Saturday, May 17, 2008

I'll Be at the SCC This Fall!

This is me dancing:

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I am so happy to be able to go to the 18th Annual Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta Georgia this fall. It's from September 30 through October 5, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia. It's a five day symposium about all things transgendered.

Last year they had four sessions a day for three days with about nine different topics per session to choose from. There will be topics on how to look and sound more feminine. These will include classes like; tips and tricks with makeup, voice coaching, and how dress for your body type. They will also have classes that are practical, such as how to protect yourself, political activism, and how to bring transgender awareness to your place of business. I'm sure they will have vendor booths of all kinds of products and services. They may even have a costume contest!

They will also be bringing back the job fair this year. So this will be the 2nd Annual Transgender Career Expo 2008 and will be held on Friday, October 3rd.

There will be excursions and dinners that will be on an off-site from the hotel. And I'm sure I will meet a lot of my friends and readers for the first time in person!

Meeting my fellow crossdressers, that I have met on the Internet, is what I'm looking forward to the most. They have been the kindest and most supportive people I have ever met. Yes, even more so than my shrink! I'm really looking forward to sharing time with them and also meeting new friends.

And even though my wife does not read my blog nor sees me dressed, she is tolerant of my crossdressing and has allowed me to go on this excursion. So I thank you dear, from the bottom of my heart.

So, all the things I have been talking about on this blog, about improving myself and being a "Gender Illusionist" will have a target of sorts. I'm using this event as inspiration to finish these things that I have started.

Love, Tracy

Saturday, May 10, 2008

So Who's More of a Man?

I ask this question not to establish a true comparison between crossdressers and non-crossdressers. It is rhetorical in nature.

But one of the main attributes of being a man is being strong and not being scared. But in talking to every day guys, they wouldn't even entertain the idea of wearing say a pink shirt let alone a dress of any kind. They wouldn't be caught dead in the women's clothes section looking at clothes. What are the scared of? Will they become emasculated? Will that bra reach out and bite them? Will they lose their Mojo? What takes more guts and daring? The guy that cowers in front of a piece of cloth, or one who is ready and willing to wear it and not give a darn what people think?

When I hear the kind of derogatory remarks usually made against crossdressers, that of being weak or a sissy, I have to laugh. Sorry, believe it or not you have seen a crossdresser at some time in your life and did not know it. They had the courage to go out looking totally different than what a man should look like, and to me, that takes a lot of courage. And to pull off this illusion in public took a lot of confidence in who and what they are. They know that they can switch back to being male at anytime. That nothing has been lost, but something has been gained. That a part of them repressed by society has been set free.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Photo Enhancing Software and it's Uses

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practise to deceive!


Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17.
Scottish author & novelist (1771 - 1832
)

Photo enhancing software is now a fact of life. There's a famous video on YouTube called 'Model Evolution With Makeup & Photoshop':





So you can see with Photoshop you could probably turn Popeye into Gisele B√ľndchen. OK, I know what would be the point.


I'm just learning the basics of Photoshop now. The most important concept with either Adobe's Photoshop or Corel Paint Shop Pro is the idea that each picture is composed of different layers, much like a sandwich. Since you can edit each layer separately it's easy to move and adjust objects in the picture. I used this web-site to get the basic idea of how to use PhotoShop 7.0 Beginners' Guide to Adobe Photoshop


A fellow crossdresser friend Darla G turned me on to this web site: PhotoshopCAFE I especially liked the cast shadow tutorial.


I've also bought this book:

The Photoshop 7 Wow! Book (WOW!) by Jack Davis


This book is really loaded with instructions, quite dense. Photoshop is one of the most feature laden software packages, so I didn't want one of those "Dummies" or "Idiots" books that I usually grab. I don't need jokes, I need to learn the mad compositing skills!


So how far should I go with this technology?


It's very tempting to go all out with this software thinking I have to compete with Cosmopolitan and Vanity Fair Models. But that is not my goal.


I am determined to do my gender illusionment the old fashioned way, with makeup, clothing camouflage and just plain hard work. The photos on this blog have only been cropped and had the lighting adjusted. From time to time I have taken a good picture and since I'm using an inexpensive camera get dust hallos. I do edit these out. I have posted pictures elsewhere and one time I had a sore from a bug bite on my leg, this too was edited out. But, I can't see making changes to my face to be more feminine or making myself look skinner. My bottom line is: If I can't create the illusion in person, I won't do it. I do plan to go out of my house some day, and meet the people that have seen me on my blog and in other pictures. The last thing I want them to say is, "Who are you, and what did you do with Tracy"?


It's a good tool that can be abused. One use may be to manipulate things to see what would make me look better. A sort of virtual plastic surgery. Now these types of pictures could be very useful. But these would be working photos, and only I would see them (or my plastic surgeon!).


One cool thing I do want to do is since I am trapped in my man-cave, er, Tracy's Workshop©, is to place my picture in different locals. The gender illusionist that does this really well is Grae Phillips. She not only does the female models but also models as her male self. Sometimes is the same picture!


Here's some of my first attempts:


Tracy At The Beach!


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Four Bad News School Girls


This is a new one. I'll have to explain who you're seeing here. This is me using four different female foam latex masks. The female latex mask thing needs a post all it's own, but in the meantime, enjoy:


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Oh, and I did use Photoshop one time for a funny picture of my mascara running, but it was blatantly obvious and I even said it was done with Photoshop. This is what it looked like:


Darn You (Fill in the blank)


In posting this for everyone to see I hope I can keep to my promise and not go down that slippery slope.