then calibrated our laptop monitors. We were also able to play around a little bit in Photoshop CS2. Well, it is getting late, so I am going to sign off. Noapte buna!

—Pixel This Student Elizabeth Larum

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