It Can Always Be Better

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Refusing and Resisting Adobe's Creative Cloud

Credit: http://www.headlesshollow.com/
It will be over a year since Adobe chose to rent their Photoshop program and I have not given in one millimeter. I'm still retouching pictures and teach—albeit much less since our industry in the United States has tanked and I've been spending more time on Black Rhino Illustration. I will continue using CS5 until it breaks or I find a better alternative. I have a copy of CS6 on-hand when that time comes.

CS5 is fine with me. Old is never bad. Reruns of Columbo, Star Trek and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea are just as entertaining as anything else I can find on television or at the public library's DVD section. Creativity isn't dependent on tools in some nebulous "Cloud" of relays, microchips and servers. Creativity is the use of the imagination or original ideas in the production of an artistic work.

I live a humble lifestyle with very happy children in a home and community some people around the world will never be able to experience. I own my home, I don't own a car and I don't have credit card or student loan debt. That lifestyle isn't wealthy nor does it place me in the category of middle class. Since 1999 I have built most of Photo Grafix and my adult life on the quote from Napoleon Hill's Law of Success: "No sacrifice is too great to avoid the misery of debt."

$10-20-30 per month or any other software rental scheme equates to debt. I don't rent my screwdriver, sofa chair, TV, pitchfork or compost bin. I refuse to rent my software or computer. To my customers and students who might not work with me because of this attitude, that's your choice. My choice is to sacrifice to avoid the misery of debt.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Acne on Models

When working on models with severe—or noticeable acne—you'll find the most difficulty with lighter skin. The reddening from inflammation, along with the natural "blush" found with most light-skinned people, requires more than just "Clone-Stamping" or "Healing Brushing" it away.
Unretouched acne
Retouched acne
Nor can you rely fully on various blur and smoothing methods. If you do it this way, you'll end up smearing the reddish tones throughout the face.

You actually need to make the color of the red areas (such as the cheeks or nose) like the color of less red areas (such as temple and upper forehead). Then start your hard retouching with removing pimples and other marks.

Using a photo editing program such as Adobe Photoshop, I suggest removing the reddening with the Paintbrush Tool in "Lighten" mode. To do this, sample a non-reddened area (3x3 or higher sample sizing) with the Eyedropper Tool. Next, choose the Paintbrush Tool with a very soft-edged, large brush and paint away the reddened areas. Depending on which areas of the face you are working on, you will need to adjust the Opacity of the Paintbrush and its size.

When you are satisfied with the work, then remove the acne and scarring.

Special thanks to Creatista for use of this photograph.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ups and Downs

Lazy Man Watching TV
© Photographer: Eric Basir | Agency: Dreamstime.com
At times I wonder if my services are still relevant. On the other hand, there are times when I feel my Photo Restoration Basics Course is the salvation for humanity. It certainly doesn't help keep up the momentum when I'm doing less workshops and spending more time building up another business called Black Rhino Illustration (you'll find over 2,000 illustrations I made being sold by agencies around the world).

So if you're wondering why I don't make as many new articles and videos as I used to, that is the reason. My hopes are to have 10,000 illustrations on the market. When I reach that goal, I want to go back to focusing most of my time on Photo Grafix.

Meanwhile, all of my videos, books and articles are still relevant—and fundamental. If you want the basics, hang out at the Photo Grafix University YouTube Channel. Moreover, if you join the Photo Grafix email newsletter, you'll have access to some really great deals on my Photo Restoration Basics Course and other items.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ninth Place Winner: My Genealogical Journey to Sweden


After a year of great difficulty—and healing—I'm now making my experience in Sweden public. For some it will bring joy. For others, it will cause anger. For my mother—and my children—it brought pride. On August 23, 2014, I am schedule to speak at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago, IL about the experience.

Here's the official text from the Swedish American Museum Events Calendar: Early last year, Eric received the gift of a lifetime–an all-expenses paid trip to be the first in his mother’s family since the early 1900′s to return to Sweden. All he had to do was to be himself and tolerate a Swedish television show camera crew that would follow him and nine other participants from America as they traveled and learned about Swedish culture for the popular Swedish TV show, “Allt för Sverige.” 

The grand prize for the Swedish-American who endured and persevered through the most cultural challenges  was a family reunion with lost-and-found Swedish relatives.

Join us at this genealogy session hosted by the Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum as Eric shares his experiences and genealogical adventures with us on Saturday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Cost is free for Genealogy Center members; non-member cost is $10. Reservations appreciated. You may email the Genealogy Center to RSVP or ask any questions you may have about this session or call the Museum at 773.728.8111 and leave a message for the Genealogy Center volunteer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Photo Restoration Basics Course SALE

Photo Restoration & Retouching Foundations Class on Video!
"Basic Training" is one of the hottest fitness crazes. It's all about doing as many push-ups, sit-ups and calisthenics in short intervals. I do it and it's a grueling, but rewarding method of exercise. What about a "Basic Training" for working on your photos with a computer? Is there anything out there for absolute beginners and novices?

The Photo Restoration and Retouching Foundations video course is thing for you. Almost 4 years in the making, I use the natural environment, concise step-by-step videos and an easy-to-read workbook to help you improve and restore your photographs.

For a limited time only, I'm offering this entire course for a very low price of $99.95. That's a $50 savings. My supplies are limited and this may be your last chance. Order the Photo Restoration and Retouching Foundations video course today. Questions? Call me toll-free 1-888-446-2799 or email now.

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