My 2012 outdoor Art Fair schedule is set through September except for possible additions where I am on the wait lists as an alternate. There are shows in Barrington (May), Highland Park (June), Glenview (August), Lake Forest (September), and Geneva (July)(all in Illinois, Chicago area) that I hope to be called to participate. This would be if someone in my category has to cancel and I am able to step in their place, sometimes at the last minute.
These shows are highly competitive with 4 - 6 or more applicants for each spot. In order to be accepted at more of the shows where I am on the wait list, I will be improving everything on my applications. I have started with using the book that I purchased a while ago for my Photoshop Elements 7 software.
Since I have disliked some of the color in my photos on Etsy, I skipped to Chapter 4 Color Me Badd in Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski's book. First thing I learned was to set the program to optimize for computer screens or for printing. Most of my photos are viewed on computers.
Then I went on to learn about quick fixes. I had been using guided edit most of the time, but was impressed with the changes the software made on my sample photo which I can select based on whatever one appeared best to me via a side to side comparison of before and after.
Smart fix balances the overall tone and fixes the color cast. There is an auto feature or a sliding bar that can be used to increase or decrease the fix. If I'm not happy with the fix, I can reset back to the original photo and try other fixes. The levels fix under lighting is to adjust contrast. The lighten shadows slider tool can be accessed here. The fix that helped my photo the most was in the color area which will remove color casts, improve contrast and reduce color casts in the mid tone areas. This seems to be my background which is supposed to be white (or black). My etsy photos always seemed to be on a pale purple/gray background, not white. It could be my monitor, but the background in Blogger seems to be white to my eye.
The point of this post is to encourage readers to learn more about their photo editing software. I wish I had taken the time to see what was available before now. I will be using the book more, so look for better photos in my next post.