Wednesday, May 29, 2013



Above is an image that was processed using Photoshop. Took only a couple of minutes to obtain what was desired. A couple of reasons for the quick result.

First, been using Photoshop for over ten years and understand what is needed and when to apply to achieve the results wanted.

Also, because of the many available "plug-ins" tasks - burning, dodging, sharpening - can be quickly accomplished. These plug-ins easily enable simple repeated processing steps.

The next photograph was processed using two programs - DxO and Paint Shop Pro.


DxO provided the correct camera/lens corrections followed by using a variety of Paint Shop Pro options and adjustments. Took several minutes to obtain the final image as only a few Photoshop "plug-ins" also work in Paint Shop Pro. Instead, Paint Shop Pro uses short routines called scripts.

While there are ever so many - free and available for purchase - Photoshop plug-ins, there are few available Paint Shop Pro scripts. Most users produce their own needed scripts and are not widely distributed.

While I am able to "write" a needed Photoshop plug-in, the Paint Shop Pro scripting at this time, is for me a mystery. Scripting is near the top of my to-do list.
If Photoshop becomes unavailable, I believe that the combination of DxO and Paint Shop Pro to be a very acceptable replacement.

Especially find the DxO camera/lens profiles a real positive addition digital image processing. They could be combined with Photoshop, however they seem to "work" well with the Paint Shop Pro program.
I am most impressed with Paint Shop Pro. For one-tenth the cost of Photoshop, it is a complete, fully crafted program.

Graphic Design may require the "bells and whistles" offered in Photoshop, but for photography Paint Shop Pro provides enough tools to produce a finely finished image.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

TGIF: Cloudless Choices

In the last post, wrote about the changing role of Adobe. In moving from a "product" - a boxed version of their CS products - to a "service" - a cloud version for a monthly fee - decided that my updating of their software has come to an end.
With this in mind, spent the last week searching out alternatives to Photoshop.  Found several - about 15 - possible replacements. Several were only usable on an Apple machine and since I am a PC user, they were easily eliminated from consideration.
The remaining seem to fall into two categories. Either limited adjustments designed for images to be used on tablets and social sites like Facebook or constructed to offer a full range of adjustments.

The limited option programs were quickly dismissed. While seemly good for their intended use, they were not a replacement for the full range of options found in Adobe's Photoshop.
This left - for me - only three possible choices. One was Adobe Lightroom, which has not been moved to the cloud. Adobe says that it will remain outside of the cloud for the foreseeable future. Not at all sure what that means, so it was eliminated.
Downloaded and installed trial versions of the remaining two - DxO Optics and Paint Shop Pro.
DxO offers the ability to correct for particular camera and lens combinations, as well as, a full range of adjustments to process Raw and Jpeg image files. The camera and lens corrections are unique to DxO. While the corrections for camera and lens are straightforward, the processing adjustments are not. Might be that with more time with the program the adjustments would become second nature. After all, I have been using Photoshop for over ten years and DxO for only a couple of days, so additional time would certainly improve the ease of use.
Paint Shop Pro offers many of the same adjustments as Photoshop. Moving from Photoshop to Paint Shop Pro is easy to do. While lacking the camera and lens choices found in DxO, the processing adjustments are, for the most part, first rate and quite usable. This is a fine program that is about one-tenth the cost of Adobe's Photoshop.
As an art historian would do, time to compare and contrast these programs. First is a photoshop result -
Then a DxO combined with Paint Shop Pro result -
Am not trying to match the images.  Rather allowing each choice of software to "do its own thing".  The DxO and Paint Shop Pro were used together.  First DxO, in order make use of the camera/lens adjustments, followed by using the adjustments offered by Paint Shop Pro.
They are different and one is not better than the other.  Each has unique qualities.  Just beginning a new trail and will take time to learn the full potential of the two new programs. 
Have decided to purchase both programs, so stay tuned - more to come.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

TGIF: Change Happens

Not Friday, however need to respond to a couple of interesting photographic changes have recently occurred.
First, the growing demand to replace still photography with video.  Photojournists, wedding, commerical and editorial photographers are increasingly being asked/required to produce - along with a still image - a short video showing motion. Still working thru this in my mind and will comment later in another post.
Secondly, the announcement this week by Adobe that they are going to cloud based subscriptions for their Photoshop. 
No more boxed sets with hard copy.  No more purchase price for the software.  Rather there will be a monthly fee.  Initially ten dollars per month that will, in a years time, increase to twenty dollars per month.  The user fee will automatically collected by being connected to the web.
Lots of questions.  Updates/changes will be automatic - whether you want them or not.  Requires the computer, using the software to be "on the web" to collect the fee.  Annual cost would be higher that the present updating costs.
The short story is that as a consumer, you are not in control of what you are paying for.
Solutions?  Recall - for a number of reasons - I have moved away from big/heavy SLR cameras and their large lenses, instead using smaller mirrorless cameras and lenses. My present hard copy of photoshop processes mirrorless images very nicely.  In fact, my present copy offers much more than needed.  See no need -at this time - to "buy in" to the Adobe cloud.
Should my cameras change - not likely - and their replacements not be compatible with the present software, then choices would be either join the cloud or use something other than photoshop.
Believe I have purchased my last Adobe product.
Change happens.  Recall
Now closed and replaced by home and/or cable delivery.  Adobe seems to be following this delivery model. I wish them well, and for now will not be joining them.
Additional - added after reading many web sites.
Believe that Thom Hogan pointed out something that I never considered, when he wrote:
"But here's the big thing I've decided is the real problem here: when you switch from selling something as a product (boxes) to selling it as a service (cloud), you're now in the service business, and you'd damned well be at the top of your game in terms of customer support. Those customers are paying you every month and expect good 24/7 support in return. Adobe needs to turn around their customer service attitude, and fast. If I'm paying money for something every month and get the kinds of answers I've gotten from their customer service that I've received in the past, I'm  going to be a little more upset than I was."
Product vs. Service.  Will wait and see how Adobe works this out.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee: Interesting Week

OT: Scout - the wonder dog - is improving as the days pass.  Now eating twice a day and becoming bit more active.  Considering that in February, the vet said that nothing could be done for her, she has come a long way.   Each day and our time together continue to be ever so valuable. 
Photographically it has been an interesting week. Have been spending some time with the several new technical tools - IPad and its various apps. While not completely under control, seem to be gaining skill in their use.  Need to get out and "field" test to be certain that all are working as they should.
Another portion of time was spent putting together several IPad slide shows.  Reviewing, selecting, sequencing and loading the images seemed to take more time than planned.  Selection was based on showing viewers what it was that I was about.  Slide shows included color, as well as, black and white.
 I am - at this time - not certain about the final medium of presentation.  I am torn, as right now believe "people" are stronger in black and white.  Objects and buildings are best in color.   
As example consider this image from Carlos, Indiana:
In color
or in black and white
Solution is to just keep working and it will settle itself in time.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Recall and Believe

                Near Richmond, Indiana.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Updated Updates

                                    Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
 Scout update:  Still sleeping much of the time, begining to eat a bit more - she is very thin, while weak she is still - when awake - alert, and seems to have no pain.  We take it moment by moment.
Photography/Computer update: The live view problem has been solved. Take a photograph and, without removing the card from the camera, the image is uploaded to a computer and/or an IPad.
Next step is to begin putting these new tools - software, IPhone and IPad - to use in the field.  While all seems to work and be under control here at the Headquarters of Today's Image, it might or might not work and be under control elsewhere.