Moving My Adobe Photoshop to the Cloud

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Besides the thousands of pictures that I take of the kids I also take tons of pictures of food, groceries and shopping excursions for this blog. I don’t claim to be the best photographer but I’m constantly trying to get better and for years I’ve used Adobe Photoshop to edit my photos and help make them even better. Being a longtime Photoshop fan I have to admit that I was a little nervous about switching from Creative Suite, where I get to hold onto the CDs to reinstall the software if needed, to the Creative Cloud where you get an annual subscription to cloud based software.

I was anxious to give the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan a try so I first tested it out with the above image from my Make Your Own Root Beer Sugar Scrub post. The image needed a little bit of color adjustment before I added layers for the wording and the opaque bar beneath them. Then of course I added the watermark for the site and the image was ready to be posted.

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Although I kept searching for differences in functionality I really couldn’t find any. The subscription version of the software works just like my previous version did except that it has the added benefits of being able to organize, edit and share my photos across my desktop, mobile devices and the web.

I use both a laptop and a desktop computer and the new Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, which includes both Photoshop CC and Lightroom, makes it easy to access and work on my projects from wherever I am and whichever computer I’m using. The pure convenience of the Creative Cloud has sold me on it, but I’m also thrilled to have a more affordable option for my favorite Photoshop photo editing software.

 

Put the Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 on My Wish List!

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Toshiba 2_0

In my little corner home office I have an L-shaped desk where my desktop computer sits on one side and my laptop sits on the other. Usually when I’m working at home I have both computers on and I use them to multi-task more efficiently, but I do most of my work on my laptop as it more convenient for me since I travel with the laptop and sometimes take it to the living room or kitchen when I have a big project to finish. Because I depend so much on my laptop and it’s a few years old, I like to keep up with latest technology and features in laptops like this Toshiba Satellite Radius 12.

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Getting to Know Your GoPro: Charging Your GoPro & Battery Life

When I bought my GoPro I went ahead and bought an extra battery from Best Buy for $19.99.  I think it would be a great idea if you plan to use your GoPro quite a bit to always have an extra battery handy.  In order to charge your battery you have to take your GoPro out of the case, on the side there is a battery compartment, take the cover off of that and you plug in the USB cable then put the other end in your computer or you can use an adapter like you might for your smartphone and plug it in to an electrical socket. This will charge your battery and the light will flash red until it is fully charged.  To charge your extra battery open the battery compartment, take the original battery out, put your extra battery in and close the compartment. Plug it back into your computer or adapter and charge that battery.

When I first purchased my GoPro I had planned to take videos of my kids playing lazer tag at my oldest son’s birthday party so I got it all charged up and ready to go.  I spent some time getting the GoPro app downloaded onto my phone and connected to the camera via WiFi so I could see on my phone what was being video taped while we were running around playing lazer tag.

Well sadly I messed up and didn’t get the lazer tag video because I hadn’t used the camera yet, I had let it sit on my desk for two days before the birthday party, I didn’t bring the extra battery that I had charged and although I turned off the WiFi app on the phone I did not turn off the WiFi on the camera.  The camera battery is supposed to last about two hours according to the GoPro website’s comparison chart or an hour and a half if it’s on WiFi and you’re using the app.  It probably lasted on my desk for about that hour and a half and by the time we got to the skating rink to play lazer tag it was dead and I hadn’t brought the extra battery. Like most things I learn the hard way, that won’t happen to me again, I will always bring the extra battery and I will be checking to be sure it is charged before I leave the house!

Check out my YouTube channel for more GoPro videos on how to remove your GoPro from the packaging and how to get the best deal on GoPro accessories.

 

Make Gift Giving Easier with Gift Ideas from Best Buy

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Make Gift Giving Easier with Gift Ideas from Best Buy

My oldest son just turned eleven a couple weeks ago and he’s getting surprisingly hard to buy gifts for.  When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said he only wanted two things – a snake and Grand Theft Auto V.  After explaining why he wasn’t going to get either of those two things I asked what else he might want and he said “okay mom, how about Grand Theft Auto IV?”

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Getting to Know Your GoPro: Getting the Best Deal on Accessories

When I bought my GoPro I thought it would be a great test drive to try it out at my oldest son’s birthday party last weekend.  We were going to play lazer tag at our local skating rink, so I was trying to figure out what would be the best way for me to wear the GoPro while the kids are playing lazer tag and I was planning to play also.  My first thought was, there is no way that I’m wearing this thing strapped to my head.  I thought maybe a chest harness would work so I looked into that, then I realized that I would have a harness on while playing lazer tag so I couldn’t do the chest harness.

Then I found a clip, there is a quick clip that you can get and I thought that would be perfect so I bought a set at Best Buy that has a head strap and a quick clip in the package. I thought I could use the quick clip to attach the camera to my lazer tag harness. Well, I bought the set for $19.99 and I also bought a floating handle grip for the kids to use since they’re at the pool a lot and it will keep the GoPro from sinking. The Handler was $29.99, then when I got home from the store I realized that I’d probably need a case, something to protect the camera while we’re carrying it around and going places.

I found an accessory kit and case on Amazon for $45.99 and it came with 38 pieces inside. It came with a smaller case inside, a floater like the handler I bought, maybe not as pretty but it does the same job.  It also has a monopod or selfie stick, whatever you want to call it, it’s got a tripod and tripod adapter because the GoPro will not screw right onto a standard tripod so whatever kind of tripod you want to use you’ll also need an adapter. It came with a bicycle clamp, a suction cup mount to attach to the dashboard of your car, an extender piece to make any mount taller, it also came with the clip that I was wanting, a wrist strap, a chest harness and a head strap. It also included a whole bunch of other mounts, adhesive mounts, replacement parts, other straps, and anti fog strips. This kid for $45.99 was $4 cheaper than the two other accessories that I bought so I think I’m taking the first two back and keeping the accessory kit that I bought. It was a much better deal, gives me many more options, and it came with the case and the clip I originally wanted as well.

I’m thrilled with my purchase of the GoPro Accessory Kit, I’m sad that I have to go back to the store to return the other two things, but I’ll get more money back for those than I spent on the two original accessories that I purchased. Most stores have options like Best Buy’s Price Match Guarantee where they will match the prices, including online prices at places like Amazon, for an identical item, but I found that even though Amazon’s prices for the two accessories I originally bought were cheaper than at the store, it was cheaper still to buy aftermarket accessories than to get the name brand and I’m very pleased with the quality of the items that came in this accessory kit.

Be sure to watch my next video on GoPro batteries and battery life and you’ll see how I messed up my video of the kids playing lazer tag. You can also check out my post and video on the purchase of the GoPro and the problems I had just getting it out of the package.

 

 

Getting to Know Your GoPro: Purchase & Removing from Packaging

I just recently purchased a GoPro and I did a bunch of research online to figure out which was the best one for my family’s needs. The online deal at Best Buy was $399 for a GoPro Hero 4 Silver edition, plus you’d get a $50 gift card back when you buy one. When I got to the store to check it out in person it was on sale for $379 but no gift card. I mentioned the online deal and was told that this was a better deal because if I bundled some accessories with my purchase I’d get 15% off the accessories. Well the accessories were cheaper at Amazon so I asked about their Price Match Guarantee and ended up getting the GoPro for $349 and the accessories for a better deal than if I had bundled them and got the discount.

I’m kind of late getting on the GoPro bandwagon because I have plenty of things to take videos with.  I used my iPhone a lot for videos, I have a Canon DSLR camera that I use for videos and I have an old Flip video camera that still takes excellent videos so I didn’t think that I needed a GoPro but I recently talked myself into getting one because I thought it would be the best way to action videos of the kids, especially in moist environments like the pool, the water park and at the beach.  So I went to Best Buy and I bought a GoPro Hero 4 and it’s the coolest little thing!

I got it home and I really just wanted to take it out of the box and play with it but I learned that just getting it out of the box was a challenge.  I have a Masters Degree in eBusiness and Technology, I have an IT job that I love and I consider myself to be technically savvy, but just getting the GoPro off the packaging was difficult.

It comes with an outer sleeve that you have to take off, then you can get the top clear part off and you’ll see that it’s attached to the top of the inner box.  I could not for the life of me figure out how to get the GoPro off the box.  Now inside the box there are instructions, not a very big instruction manual, but they encourage you to go to their website for the rest of the details that you might need.  I read the instructions three or four times and nowhere in here does it tell you how to get the camera off the box.

I didn’t want to break the plastic part on top of the box because I thought it would be a great way to store it maybe, or the mount might be good for something else.  Eventually I figured out that there are two tabs in the front, you squeeze the two tabs together and then the camera will slide right off.  Once I got it all apart and took the inner box out of the inner box I saw the removal diagram right on the back, of course I was in too big of a hurry to play with it to even see that!

Check out my YouTube channel for more GoPro videos on how to get the best deal on GoPro accessories and how I learned the hard way about battery life.

 

 

Take Your Tech to a New Level With a Drone

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Take Your Tech to a New Level With a Drone

My oldest son is ten years old and he loves to make videos of anything and everything.  If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he’ll tell you he wants to be a “YouTuber”, he wants to make videos for a living.  I think he’s learning some great skills that he can hopefully put to use later in life and I really enjoy watching some of the videos he’s been taking of himself and his siblings playing and creating things. He’d go absolutely nuts if he could take some videos from the air using a drone like this new 3DRobotics Solo Drone at Best Buy. It’s the first ever drone powered by two integrated Linux computers, which makes it super easy for anyone to capture perfect photos and videos.

Take Your Tech to a New Level With a Drone

The Solo drone can even define its own flight, freeing the user up to focus on getting the perfect shot. I think the neatest thing is that it’s also the first drone to support full control of GoPro cameras, plus it can deliver live HD video to your mobile device wirelessly or through the controller’s HDMI port so you can get live broadcasts. The 3DR Solo is a smart drone that is designed for easy flying and it has awesome features like computer assisted Smart Shots and push button flight.

Take Your Tech to a New Level With a Drone

The 3DRobotics Solo Drone is available right now at Best Buy, just in time for Father’s Day and I’ve read that drones are going to be one of the hottest Christmas gifts of the year. Best Buy is the destination for drones, including the Solo which retails for $999. Now through July 11th you can get a FREE Solo Mart Battery (RV $149.99) when you purchase the 3DR Solo Drone.

 

Check Out the Hot New LG G4 Smartphone at Best Buy

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

LG G4 Smartphone

I recently went to Best Buy to check out the smartphones and the advances in technology are amazing. There are three things that set the new LG G4 Smartphone apart from the others – the camera, the display and the design. The sleek, stylish design is really eye catching and its available with genuine leather, metallic and ceramic style back covers so you can pick the style that best suits you and your lifestyle. The back side of the phone has a curved design so it fits more easily in the palm of your hand and you can upgrade it to a whopping 2TB with a micro SD card, wow that will hold an incredible amount of apps and photos.

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Best Gift Ideas for this #HintingSeason

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fusion TIFF File

Need some last minute gift ideas? There are some fabulous tech gifts available at Best Buy like the Xbox One, JBL speakers and headphones, Garmin and TomTom that are sure to please everyone on your holiday gift list. There are several different Garmin and TomTom GPS units available with terrific features like bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling, large touchscreen displays, traffic and weather updates, lane assist, lifetime traffic and map updates, voice recognition technology and spoken turn-by-turn directions.

best_buy_xbox

The Xbox One was at the top of my kids’ wish list last year, it was built by gamers, for gamers and has lots of great game titles, many exclusive, like Halo, Sunset Overdrive, Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Madden 15, Just Dance 15, and the kids’ favorite Skylanders. In addition to being a great gaming console, Xbox one connects you to the latest TV shows and movies through your favorite apps.

best_buy_JBL_Holiday

Portable bluetooth speakers from JBL are a fabulous idea for all the music lovers on your gift list. Use them indoors and outdoors and have your favorite music everywhere you go. We like to use ours while we’re grilling out, it’s got a great sound, super long battery life, and you can even charge another device like your phone or MP3 player with the speaker while listening to music. Your friends and loved ones will be thrilled that got them one of these hot gifts from Best Buy!

 

Capture Your Holiday Memories with a Canon from Best Buy

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post and I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

best_buy_canon

I was in the real estate appraisal business when digital cameras first became popular and affordable. I remember how much money it saved my office to be able to provide digital photographs of properties in our appraisal reports rather than having to have photos printed, not to mention how much time it saved us in not having to wait for the photos to be developed. Since that time I’ve been passionate about digital photographs and now that I have five young children I find myself taking TONS of pictures all the time. It amazes me that my children won’t even remember a time when film photography was the only option, but I recall that Canon cameras were my favorites then just as they are now.

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I personally own a Canon EOS Rebel digital camera and it is one of my favorite possessions, I carry it with me on trips and to every party or family function that I attend. Best Buy is the ultimate destination for the latest cameras to capture your holiday memories and this Canon EOS Rebel T5i is one of their best-selling DSLRs. This camera makes advanced photography easy and fun, and gives you exceptional image quality, along with a host of features to enhance your creative expression. You can even capture Hollywood caliber full HD video and you get continuous autofocus while taking HD video. The camera features an 18.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5 image processor to ensure vivid, crystal-clear images and the 3″ vari-angle touch screen simplifies navigation.

Now through December 20th you can save $150 on the Canon EOS Rebel T5i at Best Buy, visit the Best Buy website to learn more!

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