Wednesday, October 28

Just Browsing Software - Editing Software (w/update)

I totally enjoy Adobe Lightroom ... but being an app-aholic - I love exploring other applications to see what best fits my needs. Here's why I like Lightroom ... in order:
1. a digital asset management (DAM) platform
2. a workflow that is user-defined
3. website tools to create sharing galleries - My Portfolio
4. a social media platform to share images and text - Spark
5. a mobile device platform for sharing, editing, and culling - Lightroom Mobile

That shared, my other two often-used applications are Luminar and easyHDR. However, I am always on the lookout for what's out there and specifically, can something else do what Lightroom does without spending $120 a year. wo that I hear and read about that have come to my attention lately were:

RawTherapee vs. DarkTable
Darktable versus Gimp


So if you have free time - check it out, play, and let me know your thoughts.

 - - - - -
Update April 24th: the search engines must have followed my search terms and 'offered' an unsolicited article in my inbox by Review Geek below.

"Lightroom is a program made with photographers in mind. It simplifies the photo-editing process so that users can make their photos look professionally edited in a matter of minutes. However, Lightroom is not alone in that endeavor.

  • DarktableYou can expect a lot of the same color-grading and general editing options you’d see in Lightroom from Darktable. The UI is a bit clunky, but it makes up for that by being open-source so you can customize its feature set as you see fit.
  • RawTherapeeSecond verse same as the first, RawTherapee is also an open-source photo editor in the vein of Lightroom. Choosing between it and Darktable just comes down to which one you like the look of more."

3 Weeks Drone Look Back - Lessons Learned

Well, it's been 3-4 weeks since I have been focusing on drone still photography and found that to become proficient - it requires time. Here are the things I am learning and areas that need to become second nature:

- confirm drone batteries, remote and iPhone are fully charged
- plan in advance location, subjects and weather condition impacts
- remove camera lens protector
- always keep mini-SD card in zippered pouch (consider a spare always stored)
- use preflight checklist and add camera setings confirmation
- immediately after downloading drone mini-SD card to Mac - place SD-card in the case
- select a drone 'home' location that is obstacle-free
- explore all camera features - panorama, wide angle, smart photo
- future: low light settings, video, using ND filters

Saturday, October 10

Getting the Best Composition - Crop Tool Overlays

There are eight (8) crop overlays to aid in creating the best composition in post-process with notes below. Here are best five author uses. In general - use 'O' and shift 'O', use crop after all PP complete; try options and align as best viewed, don't plan final crop on site, but in post-process.

1. Rule of Thirds: primary point of interest at an intersection - try multiple intersections; remove distractions; place horizon about in upper third - not centered
2. Diagonals: similar to thirds; align subject to diagonal lines
3, Triangle: multi-subject lines and simply align where practical
4. Golden Ratio: more advanced 3rds
5. Golden Spiral: elliptical circle used so sweeping angles end at point

Thursday, September 17

Photography Tutorials


Dave Morrow

Using Highlights and Whites Sliders in Lightroom

Create Back & White Masterpiece
Black and White Conversion

10 Tips Photoshop Beginners


Wednesday, August 19

Moving on 'Up' (height that is) Drone

After considering where I journey next with digital photography, I started a self review. Do I purchase a full-frame camera, do I keep what I have, what is missing with my current interest and how can I take it to the next level. Then, I was introduced to the fast expanding world of drone photography by my son-in-law. 

Reflecting on an adage 'it 's not the camera, it's composition and the personal behind the camera', it hit me drone photography may be for me. So after exploring the web and viewing drone video and still photography sites, it was clear, this was for me. I purchased a Mavic Air 2 drone, well rated, upgraded sensor and software from their introduction drones and many many features of their more professional Mavic Pro. So the journey begins - not in place of but in concert with my mirrorless digital photography.

My most recent photo - Boca Ciega Bay looking north just before sunset with the clouds reflecting the sunset on a beautiful evening.

Tuesday, August 4

Organize Your Digital Photos

(from digiCam) The digiKam app is an open-source tool for your computer that allows you to upload images from your digital camera or smartphone. It runs on several operating systems including Linux, Windows, and Mac.

With digiKam you can upload images, pictures, and even videos from your camera, smartphone, or other storage devices. You can then organize your photos any way you choose, using standard filing features like albums, files, and collections.

Saturday, August 1

Duplicare Photo App - Desktop and Phone

I am fairly organized when it comes to my photo library and backing up my pics (and one may say I overkill backups). One area that I have found existed in my 'system' that I am sure is common to many others is duplicate photos.
I use a sophisticated application within my edit software (Lightroom) called Teekesselchen, but I came across a free photo cleaner some my want to try. I used it for finding and removing duplicate photos on my Mac and as a test - it worked fine. (I believe the free version simply searches for file name duplicates, and the comparison offers information on file size to confirm). I have not yet used it on my phone photo library.

Remo Duplicate Photos Remover - iOS
Remo Duplicate Photos Remover - Android
Photos Duplicate Cleaner - Mac
Duplicate Cleaner - Windows
Source Article: Organize your messy photo collection in 4 simple steps

Tuesday, July 28

Wednesday, July 22

How I Organize My Lightroom Photos

3 weeks ago I experienced an external Drive failure and was able to 'recover' 90% of the images over 6 days to a new external drive by moving images from failed to new drive, and then I located most of the missing 10% of the images using a) Google Takeout download, b) backup 'restore' of selected folders from Apple Time Capsule and cloud based service Backblaze. Now the challenge (and the opportunity) was to organize 15,000+ images by a) File Type - RAW and Jpeg, b) Location and c) cross location Themes. Here is current approach within the Library database of Lightroom Classic: 
  1. Assign all images by type within a Location designation already exisiting, so under RAW are sub-folders in location alphabetical order. Ditto for Jpeg's.
  2. I save exported RAW images as Jpeg's (although not necessary since I have the RAW in most cases), but it is convenient for spontaneous sharing.
  3. Vetting of location folders starts by viewing (in grid mode) each folder insuring that a Star Rating is assigned and Keywords for each image correspond to the location ... I am location-centric not date-centric.
  4. Note; Star Rating 1=supporting HDR image; 2=Photo(s) I want to keep for memory sake, not photos for public sharing; 3=an image that has a potential to 'be something', in extreme cases shareable and basic post-processing has been applied; 4=an mage that 'is something' and shareable on my websites, 500px and Facebook; 5=ready for sale, something I would put my name on (tip: or 3/4 rated shared images with many Likes/Wows.
  5. I move in Lightroom RAW images to Raw location sub-folders and Jpeg images to Jpeg location sub-folders
  6. I compare RAW and Jpeg images in a selected location and any Jpeg image that is not in the Raw folder for that location - I move that Jpeg to the RAW location sub-folder (Note: the images in the RAW folder/subfolder are primary)
  7. Further organization underway and being developed includes revisiting in an orderly manner all images starting with rating 5, then 4 etc.
  8. For 4 & 5 rated images, I will consider editing in Luminar using Looks and other presets for a Wow factor
  9. Finally, I move onto the Collections feature in Lightroom where I can 'collect' and organize all images that match a theme, purpose of look I desire (i.e. websites, Lighthouses, Old Town, Sunrise/Sunsets, Family and events, etc.) across all locations without needing to duplicate the image and save.

Wednesday, May 6

Saving Time on Photo Import to Lightroom

I'm constantly frustrated by the amount of time it takes for me to import photos from an SD card into Lightroom. I know presets exist, but I have hesitated to create one due to unformiliarity of the process. Now, after a simple seach of the web, I found that Kelby One had a post providing the answer. Using the preset, I now simply go to Import, launch the preset and enter folder location/destination. Keywords are added after import.
See Save Time by Creating Import Presets 

Saturday, March 28

PhotoPad a Simple, Easy Photo Editor for Mac

Today I use Adobe's Lightroom Classic for editing/enhancing photos. When I started editing photos as a Windows user, I used both Fast Stone Image Viewer and Google's Picasa for editing my photos. Fast Stone doesn't exist for Mac and Picasa was replaced with Google Photos. 

Today, on the photographer sharing forum, a member recommended a free photo-editing application that others may find useful as their primary editing software -or- as a supplemental program for resizing, creating collages, etc. - PhotoPad. Take a look and see if it meets your needs. 

Links: PhotoPad for Mac and PhotoPad for Windows
How to Use: PhotoPad Tutorial 

Thursday, March 26

Nik Collection Links

From the Ugly Hedge Hog Photographers Forum

Here are active links for MAC and Windows for the free Google version. Both of the links are alive.

Installer for Windows [430 MB]
Installer for Mac [590 MB]

Keep in mind there isn't any support for this version. I'd recommend saving the install file. Who can say how much longer these links will last.

Tuesday, March 24

Backup Your Mac and/or Files ... Super Duper

I was reviewing the online videos of Matt K. In one he shared his recommended backup software that is easy, simple and a winner. Have no fear. SuperDuper v3.3.1 is here, and it includes full Catalina support!
SuperDuper is the wildly acclaimed program that makes recovery painless because it makes creating a fully bootable backup painless.

I currently use Free File Sync ... it's free, it has worked well, but in my mind 'you get what you pay for'!

Source: Super Duper

Friday, March 6

Simple Blogger Gallery - a test

Photos from February 2020 Trip to Biloxi via the Panhandle 
(a prelim test to use Blogger as a way to share my recent photos with friends.
html code for table, image #/size = 3/medium, alignment = none)
World's Oldest Police Station
Source: Lily Flora's Pretty

Sunday, March 1

Filling the Gap - Florida Photo Locations

It seems what is missing for photographers and day-trip enthusiasts don't have a resource to find places in Florida to shoot or visit. They all can use Google, Bing or other search engines, but soon get overwhelmed with hundreds of results. 

Soooo ... why not write a book to share locations and photo opportunities and make available as a Kindle book. As coincidence has it, I shared my idea with my buddy, Eddie who noted that recently several of our photographer peers also said "there is no one place to find photo opportunities in Florida. Well, the journey has begun with the intent to provide a resource for photographers and others and share our passion. The first step is complete - the name of the Kindle book will be (assuming not used already) ... Florida Photo Locations. The book will concentrate on Florida locations, subjects for landscape, low-light, out of the way photo opportunities and more. The book will go beyond identifying simply the town but will offer specific subjects and camera positions the reader should consider.

Note: search criteria or keywords readers can use today in any search engine can include: "the oldest towns in Florida; little known fishing villages; best beaches in Florida, etc. To get you started, visit my website Photographic Destinations.

Friday, January 31

Welcome to My Digital Photography Journey Blog

This Blog was created to capture experiences to aid in developing my photographic skills through self-examination - with an emphasis on low-light photography. Below this post are 'Labels' which act as keywords to search posts within the blog for similar content. 

Thursday, January 30

Peer Comparisons

Photographic style is unique to each individual and viewer. Below I have collected 'like' destinations that have photographed and processed by Eddie and myself. My purpose is to understand the styles we each favor, as well as identify features or elements in composition, lighting and post-processing that may be incorporated into future shoots. You always learn by 'viewing the work of the Masters' ... See Peer Compare.

Friday, January 17

Foto Feedback - Bradenton Pier

(+) Good leading lines to the subject - the clock tower.
(+) The moonlight over the water helps the mood, the photo is level and color is good.
(+) Use light to 'hide' cars
(+) Light reflection in the water balances the cars distraction
(-) The halo around the top of the tower is a little distracting 
(-) The left side is not as photo-friendly as the right
(-) Remove halos(My Notes: PP attempted vignette to hide cars)
(-) The eye catches the halos around lights around the clock tower. 
(My Notes: could not address the peak of the tower, not sure what to do with cars on left - maybe take the shot from a different angle)

Using Light to Enhance

Recently, I have been concentrating on 'light', specifically sunlight and artificial light with respect to how it floods or highlights the subject of the photo. Doing so highlights the color, structure and draws one's eye to the subject. Now I focus on the light's direction and, where appropriate, increase or decrease the exposure on selected areas of the lit subject. In the photo to the left, I increased exposure on selective colors, reduced exposure on parts I did not want the viewer's eye to be drawn to and highlighted light sources.