Sunday, November 03, 2013

SLCC Genealogy Course: Post #11 - Digital Media Retard

I have a confession "I am a digital media retard".  FOREVER I have been frustrated by my inability to learn how to edit photos. I've watched tutorials and attended classes but when it come to the practical application I simply can't do it. If you tell me my photo needs layers, you will make me cry. The closest I can come to making an edit on a photograph is to crop the image in Paint. That feat was a major accomplishment for me too.

You can understand then, when I learned that this week's Salt Lake Community College, Genealogy Course class was on Digital Images I was not very excited. Yes, I watched all the tutorials they were great. The problem of course is I'm not great at this. The assignment was to simply add a label/tag to an image, by creating a section to the bottom of the picture that said who the person was, etc. Simply, simply for those capable of doing such a task.

The program I was using is GIMP.
1. Because it's free
2. Because I laugh at myself paying good money for any program which would frustrate the heck out of me.

I attempted to edit the photo in GIMP just like the person in the video did. Well that was frustrating and didn't work. I soon threw up my hands and call my oldest son, Philip, to come IMMEDIATELY to my computer room to HELP ME!!

I told him he HAD to sit with me and help me figure out how to edit the photo. He told me he didn't know GIMP he only uses PhotoShop. Not a good answer, I told him "TOUGH" you still need to help me figure this program out. Thankfully he understood mom was a little crazy over meeting her nemesis again. He then kindly offered to take the image I wanted to edit and just do the assignment for me. I wasn't that desperate yet, besides I just knew if someone would actually sit with me while I tried to figure this out I could do it. This was an example of needing a live teacher and not a virtual one.

The image I wanted to edit was of my great-great grandparents Nelson Siven Osberg & Anna Jacobsson.

I had scanned them a while back together. Now I wanted to crop them and add a even brown border and on the bottom making it high enough to add my label. Proudly I did figure out how to crop the images in GIMP before I called my son to rescue me.

The way our system developed was for me to ask Phil what steps he would take in PhotoShop to get the job done. Then step by step I looked for the same tool in GIMP.  I would scream and pull my hair and bang my head and then get inspired on where to look for the tool we needed. It was a great system.

First I worked on Nelson's photo. Then I got the bright idea to just replace the layer with his photo (yes I finally knew what a layer was) with Anna's so I didn't have to do all the background stuff again. I was tickled I had that inspiration.

Of course I had envisioned editing the spots on the images but it turned out to be to much in one day for me.

Here is the final outcome.

When I went to upload my tagged image for the assignment I saw on that page that the image needed to have several people in it tagged. Yikes! This wasn't going to work. By the time I realized my mistake in choosing an image to edit my son was already gone.

I selected an image and then miracles of miracles, I was able to edit the photo to include the description of it on the bottom ALL BY MYSELF!! What was more amazing to me is it didn't seem so hard this time. I had actually LEARNED how to do this, something I thought myself incapable of ever doing. When I was done with this assignment I actually had a spark inside me wanting to do it again and learn more. Helen Keller had to have WATER spelled into her hand a zillion times to break through her barriers, I need someone to spell out what a LAYER was for me. I might label myself a "Digital Media Retard" when I compare myself to others, but there is hope that I can learn.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!


MHD said...

Renee, I'm a big fan of your blog and, please, understand that I could say a million positive things and will continue to read your blog. But, also please know that the "R word" is extremely offensive to many people in any context.

Renee Zamora said...

I looked in the dictionary to make sure I was using the word correctly. I guess being politically correct isn't in the dictionary. Since I'm referring to myself as "stunted in growth or progression" by using the R word no one else should take offense because it's not aimed at them.