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Tag Archives: Sonnar

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 →

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 →

Much Loved

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Cindy and my Dad
Horseshoe Lake, California (October 2016)
Zeiss Ikon ZM + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM
Ilford Pan F Plus + T-MAX RS (stock) 4 minutes

I don’t where I would be today without these two people in my life — my spouse (and best friend) and my father; I owe everything I am to them.

Friends of the Methuselah Tree

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An ancient bristlecone pine
Methuselah Grove, California (October 2016)
Contax T + Zeiss Sonnar 38/2.8
Kodak Portra 400 + Commercial C-41 processing

How often do you come across another living thing that is older than the recorded history of your own family tree?  Older than the discovery of the Americas.  Older than the ruins at Mesa Verde.  Older than the Abrahamic religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism.  Older than the Great Pyramids of Giza.  Dating all the way back to the mid-to-late Bronze Age — or Babylonia — some 4,000 years ago.

How many cycles of drought, floods, fires, and blizzards have they seen?  How many civilizations have risen and fallen around them while they’ve been alive?  If they could share anything from their experiences, what would it be? Continue Reading →

Sourgrass

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Common yellow woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta)
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

We awoke this past Saturday to our front yard being completely covered with these cheerful blossoms — otherwise known as common yellow woodsorrel.  To give a sense of scale, these blooms are about one-quarter the size of your little fingernail, so getting an image of one of them can be a little challenging.  Cindy also reminded me that they can be eaten in small quantities in salads and the like.

Blue Water

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Sunset at Violettes Lock
Seneca, Maryland (December 2016)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

With the setting sun and the languid movement of the river, this image really reminds me of the Doobie Brothers song, Black Water, especially after the light faded and the colors transitioned to monochrome:

Continue Reading →

Screaming Pink

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Rhododendron blossoms
Central Maryland (May 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

This year is screaming by so fast that I just can’t believe it’s approaching mid-May already. Continue Reading →

Blue Flags in the Morning

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Blue flag iris (Iris virginica)
Ridge, Maryland (April 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 ZM

While getting the boat ready for the past several weeks, I’ve been watching these blue flag irises begin to emerge, just waiting for the right opportunity to take photos of them.  And here it is, in the soft early morning light, with nesting pairs of osprey crying in the background all around me, and the day slowly beginning to come to life.

Flowering Dogwoods Taking Their Bow

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Flowering dogwood (cornus florida) blooms
Central Maryland (April 2017)
Sony RX100 V + Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70/1.8-2.8

Flowering dogwoods are another of my favorite springtime trees, along with flowering cherry trees and red buds.  And maples.  And magnolias.  And…  And… And…

Aw, shoot; let’s be honest here — if it blooms and is even remotely attractive to look at, it’s in my list of favorites.

I used to think that spring was my single-most favorite time of the year, but the truth is that I like them all… I enjoy the constant, subtle changes and transitions that we go through during the course of 12 months.

But… getting back to spring, I always associate flowering dogwoods with Easter.  Why?  Because that’s when I formally noticed them for the first time. Continue Reading →