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August 12, 2010

BlogHer ’10: Fabulous women, fun times and inspiring moments

I had an incredible three days at BlogHer ’10 hearing interesting session content and meeting fabulous and highly influential women in the blogosphere. I was amazed at the level of expertise of my fellow BlogHer attendees, particularly regarding inspirational and technical writing techniques and photo taking and editing methods. The great photography sessions I attended in particular inspired me to upgrade my own camera to a DSLR to further my photography skills.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out Amy Sprite’s (Bitchin’ Wives Club) recap of BlogHer and her review of Windows Live, which she admitted has “changed her life.” As a mom with over 3,000 photos on her own PC, I’ve been using some of the cool tools available in the new Windows Live Photo Gallery beta (note you can download by clicking here) religiously, which has allowed me to edit like a pro and it doesn’t cost a penny. I’m convinced this is the best easy-to-use photo editing and management tool available – and it’s free! Give it a try and let me know what you think! Here are a few samples of pictures I took with a point and shoot at BlogHer ’10 and a recent wedding I attended, and how easy it was to edit in just a matter of minutes…

Retouch: This is highly embarrassing, but I’m such a huge fan of this feature that I’m going to bite the bullet and show you what a great tool this is by touching up my own picture. I use retouch on my kids’ photos regularly for stray hairs, drool, food on the face or to cover blemishes and scrapes. On myself, I’m going through all pictures to smooth out wrinkles! Here’s a pic of me on the rooftop of my hotel in New York…






1) Open Photo Gallery
2) Select Photo
3) On the Edit tab, click Retouch
4) Highlight the area you want to fix
5) I also clicked on Auto Adjust (also on the Edit tab) to further tweak my photo to perfection

Panoramic Stitch:

This is a simple, though great feature which allows you to stitch together several photos for that great panoramic shot.

P1030344 Stitch


1) Open Photo Gallery
2) Highlight over photos you would like to stitch together
3) Click on the Create tab
4) Click Panorama, and presto…an impressive photo in seconds

And my favorite feature – which is a blessing to any parent with wiggly kids, allowing you to create that perfect photo – Photo Fuse! The picture below was taken just a couple weeks ago at a wedding I attended in Napa with some friends. I was looking for a good picture of me and my friend Melissa, but couldn’t quite find one where we were both smiling, so I used photo fuse and created the perfect shot in a matter of seconds.

Picture A


Picture B


The Perfect Picture Using Photo Fuse (the best elements of A + B)

DSCF0823 Fuse


1) Open Photo Gallery
2) Highlight photos you want to fuse together
3) Click on the Create tab
4) Click Fuse, and within a few short minutes you’ll see a composite photo
5) Simply highlight each face and options will appear in which you select your favorite headshots

View more of my BlogHer ’10 conference and NY pictures on my Sky Drive album.

Thanks again to all the smart bloggers I met at BlogHer this year. I’m grateful for the conversations, advice and dinner companions in NY. Keep in touch and follow me on Twitter: @WinMommyLisa. And for tips on how to make your blog look its best, make sure to check out my colleague Ben’s blog entry on Windows Live tools.