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Welcome to the Art Guild's Archives!

April 2 - Linda Morales - Processing your digital

        photos using Windows

 

Linda, with help from Rose Larkie, Bill Franklin and perhaps others, will provide help for those haven't yet managed to get images of their art works into a computer.  Doing so makes it easy to share art with friends or potential buyers anywhere in the world. 

 

Attendees will learn how to download and save files to their computers, and how to organize those files. We will also show how to save/protect files on digital media and how to erase them. Users will be instructed on how to resize their digital files for web site use and emailing, how to "Crop" out sections of their image files to concentrate on a particular subject, and how to send your graphic image by email. If all goes well and time permits, we will also cover Photo Editing that will include rotating, resizing, and contrast, brightness and color changes. We hope to deal also with renaming files and what the difference is between the different graphic file types (JPEG, TIFF, BMP AND GIFF).


Questions and Answers will conclude the lesson.


Things to bring if you have them:
 

A digital camera AND the cord that can connect it to a computer
 

A laptop computer (A child to show you how to use it would be helpful, but not necessary. The instructors are childlike enough to perform this function.)
 

If you don't have the above items, come anyway. We will have some that you can practice with. Of course it's always better to use you very own equipment, since there are always a few differences.

 

Come join the computer age on Sunday, March 5, at the Waco Charter School, 615 N. 25th Street. Refreshments and conversation at 1:30 p.m.; program at 2.  First time visitors free.

 

April 2 - Using Computers to Share Your Art With Others, New Bylaws

New Bylaws were adopted.  To see them, click on the Bylaws icon in the list at the left.

 

Fortunately, Linda Morales was prepared to show us how to get a digital photo into a computer and manipulate it using Windows. Unfortunately, she was called to Missouri to be with her ill mother, and was not able to return in time for the meeting. Fortunately, she was able to send her Power Point slide presentation. Unfortunately, we had some difficulties with the school's computers. Fortunately, with one of them and a couple of laptops, we were able to see much of what Linda would have shown us. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to get practice pushing keys themselves. Fortunately, several people brought things for show and tell, and several brought refreshments. Unfortunately, I ate too much. Fortunately, you won't have to read any more of these because I've run out.

Bill Franklin, with help from Rose Larkie and Nancy Cagle, carried on bravely, if somewhat ineptly. Since we did not get the information printed to hand out, even those present probably didn't get the steps straight. They are posted here for reference.

To load photos into your computer, first create a folder to put them in. This is no different than creating any other folder, but if you haven't done that, here are the steps:
1. Click "start" (lower left of screen)
2. Click "My Documents" or "My Pictures." (You can store photos either place.)
3. Click "File," then "New," then "Folder."
4. A folder shape (icon) will appear on the screen with a box below or beside it that says "New Folder" against a blue background. Without clicking on anything, just type a name for this folder, "Art Photos," for example, but you may call it anything at all. Things are different, but not very different, on a Macintosh computer. If you have one, you probably know how to create a new folder.

Now you need to have a source for the photos. If you are still using a film camera, you can get your photos put on a CD (for a couple of dollars extra) when you have them developed. Or someone may send you a CD with photo files on it. Either way, you will put this into the CD reader of your computer.

If you have a digital camera, you can either connect the camera to your computer with the cord that came with it, or you can remove the memory card from your camera and insert it into a card reader that connects to your computer. Usually, the connection will use a USB port on your computer. A USB symbol, which looks rather like a three-pronged fork, will be on the cord plug and by the computer slot it goes in. It has to be oriented properly, so if it doesn't go in easily, turn it over and try again.
  ready to insert                                                                                                       inserted


Cameras usually come with software on a CD which you can install by putting the software CD in the CD reader of your computer and following the instructions that will appear on the screen. You may also like to purchase image software, such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and Album. It is installed the same way. If you have installed such software, then when you put a photo CD in the CD reader, put a memory card in the card reader, or connect your camera to a USB port and turn it on, the software will probably open automatically and provide instructions for loading your photos into the computer. At some point you will have to tell it what folder to put them in (the one you created above).

If you haven't installed such software
, then you can still load the photos using Windows, following these steps:
1. Click on "start" (lower left of screen)
2. Click "My Documents" or "My Pictures."
3. In the second menu bar (not the one with "file," "edit," etc., but the one below it), click on "Folders." When you do, a vertical rectangle will appear along the left edge. At the top will be "Desktop," and below that will be "My Documents," "My Computer" and "My Network Places," each next to a small square with a "+" in it.
4. Click on the "+" in front of "My Documents." It will change to a "-" and below will be a list of folders. (If you put your folder in "My Pictures," you will now need to click on the "+" in front of it.) Your folder should appear. Just leave it for now.
5. Click on the "+" in front of "My Computer." It will change to a "-" and below will be a list of places you can access, such as "3 1/2 Floppy," and "Local Disk." One of these should be your camera or card reader or the CD (or DVD) drive, whichever you are using for your source.
6. Click on the symbol (icon) in front of your source. The contents of your source will appear in the larger right-hand rectangle on the screen. If your photos are in a sub-folder, then move the cursor to the folder that appears and double click on it. Repeat as necessary until your photos appear. If a number of items appear, but they aren't small images of your photos, click on "View" in the top menu bar. Then click on "Thumbnails." This should turn the items displayed into thumbnail images of your photos.
7a. To move one photo to your photo folder, click on it. A blue box will appear around it. Without moving the cursor, hold the left mouse button down and move the cursor until it is over the folder icon next to the name of your photo folder. Then release the mouse button. This places your photo in your photo folder. (The photo is said to have been "dragged" to the folder.)
7b. If you want to move several photos to your folder, click on one, then hold the "Ctrl" key down as you click on others. When you have selected all you want (the selected ones will have blue boxes around them), release the "Ctrl" key. Then put the cursor over any of the selected photos, hold the mouse button down, and "drag" the cursor to your folder. When you release the mouse button, the selected photos will be moved to your photo folder.
7c. If you want to move all of the photos in the source to your photo folder, press the "Ctrl" and "a" keys. This selects all of the photos. Note that they all have blue boxes around them. Then put the cursor over any of the selected photos, hold the mouse button down, and "drag" the cursor to your folder. When you release the mouse button, all of the photos will be moved to your photo folder.

Once a photo is in your folder, you can adjust it, view it, print it, or send it in an email. The details here depend upon the software you are using. The software provided with a camera usually have a limited number of options that you can usually figure out by trying them. Placing the cursor over one of the icons in the menu bar will cause a text message (a "Balloon") to appear, telling you what clicking that icon will allow you to do. You can always try things to see what happens. If it wasn't something that you wanted to do, click on "Edit" in the top menu bar, then click "Undo." This will restore things to the previous state.

If you are using more sophisticated software, such as Photoshop, there are many more possible ways to adjust your photo, which takes a lot more searching through the menus, or the instruction manual. With practice, you will become faster and more skilled, especially in the doing those tasks that you do often. The most common things to adjust are:

1. Orientation
. If a photos is sideways on the screen, rotate it 90 degrees to make it right side up.
2. Cropping. If you can improve the composition or you want to use only one item in the image, you can crop the photo by drawing a box around the part you want to keep, and discarding the rest.
3. Resolution. The original will probably contain millions of points of color (pixels). That's fine if you are keeping the image in your computer or you need to send a high resolution copy to someone else. But if you want to send a photo in an email or post it on a web site, it's best to reduce the resolution. We recommend that that you resize the image to have 680 pixels along the long dimension of your photo. This is enough to look good when the image is on a computer screen, but not so many that it takes an inordinate amount of time to transmit. Also, it prevents someone from making a large print of your art. At this resolution (about three-tenths of a megapixel), anything larger than a 4x6 will look ragged.
4. Brightness and Contrast. If the photo looks brighter or dimmer than the original, you can change the brightness. If it has a lackluster appearance, you can increase the contrast.
5. Color. If there is a color cast, that is, things look too reddish or bluish, or whatever, this can be adjusted. It is seldom necessary, because most cameras have an automatic "white balance" to compensate for odd lighting, such as the orangish cast of incandescent lighting or the greenish cast of some fluorescent lights. You can also create deliberate distortions of color, but you probably wouldn't do this to your artworks, unless you just want to see what they would look like if painted differently.

Many other adjustments are possible. To name a few, perspective can be changed, selected areas of the photo can be adjusted without changing the entire photo, colors can be replaced by their complements, and the image can be textured or simplified (posterized) to change its character. In fact, much art today is made by adjusting photos or by creating images on the computer without there ever being an original on paper or canvas. That may become even more common as time goes on, but it probably won't ever replace conventional art. Developing your skill with a brush, pen or pastel stick, is just too satisfying.

Thanks to Bettye Schwartz, Christine Niekamp, Ellen Foster, Nancy Cagle, and the Franklins for bringing refreshments. We also thank those who brought art for show and tell. Examples are shown below. Note that these are all digital photos that have been loaded into a computer, adjusted as mentioned above, and posted to the web site at moderate resolution. Clicking on any of them will enlarge it to a screen-filling size.

 

Show and Tell

           

 Nancy Cagle           Larry Garza                   Rock art by Christine Niekamp

April 30 - Showcase Waco!

We will have tables at Showcase Waco!, which will be held at the Waco Convention Center, McLennan Hall, 1-5 p.m.  Setup will be 9 a.m. - noon.  Some members have volunteered to bring one or two art works to show what our members do.  These people should bring their works in before noon if at all possible.  They are: Bill & Judy Franklin, John & Saundra Vasek, Nancy Cagle, Rose Larkie and Jean Larkie.  If any of these cannot come, please call Bill at 741-0960 to let him know.  If others would like to participate, call Bill.  If there is room, we'll add you.

April 30 - Showcase Waco!

In its first year, Showcase Waco had many exhibitors, but few visitors who were not there to exhibit.  Hopefully, in the future there will be better publicity and a larger crowd.  We did have a number of people visit our booth and take our flyers.  We even signed up one new member!  Thanks to those who came to help and who brought art works to display: Rose Larkie, Nancy and Charles Cagle, and Bill and Judy Franklin.

 

 

 

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