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Affinity Photo Update

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The view from Kobayashi Beach
Ennis, Montana (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

This image was a good Affinity Photo learning experience for me; I messed up the post-processing of it twice — losing everything I had done to the image (hours of work) each time.  The biggest take away?  Within Affinity Photo, go to File => Save History With Document => Yes.

Ugh.

I’m so accustomed to Lightroom saving the entire post-processing history, that it never occurred to me that this would not be the default setting within Affinity Photo.  Lesson learned.

UPDATE: This is not a global setting.  If you want to save the post-processing history of all your images, you have to set it each and every time!

Fall Afternoon Drama

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Gathering clouds over the Madison Range
Southwestern Montana (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

I love wandering around and grabbing shots as they develop in front of my eyes; this was such an occasion, as Cindy and I were driving around and sightseeing.

Lucky Little Hopper

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A friendly toad
Central Maryland (June 2017)
iPhone 6S + 29/2.2

There’s nothing quite like the chill of seeing movement down by your feet just after passing over a patch of lawn that you thought was clear of any critters.  And so it was with this little guy, who hopped over to the side of this utility cover in our yard right after our electric push-mower whooshed over the top of his hiding place.

When did this occur?  About twenty minutes before posting this image.  I checked him/her carefully to make sure he/she was okay, then let him/her wander off, while I went inside to post-process the image and cool down from the heat for a bit.

We rarely see toads or frogs in our yard anymore; this is the first large toad we’ve seen in over three years (the last one can be seen here), so we always keep an eye peeled for them while we’re doing yard work.

Switching to Affinity Photo

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Macro of a tiger lily
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

I’m done with Lightroom and Photoshop; Adobe doesn’t seem to use much quality control with their patches, and recent updates have rendered Lightroom almost unusable in my computing environment — even with extensive troubleshooting, including uninstalling and reinstalling their products.  Their customer support was dismissive and condescending in dealing with paying customers, and their follow-up attempts to fix the performance problem via product updates has failed.

Years ago, Photoshop was it.  There was no other choice.  That’s still the case if you use their very advanced features (fortunately my needs are far more simple).  Lightroom wasn’t necessarily the best product for managing your photo library, but Adobe kept it compelling by adding features that made it very difficult to say no to their product as the competition grew.

But now?  Now there are serious (and far less expensive!) competitors for both, and I’ve gone with Affinity Photo as my Photoshop replacement.  The image above is the very first that I’ve post-processed within Affinity, and I’m pleased with the results.

My Adobe subscription has been cancelled and all their products have been forcibly removed from my systems.  The king is dead; long live the king!


Update:  This post is generating all sorts of comments both online and offline, so I will add some additional detail:

  • Affinity Photo is a pixel editor; their non-subscription full desktop/laptop version is selling currently for $39.99; you can find the URL for Affinity Photo here.
  • Adobe Photoshop (a pixel editor) and Lightroom (an image manager) are bundled together or with additional packages as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite; their annual (billed-monthly) subscription only desktop/laptop version is currently available for $120-$240 per year, depending on the Creative Cloud package you select; the URL for Adobe products can be found here.

Affinity Photo is NOT a photo image manager with editing tools, like Adobe Lightroom is.  Affinity Photo is truly intended to be a Photoshop replacement, which is serious overkill for most casual photographers.  If your post-processing needs don’t require the horsepower of Affinity Photo, then a different package may be better suited to you.

Affinity Photo is available for the MacOS, Windows, and iOS platforms.  Details are as follows: Continue Reading →

Ancient Springs

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A ridge of tufa towers
Mono Lake, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

Mono Lake.  I’ve wanted to visit and take photos there for years and years.  You can read all the Wikipedia details about it here, but to really appreciate just how interesting (cool, bizarre, weird, wild, otherworldly, etc.) it can be, one has to experience it in person.

Among the treats to see are these tufa, the limestone remnants of ancient underwater springs.  Record snowfall in the mountains above Mono Lake (read about that here) may be bringing some desperately needed water into the lake basin, to raise the shoreline up to where the stresses on the migratory birds are lessened.  And I only recently learned that the current lake level is several hundred feet below what it was during the last ice age, as determined by other tufa towers that were formed when Mono Lake was five times bigger (and much higher) than it is now.

This is one of the many places I want to revisit and explore in far more depth and detail in the future.

On Parade

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Pink tiger lily
Central Maryland (June 2017)
DxO ONE + 32mm/1.8 ASPH

Here’s the latest addition to our side garden… some pink tiger lilies.  Their heavy exotic scent drifts to all corners of our yard, and their bright color makes them the center of attention.

Above Mammoth Lakes

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Overlooking Twin Lakes
Mammoth Lakes, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

There’s a first for everything, and this was ours for visiting this part of California.  What a stunning area!  Neither of us had ever been here before, and we both vowed that it wouldn’t be the last — too much beauty to experience in too short of a visit.

Southern Magnolias Begin To Bloom

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Close-up of a southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) blossom
Central Maryland (June 2017)
DxO ONE + 32mm/1.8 ASPH

I’ve worked at my current employment site for over 11 years now, and it took me an entire decade to discover that they had a southern magnolia (magnolia grandiflora) tucked away in an obscure area that doesn’t get much foot traffic.  I saw this tree for the first time last year — long after it’s normal blooming season — so I’ve been eagerly waiting for the blossoms to pop again this year.  Which they did just a few days ago. Continue Reading →

1929 Ford Model A Special Coupe

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Ford Model A Special Coupe
Central Maryland (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

There was a classic car gathering at my workplace last fall featuring antique cars, newer vehicles, and motorcycles.  Admittedly I’m highly biased and felt that this one was the best in show, though I wasn’t able to get a clean shot of it at the time of the original viewing due to the many admirers.  Later I spotted it parked in a protected area and saw my opportunity to take some photos without a crowd pressing around it — and voilà!  Here it is.

Hollywood Showers

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Water tower house
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania (September 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

Inquiring minds want to know — who was the evil genius behind this design?

Cindy and I stumbled across this oddity when we visited the King’s Gap Environmental Education Center in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, last fall.  Yes, it’s a real water tower that is still in operation today (I didn’t see when it was constructed).  Yes, there is a dwelling built in the supporting structure directly under 10,000 gallons of water.  And yes, the cistern at the top is leaking like a sieve. Continue Reading →