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Michelle Osborne

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Everything posted by Michelle Osborne

  1. Wonderful! Lovely photos and a great article. Ah, to be able to afford the 400mm f/2.8 prime. My dream lens for lure coursing and agility photos. lol But I just bought a Sigma 100-400 that only goes down to f/6.3 but I'm still pretty excited about it!
  2. While all of the resources in class will be on either Vimeo or Zoom, instructors will occasionally use Youtube videos as outside resources. This tutorial will walk you through some of the options you may find for navigating those videos. Please note that videos may have some or all of these options depending on what the original account uploaded them with. So if you don't find an option (like closed captions), it's because the person who uploaded it without those options. It is, unfortunately, completely out of FYA's control. First, the videos that will be shared on FYA, will be embedded into a post. You will see this at the top left of the video: If you click on this, it will open the video in another tab on the actual YouTube page. You can view it on YouTube or just watch it on the FYA page, either one works. Once you start playing the video on FYA or open it in YouTube, you will several options at the bottom of the video: or this on YouTube itself: Let's run through all of them! 1. The first icon is the play/pause button. That one should be self-explanatory! 2. The next is the volume button. This volume is not the same as the volume on your computer, so if you have the volume turned all the way up on your computer, but the video still seems soft, check this area. You can change the volume in one of two ways. Hovering over it will bring up a slider to the right of it. You can move that slider around to change the volume (moving it to the right increases the volume). You can also click on the speaker icon itself to mute the video. To unmute, just click on it again. [keyboard shortcut for muting: m] 3. Moving to the right bottom of the screen, you'll see the "CC" button: This toggles the closed captions on and off. Please note that these may be auto-generated, so may not be perfect. Some videos will be better than others for this! [keyboard shortcut: c] 4. The next icon (the one that looks like a little gear) is the settings icon. The options here: Annotations - This is automatically toggled on. Annotations are clickable images and text that are added to a video to encourage viewers to take an action at specific time points in the video. These are those text boxes, images, or video previews that pop up while watching the video. They might do things like suggest another video to watch, direct you to the videographer's website, subscribe to their channel, etc. You can toggle these on or off. Playback speed - There are many reason to change the playback speed. You may want to get through sections of the video faster without just clicking ahead in it (thus allowing you to listen and find the part you're looking for). You can increase the speed by as much as 2x. You may also want to slow it down if there's something you missed. This may be especially important when someone is demonstrating how to do something in Photoshop or Lightroom. If you miss it at the normal speed, go back and watch it at a slower speed. You can slow it down to as much as 1/4 of the speed (.25x). (Note that this does not change the pitch of the video, for those who remember high speed dub!). Subtitles/CC - These are additional subtitling options. In this case, you can opt for auto-generated captions in English or you can select "auto-translate" and pick any language (as these are auto translated, they may not be very good, but the option is there!). Quality - Videos are default to 480p as a quality. You may click on this to select to watch the video at a higher quality (up to 1080 if the video offers it) or reduce the quality if you don't want to use as much data or you have a slow internet connection. Other options that may appear - This appears on the bottom left side of the video, next to the play/pause button only if you're watching the video on YouTube. Clicking this will send you to the next video in the person's list. Note again that this will not appear on the FYA page where the video is embedded and won't be particularly useful for class situations, but I wanted to make sure you knew what it did. -- You'll see this on the FYA page after you start playing the video. Clicking this will open the video (beginning from where you left off) in Youtube. -- This is the "miniplayer" icon. This will take the video down to a small pop up on the bottom right of your screen. To bring it back to the previous screen, hit this in the upper left corner of the video: [Keyboard shortcuts: i] -- This is the "theatre mode" icon and will enlarge the video to wide screen (think of it a little as partway between the standard video and full screen). To return to the normal mode, click on the icon (which now looks like a wide screen box) again: [keyboard shortcut: t] - If you have your computer set up to be able to send videos to a TV, this will cast the video to that TV. - This last icon on the far right bottom of the screen is the "full screen" icon. Click on this to view the video using the full screen of your computer. To return to the regular screen, hit the "Esc" key on your keyboard or select this icon in the lower right of the video: [keyboard short cut: f]
  3. All of our in-house videos will be uploaded to Vimeo and embedded into the course content here in the class forum. Vimeo offers several options to customize the video for your own comfort. This tutorial will walk you through some of the options available and how to find them. All of the options for the videos are located on the lower right corner of the video. Here's a walk through of how they all work: 1. The first one is the volume control for the video. This is not the volume control on your computer. So if, for instance, your computer volume is up all the way, but the volume still seems low, check here. You can click on the different bars to raise or lower the volume (the bigger the bar, the louder the volume). But also, while the video is playing, you can use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to raise and lower the volume. 2. The CC button is used to toggle the closed captions on/off the video. When you click on it, it will come up with the options. In the case of FYA videos, the options will be "English (United States)" or "None." 3. The little gear icon next to the CC button allows you to choose two different settings: Quality of the video There are numerous options here. 720p is the default, but if you're running on a slow internet connection or using your phone's data plan, you may want to choose a lower quality video to view. Speed This one is especially handy. You can speed up the video by as much as 2x (note that it only speeds up the video, but will not raise the pitch, for those of you who remember high speed dub all too well!). You may want to use this if there are parts of the video you want to get through without having to just skip ahead or also if you just find the speaker speaks slower than you'd like (probably not a problem here, but something you may note for videos from elsewhere!). You can also slow it down to as much as half the speed. This is what you may really want to make use of. For example, if Amy or Lisa are showing you how to do something and it goes by too quickly for you, you can go back, watch it at half the speed to really be able to see it. I cannot recommend using this enough! If you don't get it the first time, watch it at half-speed and see if it makes more sense! 4. The final icon allows you to view the video at full screen. Just click on it and the video will pop out and take up the entire computer screen. This is also very handy, especially for those tricky things you're being shown in Photoshop or Lightroom. Personally, I suggest watching the entire video full screen. When it's in full screen mode you can either hit the "Esc" key to return to the smaller video or hover over it and you'll see this: Click on that and it will return you to the smaller video.
  4. Zoom gives you a handful of options to customize your playback. Here I'll run you through the possibilities so you can watch the videos in the best way for you. All of the options for the Zoom videos appear on the bottom of the video itself. You'll see a bar that looks like this: From left to right: 1. This one is probably obvious, but this is the playback/pause button and will tell you how far into the video you've gone: 2. If you're having trouble with the volume (e.g. you have the volume at "100" on your computer but it's still soft or not playing), check the next icon. Zoom videos have their own volume controls that are in addition to the ones on your computer. If you hover over it, you'll see a little slider to the right. Moving it to the right will increase the volume. If you hover right over the little speaker icon, you'll see a pop-up that says "mute." Click on the icon to mute the volume entirely (not that you'll ever want that option, but you never know!). It will then look like this: Clicking it again, will unmute the video. 3. On the right bottom side of the video, you'll see more icons. The first of those will allow you to change the speed of the video. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to slow it down, but if you want to get through sections faster without just trying to skip through the video and guessing where to start the playback, this will help. You can choose 1.5x and 2x the speed. Just for info's sake, this does not make the voices higher (those of you who are old enough to remember high speed dub know what I'm talking about!). It just speeds up the video. 4. The next one "CC" is for closed captions. You can simply click on this one to turn the subtitles on or off. 5. The next one is a Zoom-specific thing. It allows you to switch between speaker view (where the current speaker takes up the whole screen) and gallery view (where you can see all of the people on the call). I would recommend keeping it in speaker view as there's not really a "gallery" for these. 6. The last one allows you to toggle full screen on and off. Hit it to view the video at full screen size. Then you can either hit the "Esc" key to return it to the smaller size or hit this in the lower right corner of the full size screen: One other thing you might notice in the Zoom videos. If you hover over the playback bar, you'll see some white dots. Those white dots show you where the presenter started and stopped sharing their screen. So if you're looking specifically for where the instructor was showing you something, you can click on the "sharing started" sections to view them.
  5. Setting up your Google Account You will need a Google account to submit assignments for the Focus Your Art courses. You can use an existing gmail.com account or create a new one. Even if you already have an @gmail.com Google account, you should know that you will be creating public albums for this course, so you might consider creating a new account for this course if that bothers you. Google likes to keep things fresh, so some of the screens may not look exactly like the ones below. However, this should still work to get you through the process. If you have any trouble with this process, please post in the discussion forum and we'll be sure to assist you with getting set up. If you have a Google account already, go to https://myaccount.google.com/ and scroll down to the "Using Google Photos" section below. Creating a New Account If you need to create a new account, you can do so here: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp Fill in your name, and create a user name and password and click "Next." On the next page, you can choose recover options (phone number, alternate e-mail address). These are optional. Google does require you to add your birthday and choose a gender (note that there are options for "rather not say" and you can also choose the "custom" option). On the next page, scroll down and click on "I agree." Once you have created your account, you can upload photos to share with the class. Using Google Photos Click at the top of the screen on the Google Apps icon, as shown below. Next, click on the Photo icon from the popup window. Your icon may be in a different place in the panel and you may have to scroll down to find it. You will need to change some settings before uploading your first photos. To get to your settings, click on the little "gear" icon in the top right corner of the screen. Change the upload size from "High Quality" to "Original." Turn off all of the settings under the "Suggestions" drop-down menu: Turn off the following settings under "Group Similar Faces" and "Sharing": Uploading Your Assignments to Google Photos Google generates a custom link for your album so that you can share it. Do not cut and paste the link from the address bar. That will not allow others to view your album. To share the album, click on the "share" icon in the upper right hand corner. Note: For class situations, you will need to share the ALBUM, not just an individual photo. Please make sure you've opened the album and have all photos in the requested order (see below for a video on how to re-order your album) and then click on the share button. Click on "Copy Link" at the bottom of the pop-up screen. This is the link you will need. Click on Copy. And then you can paste that link into your post on FYA. If you want to rearrange the images within the album, here's a video tutorial for that process: If you have any problems or questions, be sure to post them in the Discussion forum.
  6. From time to time in a class, the instructor may ask you to make a screen capture -- your settings, an adjustment brush you used in Lightroom, etc. If you're not sure how to do it, it's quick and simple! How to create screencaps on PC There are two main ways you can create screencaps on PC. My preferred way of doing it is to use the snip and sketch app that comes with the later versions of windows 10. 1. On your computer keyboard hit the Windows Key + Shift + S. This will grey out your screen and you'll see this at the top of your screen: 2. Draw a box around whatever it is on your screen you want to take an image of. Once you do, you'll see a pop-up in the lower right corner of your screen showing you what you just screencapped. 3. Click on it to bring it up in the program. 4. From there, you can simply hit CTRL+S or click on the little disk to save it as is. 5. You can also do things within this screen like cropping it further, using the "ballpoint pen" or "pencil" to write on it , using the "highlighter" (which I did on the disk above), or even erasing parts of it. ______________________ The other way you can do a screencap is to use the "print screen" function on your computer keyboard (note: on a laptop, you may have to hit the FN button along with the print screen one). On my computer keyboard it's situated above the Home/Page Up/Page Down keys, but it may be somewhere else on yours. The print screen function will take a screencap of your entire screen and copy it to the clipboard. 1. Open up your Paint app. 2. Click CTRL+V to paste. Or at the top left corner of the screen, hit the "paste" button. 3. For some strange reason, Paint always comes up with the whole thing selected. To "unselect" it, click on the Select button. 4. Click and drag around the area you want to select. 5. Click on the "Crop" button (see screencap above). This will leave you with just the small selection you wanted. Note: If the part you need to select extends past what you can see on your screen, you can click on View and then "Zoom out." This will shrink your view. 6. Hit CTRL+S or Select "File" at the top of the screen and click on Save. Note: Paint automatically comes up saving as a PNG file. You can use that, or you can select the dropdown menu to choose JPG. How to create screencaps on a Mac There are multiple ways to create screen grabs on a Mac, but in general you will only want to be capturing a portion of your screen and saving it to disk so that it can be uploaded. Luckily, this is a really straightforward process. 1. Press and hold the Command and Shift keys, then tap the 4 key and release them all. Your cursor should change from a pointer to a crosshair. 2. Position this crosshair in one of the corners of the area you want to capture, then click and hold while you drag the cursor to the diagonally opposite corner. 3. When you release the mouse/trackpad button, the capture will be made and automatically saved to your desktop, labelled "Screenshot <date> at <time>". You can then upload this screenshot to Google Photos as normal. This article describes other methods that you may choose to use to capture the whole screen or whole window, but the method detailed above will suffice for the courses here at FYA.
  7. If you've forgotten your password for the site, you can easily reset it. 1. Click on "Existing user? Sign in" at the top of the screen. This will give you a drop-down menu where you can enter your user name and password. At the bottom of the drop down menu, you'll see the words "Forgot your password?" Click on that. 2. On the next screen, enter the e-mail address you used to register on the site and click on "Recover password." 3. If the e-mail address you've sent is valid, you'll get this message: "Your password reset request was successful. We have sent you an email with further instructions to recover your account. Check your email within the next few minutes including any junk or spam folders." If the e-mail address is not valid, you will see the following in red writing: "We could not find a member account with that email address. Please try again with other information." Double check your e-mail address and try again. 4. From there, you will have to go over to your e-mail. You should find an e-mail that looks like this: If you do not get an e-mail within a few minutes, please check your spam/junk folder. If you're sure you haven't received it, please open a support request and we will deal with the problem ASAP. Note: Because you are not logged in as an existing user, please choose the "Contact Us" button on the support request page. This will send a message to the appropriate people who will be able to assist you in resetting your password. 5. Open the e-mail. In the e-mail, you'll see the following. Click on "Reset my password." 6. Choose a new password. Note that the pop-ups are suggestions, not requirements, but a smart password consists of these things and it's good to take that into consideration when creating your password. Once you hit Save, the system will log you in and you're all set!
  8. If you're new here and want to be a part of the community, here's what you need to do! 1. Go to http://www.focusyourart.com 2, Click on "Subscribe to the Community": 3. Click either option below (both are free for a whole year): 4. Check your email inbox. You will receive a validation email after you subscribe. Check your spam/junk folder as it sometimes arrives there. If you still do not receive it within about 10 minutes of subscribing, email Amy (amy@focusyourart.com). 5. Once validated you should be able to login. 6. You may unsubscribe at any time. You will not be charged to join for a whole year so try it out without risk. We are building more into the site every day! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask! Thank you SO much and welcome to Focus Your Art!
  9. You may find, as you peruse the forums, that you want to follow a specific member's posts (especially Amy and Lisa!). To follow a specific member, click on their profile picture in any post to draw up their profile: Once on their profile page, click on "Follow member," which will bring up a pop-up menu. Two things to note: 1. If you have not selected notification settings for members, you will receive a warning stating "You have not chosen how the notification should be sent." You will need to go back to your notification settings (tutorial here) and select an option for members. 2. Just like with posts, you can follow publicly or privately. By default, the system is set up for you to follow publicly, but uncheck the box to keep that private. Once you click on "Follow" the button will now appear green and say "Following member." Just like with posts, you can click on "Following member" and unfollow at any point.
  10. Sometimes you may be interested in following a post that you don't want to comment on or a post you can't comment on. This is especially true for those who are taking the classes. There will be an "Announcements" post (letting you know content has been posted, the teacher's upcoming schedule for checking the forums, etc.) for each class at Focus Your Art. These are posts you cannot reply to, but will be important to follow so you get notified of important information. So how to do that? Click on any post on the forum. On the right side, you'll see this: Note: If you're on the mobile website, this will appear at the bottom of the post. If you click on "Follow" you will get a drop-down menu allowing you to choose how you receive notifications for the post: You can follow a post publicly or privately. The forum automatically checks off "Let others see that I follow this". You can uncheck this to follow the post privately. The number next to "Follow" will go up, but it will not show your name. I followed this post privately, so this is what other forum members will see when they click on the number next to "Follow": I am the "...and 1 other" part. And just a note, at any point if you wish to change your following preferences or simply unfollow a post that you've followed, go back to that post and click on "Following": You can click on "Unfollow" on the left or alter your preferences and select "Update preferences."
  11. The community forums are set up automatically to not follow any content. But many people like to get instant notifications when someone else replies to their topic, or they want to log into the site and see what new content is there from people interacting with their posts or posts they're interested in. The great thing about this forum is there are many ways to customize this for your own preferences. So where are the notification settings? Up at the top of the screen to the right of your name is a little picture of the earth. This is where all of the notifications are. Click on that. And then select "Notification settings." On the next page you'll see several drop-down menu options for things like mentions, followed content, and a few other things. The "followed content" one is perhaps the most important, but you can change settings for anything to customize what content you get notified of. If you click on the "Followed Content" section, it will open up all of your options. Automatically follow new content I post: This is for any topics that you, yourself, start. So your questions, your homework thread if you're in a class, etc. Automatically follow content I reply to: This is for any topics someone else has started, but that you have replied to. There are several ways to follow this content and in the next section you can set it up just how you want to: Method to use for content I follow automatically -A notification when new content is posted: You will automatically get an e-mail or see a notification as soon as someone replies -One email per day with all new content from that day: If you prefer to get a daily digest of responses, choose this option. -One email per week with all new content from that week: If you prefer to get a weekly digest of responses, choose this option. -Do not send me notifications: This is the default option. Choose this if you prefer to go look for new content yourself. You can then choose how you receive notification. Notification List: For those people who use Facebook, this should look familiar. That same little "earth" at the top of your screen will also notify you of new posts in topics you're following. When you log into the site, you'll see a number there if you have any notifications on content you are following. If you click on that earth now, you'll see a drop down with your notifications listed. Anything new will be in bold. Anything you've previously seen, will not be. And just like Facebook, if you click on one of the notifications (new or old), it will take you directly to that post and that response. The other nice thing about it is that it's instant. If I'm on the site and someone responds to my post, the number automatically goes up (or appears). It's real time notification when you're logged in and on the site! Email: This is the other way you can received notifications. You will get an e-mail every time someone responds to a topic you're following. You can also follow members (tutorial here).
  12. The system is set to automatically have your profile picture "icon" be the first letter of your user name. But I imagine you're like most of us and would like to upload your own photo as your icon. To do this, click on your name at the top of the screen and select "Profile." You should see a little icon at the lower lefthand corner of your current profile picture. Click on that. Note: If you do not see this little icon, that means you have reached your upload limit for the site (upload limit is 50MB). If you've uploaded a cover photo, this may be where you've hit your limit. Clicking on that little icon will bring you to where you can upload your photo. It does not have to already be a square photo. The system will allow you to crop it in the next stop. Note: There is a file size limit, so if your file is too big, resize the original photo and save it as a smaller file. Upload your photo and click "Continue." On the next page, you can adjust the crop of your photo to pick the section you want. Once you drag the handles around to get it to look like you want it, hit save, and your profile picture will be updated.
  13. Signatures are a handy place to include information so that those who read your posts, have some basic information about you. This is a great place to put your gear (cameras and lenses), your pronouns, and anything else you think is important to know. To find where you can activate and edit your signature, click on your name at the top of the screen to bring up the drop-down menu and then select "Account settings." On the right side of the screen, you will find Signatures. Once you click on that, the first thing you're going to want to do is tell the forums that you want to view signatures. You do this by clicking the button under "View signatures" and toggling it on. Like this: Then enter in all your signature information in the box and click save.
  14. So if you're like me (and I suspect since we're all photographers you may be!), you have a color palette that you like. The neat thing about this interface is you can change the colors to some degrees. There aren't a ton of options, but they're there. Look to the right of your name and you'll see a little paintbrush icon. Once you click on that, it will draw up a small handful of colors you can pick for primary or secondary colors.
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