ON1 360 Released

I don’t usually spend time on product reviews or the hype around new products, but this one caught my eye – the release of ON1’s latest software and a new service called ON1 360.

On1 360 Released

One of the most frustrating aspects of photography for me has been the inability to manage and edit photographs on a variety of platforms, when and where it was convenient for me.

Desktops are becoming more and more powerful, but who wants to sit in front of one for the day.  In this age of needing minor pleasures, it would be awesome to be able to manage and edit my photographs on my patio, with a cold drink beside me.  My iPad has more than enough capability to do that – it just needed the tools. Continue reading “ON1 360 Released”

Putting Your Best Face Forward

As someone who does the odd presentation (and I don’t mean my presentations are odd) to camera clubs and other special events, I’ve become more used to public speaking each time I do it.  It took me a long time to feel comfortable with it, and even still, I usually don’t eat on the day of a major event.  I worry about pulling it off.  I replay the event over and over in my head.  What I worry about most is the audience reaction.

AudienceThere are tips for audience engagement, not the least of which is the notion of turning your delivery into a conversation, away from a monologue.  People respond best when they feel you are speaking directly to them and pausing for them to react.

Whether in small or large groups, the ability to wander, to look people in the eye, to see their facial expressions and to anticipate their reactions is what can make or break an event.  It’s easy to do in small groups, harder in large halls with dim lights.  But how the heck do you replicate that in a video conference?

Continue reading “Putting Your Best Face Forward”

Working from Home

1700 square feet. My universe right now. A backyard too, and a weekly trip in the car to the grocery store. In and out in 30 minutes.

Home - Top ViewMost of us have similar stories. In fact, exactly the same stories.

Efforts to stay connected to friends and family, and to be productive at home, have been marginally successful.  At first it was kind of surreal:  figuring out how to do things remotely that normally are done face to face.  Strangely, part of the problem now seems to be that in our increasingly technology-driven world, using technology ALL the time gets monotonous and boring quite quickly.  I’m of a generation that never had technology until we became adults.  We still choose other ways to get things done.  Now we can’t. Continue reading “Working from Home”

Pure Filtered Photos

Lee Starter KitOver the past year, I decided to include filters in my camera kit.  I took them on several trips and even on local outings, determined to take the time to use them properly.  I started out with the standard collection of screw-on filters – a polarizer, a variable neutral density filter and a graduated neutral density filter.  I quickly discovered the pros and cons of these types of filters and expanded my kit to include a square-format drop-in filter system.  This consisted of a lens adapter, filter holder and a variety of 100mm square filters.

It’s been an interesting experience that I thought was worth sharing.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

Continue reading “Pure Filtered Photos”

Too Much Insta in my Gram

Apart from my YouTube cruising, looking for interesting photography experiences and inspiration, I indulge in several subscription services that touch on everything from photographic history to how today’s technical developments influence photographic arts.

The_Instagram_LogoRecently, one of these subscription channels included a short discussion on how Instagram has influenced the way photographers approach their art.  The premise was that Instagram has completely changed photography.  Their argument:  its technical requirements and this generation’s social norm of wanting instant gratification and continuous stimulation of the senses has resulted in a new standard for photography.  What is that new standard? Continue reading “Too Much Insta in my Gram”

On the Hunt for Fine Art

We tried a new concept in our local camera club this year:  small special interest groups that would do a deep dive into one subject.  The group would decide how, what, where, when and why, and also for how long.  One of the groups I joined is looking at Fine Art, in all its forms, as a key to improving our own photography.

shutterstock_105461507But first we had to decide what the heck is “fine art”?  We’ve had several animated discussions in the past few months, even a field trip to our local art gallery.  In the past, I’ve written about photography as art and thought that experience would help, but no.  For all the “deep diving” on this subject, I’m not really much further ahead.  Why is this so hard? Continue reading “On the Hunt for Fine Art”

Getting Inside My Head – Learning New Things When Older

PhotoshopI’ve set myself a goal for the next year to become more proficient at Photoshop.  I use a variety of editing tools now, most of which are slider-based.  You move a slider and watch what happens on the screen.  The sliders in most applications are laid out in a nice orderly fashion, and you can literally move from top to bottom and achieve a well-edited well-presented image.

Photoshop is not remotely like that.  It’s like making pizza with every ingredient possible available to you in small containers on the kitchen counter.  There is some semblance of order (Camera Raw, basic exposure adjustments, image cleanup) but once past this, the choices become ridiculously complex, with the opportunity to create whole new “flavours” of pizza by taking previously used flavours and combining them in whole new ways.  No cookbooks, just imagination and an ability to reason how things might go together.

shutterstock_262945148Add to that the challenge of learning something new as an older adult.  We don’t absorb information the same way as we did as a child.  We don’t necessarily retain it even when learned.  Memory declines in uneven ways too – with muscle memory and the memory of physically doing things changing at rates different from the memory of reciting things or recollection.  So I’m not only setting a goal but trying to find the best method to accomplish it. Continue reading “Getting Inside My Head – Learning New Things When Older”

Happy New Year and New Decade

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very happy New Year.  It’s hard to believe we are at the start of the third decade of the millennium.  I still remember where I was and the worries of throwing the switch on the year 2000, when it was expected that everything electronic would meet an untimely end.  It didn’t and our lives have improved (or worsened, depending on your point of view) for all that technology has brought us.

The first iPhones and tablets.  Digital cameras became mainstream for consumers like you and I.  Our homes became smarter and are still learning.  So are our cars.

But with that comes the responsibility of managing our growth for the good of all people, indeed all life, on this planet.  That we still need to work on.

May your year be full of promise and joy, and may it bring you everything you could possibly want.  I thank you for your support and encouragement, and look forward to sharing more conversations with you in the weeks and months to come.

Image Stabilization – Your Camera Can Do What You Can’t

Lens ISOn your camera lens, you may find an inconspicuous button or buttons labelled “IS”, “OIS”, “VR” or something similar.  On the newest bodies, there is no button and you don’t need to turn anything on at all – image stabilization or IS is built into the body and is just there for you all the time.  What is it?  It’s a wonderful technology that stabilizes the image on your sensor when you can’t stabilize yourself or your camera.  We “need” stabilization to avoid a blurry image when the camera is moving.  And despite our best efforts, the camera moves ALL the time.

As humans, we are biological machines.  These machines are in constant motion, even if you do your best to stay still.  Our hearts pump, our nerves fire, our muscles twitch.  Sadly, the only way we can be perfectly still is if we are not alive.

HandThere are also times when you have to move to get the shot – you’re tracking something, you’ve just found that perfect angle, but it’s on a branch up high in the air in the wind (not that you would climb up there), or you’re just plain in the wind and it keeps knocking you and your camera.  Or you are walking and vlogging, which seems to be popular now, and we naturally shake when we walk.  So what can you do? Continue reading “Image Stabilization – Your Camera Can Do What You Can’t”

We Can Fix That

Support TicketI’m becoming more puzzled and concerned about new products released by hardware and software companies that invariably get poor reviews and need to be “fixed”.  We’ve seen that lately in the Apple 15 inch MacBook Pro (which has been “fixed” by the 16 inch released Nov 15/19).  We’ve seen that in Skylum’s Luminar 3 (which as of this writing, has been “fixed” by Luminar 4, released Nov 19/19).  We’ve also seen that very recently in Adobe’s Photoshop for iPad, which as of this writing, has not yet been “fixed”, after having been essentially trashed on its release in Oct.  First-release mirrorless cameras from Canon and Nikon both needed firmware “updates” (i.e. fixes).  And lastly, ON1’s Photo Raw 2020, released in October, seems to have a bug that causes it to do what should be background file management tasks in the middle of a photo edit, preventing any meaningful work from getting done.  As of this writing, that has not been “fixed”.

There seem to be four main factors contributing to these problems. Continue reading “We Can Fix That”