31 October, 2017

Silver Efex Pro – saved by DXO

Vex in Brisbane's West End - Sigma 85mm, f/1.4

It appears that Silver Efex Pro and the rest of the Nik Collection of programs have dodged the bullet. DXO has taken over the collection and says they will, "continue to develop the Collection for the benefit of the photographer community." Thanks, DXO.

It was a cliff hanger — I, certainly, predicted the Nik Collection's doom.

While I like several of the other programs in the suite, it's Silver Efex Pro that I was really going to miss.

For many users the killer features were control points, presets and film emulations. I rarely used presets or emulations, and I think that the latest colour and luminance range masking features in Lightroom provide useful alternatives to (the still great) control points. For me, the structure and fine structure implementations were standouts.

We're just going to have to wait and see where DXO takes it.

26 October, 2017

Lightroom Classic

Susanne at the Shornecliffe Pier - Sigma 85mm, f/1.4

Adobe is dropping its stand-alone version of Lightroom. Both of the Lightroom incarnations (the desktop and the mobile) will be subscription only, and that's upsetting some users. Some are even threatening to jump ship; seemingly based on a view that there's more "security" in a stand-alone version than in a subscription.

I don't see it.

Some users seem to feel this is a money grab by Adobe — well, of course. And, I hope that means that Adobe will remain committed to keeping the circus tent up. The time to worry is when there's little or no money in it — I'm thinking of Nik Software here.

Stand-alone or subscription, in this digital age we RAW shooters are at the mercy of the software houses to address new cameras and sensors, new lenses, new operating systems, bug fixes, hacking vulnerabilities, and (not least) to provide new features. 

I've been on an Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop/Portfolio subscription plan for some time, and it's working just fine.

The Church of the Dignity of All Men and Women

About this time in 2010, I posted about gay and lesbian marriage. It was my tenth post on this blog. I think it's time to repeat the post:

      They said, "No church approves of 
gay or lesbian marriage."
      I said, "Mine does."

      They asked, "What church is that?"
      And I said, "The Church of the Dignity of all Men and Women."

      No incense.
      No funny hats.
      No sermons (save for this one).

      I agreed that I need a creed—
      but all I could think of was,
      "Live and Let Live."

      There are, unfortunately, a few empty pews.

01 October, 2017

Amazing Gaze

Anne along Queens Wharf Road, Brisbane - Sigma 85mm, f/1.4 Art

I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.*
In life, when you first notice someone and they're already smiling, the one thing you know is that they are not smiling at you: Heard a joke, happy person, birthday. Could be anything, but it's nothing to do with you.

When you catch someone's gaze, however, you hold that gaze awaiting the outcome: A nod, a wave, a turn away, a frown, or a smile.

So in portraiture, when the subject is gazing directly into the camera lens (our eyes), we lock on to that — awaiting an outcome that never arrives.

* From the lyrics to "Amazing Grace,"  author unknown, ca 1779