Posts Tagged ‘learn’

First of all, happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrated it!  I had planned on a Thanksgiving post, listing what I’m grateful for and whatnot, but I woke up yesterday with a swollen, very unhappy wrist on my dominant hand.  I’m being ginger with it today, and trying to really limit my computer use, but I did want to get this timely post out.

So, the holiday shopping season has officially begun!  I, for one, despise the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday.  Crowds are not my thing in the best situation.  Even a gentle trip to the grocery store on an average day can be too much for me.  This is my hiding out period where I really try to leave the house as little as possible.

A less stressful approach to holiday shopping, in my opinion, is in Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  Now, I may or may not technically qualify as a “small business,” but I think I fit the spirit of it if not the letter 🙂  You don’t get much smaller than buying from a single person!  And Cyber Monday?  Heck yeah, I’ve got that covered!  Everything of mine is available online.

And what, pray tell, are these wondrous wares?  Well, let me give you a little run-down!
I have blank greeting cards available at my Red Bubble shop!

One of the many blank greeting cards I offer.

Personally, I love having a stash of blank greeting cards in a drawer, ready to go at a moment’s notice!  You never know when you might need them.  And I’ll confess, I sometimes buy cards for their sheer beauty, with no intention of giving them away.  Those ones usually end up on my wall somewhere.  Either way, they’re very well-made, handy and inexpensive!  And if there’s an image you’d like but don’t see in my shop, let me know; in almost every case I can add it for you!  Stocking stuffers, anyone?
I also sell 2014 collectable calendars!

Sarah Allegra 2014 Calendar

Sarah Allegra 2014 Calendar

Each year I put out a new calendar with 12 of my most popular recent works.  This year’s batch includes images from my DreamWorld and actor portraits series as well as my CFS/fibro/ME series Enchanted Sleep.  I genuinely love the quality Red Bubble puts into their calendars; they’re printed on gorgeous, thick, heavy paper which is perfect for jotting down as many notes and reminders as you’d like!  Plus, I love the extra magic the calendars sprinkle into every day.  And need I tell you they make excellent gifts?  🙂

On a side note, I keep my Red Bubble prices low so that they’re available to as many people as possible.  I don’t make much from these sales, but it’s important to me that as many people as possible have access to my images.

For those looking for a unique gift, either for themselves or someone they love, my on-line, self-discovery-through-photography course Introspective is an excellent choice!



Introspective is a fun and truly unique, eight-week experience.  Each week I will guide you through a new concept to explore with photography, such as love, fear, secrets and joy.  What do those subjects mean to you?  And how would you portray them in a photograph?  Let’s find out!  Self portraiture is encouraged (as I think it’s an invaluable way to know yourself better), but by no means is it required.  At the end of the eight weeks, you’ll have gotten to experience yourself in a new way and learned things you never knew before.

This would be perfect for your artsy sibling, the person who has everything or anyone with a desire to have an adventure and come out knowing themselves better!
And of course there are always prints available!

Sarah Allegra Etsy Shop

I sell prints through my Etsy shop, which are printed by an amazing local printer.  They are printed on museum-quality, archival, thick, luscious paper which is not unlike watercolor paper.  All the images are printed in very small, limited edition runs and come individually signed and numbered.  They come in three different sizes and are truly stunning.  These really have to be seen to appreciate how beautiful they are.  The level of detail captured in these prints is spectacular.  And as with the cards, if you would like a print of something and you don’t see it in my shop, just let me know!  In almost every occasion, I can accommodate your request.

Thank you to everyone for supporting my art through your kind comments, well wishes and purchases.  I so appreciate all of them and I hope everyone has an excellent holiday season!  Here’s a lovely DreamWorld image, featuring the gorgeous Katie Johnson!

Faerie Dust

Faerie Dust

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I can’t remember now how I came across Phlearn.com, although I imagine it probably had to do with Googling some kind of Photoshop technique I was having trouble with. However I found out about them, I am SO glad I did! There is no better site on the entire internet for providing photography and editing tutorials. And so many of their episodes are free! They also sell very in-depth, comprehensive Pro Tutorials for a very nominal price considering the wealth of knowledge each one contains. I myself have bought and thoroughly enjoyed several of the Pros, and I’ve been watching their frequent free episodes with pleasure. There are few times I watch an episode and don’t exclaim, “holy shit, I had no idea you could do that!” at least once.

The thing is, Phlearn teaches me things that I’m interested in learning. Let me give you an example; I’ll introduce you to them the way I came to them, with an episode on editing your photo to give it a fairy tale feel. As soon as I saw the title, I knew I was in for something very different. The internet is full of information about Photoshop, and many tutorials, yes, but few like this. No other site comes close to matching Phlearn’s inventiveness, it’s constant ability to stretch and challenge itself and its audience, while simultaneously breaking Photoshop down into understandable chunks. I’d been editing my photos, doing composites and levitation photos for a while; I was not unfamiliar with Photoshop, but I feel that my skills have improved dramatically since I’ve been watching Phlearn. I would be remiss if I failed to mention Phlearn’s founder, Aaron Nace, and how much he personally adds to the learning experience. He is friendly and silly, and immediately puts you at ease, like your good buddy is talking to you. But that ease is combined with an unmatched, nearly omniscient knowledge of Photoshop, and a gift for explaining complicated things in a way that’s easy to grasp. Phlearn would not be Phlearn without Aaron… who is also unfailingly nice every time we interact on Twitter 🙂

Want some more examples of the kind of instructions you’ll be getting with Phlearn? Here you go.  Turn day into night.   What makes a good composition: Analyzing 7 great imagesHow to create a cinemagraphCreate stars and fog in PhotoshopChanging the mood of your photo with color and textureCreate scary eyes Make Lady Gaga-esque makeup.

The list of episodes just go on and on. They run the gamut from lighting, composition and other photo basics to the surreal and fantastic. That’s why I love them; they cover absolutely everything useful and interesting about photography and Photoshop. If I ever have a question about either subject, I look to Phlearn first, and there’s usually a video ready to explain it to me.

Plearn is so endlessly inspiring to me, it’s difficult to pick out just one photo of mine and point to it as a direct result of an episode. I tend to use bits and pieces here and there, and weave them into my photos naturally as the need arises. But, here are a few I can point to where the hand of Phlearn can be seen.

Hope Of Heaven When Their Lives Ain't Lived - I replaced the original tree in the background with a different tree I'd shot, "tailored" the dress to fit Veronica better, and did a lot of color work.

Hope Of Heaven When Their Lives Ain’t Lived – I replaced the original tree in the background with a different tree I’d shot, “tailored” the dress to fit Veronica better, and did a lot of color work.

The Rending - I used color toning techniques, light theory and created lighting effects all learned from Phlearn.

The Rending – I used color toning techniques, light theory and created lighting effects all learned from Phlearn.

The Importance Of Mortality - another self portrait.  I used lighting and light painting techniques I learned through Phlearn, as well as adding in the atmospheric "dust" or faint "stars," however you want to describe them :)

The Importance Of Mortality – another self portrait. I used lighting and light painting techniques I learned through Phlearn, as well as adding in the atmospheric “dust” or faint “stars,” however you want to describe them 🙂


And no, I’m not getting paid in any way for this post; no one’s even asked me to write it.  I just genuinely love Phlearn.  It’s such an incredibly useful site that gives so much while asking for nothing.  Aaron Nace is committed to spreading knowledge as far and wide as possible, so that all can benefit from it.  That’s such a rare and worthy motivation.  So since other people who read my blog are also into photography, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about Phlearn, to keep the knowledge growing.  And maybe have the chance to thank Aaron and all the other people it takes to run Phlearn just a little bit for all their very hard work.  It is certainly appreciated 🙂
Don’t forget to order your 2013 calendar of my work soon if you want it for Christmas! The blank cards would make excellent stocking stuffers also 🙂
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