Colorado Sunflowers

Even though I still can’t process the raw images from the G3, I decided to process the jpg as best I cound and see what I could come up with.

(There was a slideshow here on the old blog, not sure how I’ll do that now.)

Nemesis

I use multiple machines, and I use shared data and files (1Password database, Lightroom catalogs, tax returns, etc.) on those machines. Nothing has been as useful as Dropbox for making that a completely painless way to live.

Until Dropbox decided to suck.

 

  1. After claiming “no one can access your data, not even us!” and “all your data is encrypted” it was discovered that the data is only encrypted once it arrives on Dropbox servers and employees have access to the encryption key for your data – the only thing preventing them accessing your private data is an internal policy against that. After that cute little deception, I can’t trust a policy to protect my data.
  2. They made a coding mistake that allowed any password to work on any account, and left the mistake public for over four hours. Every account on the system was open to the world. When it was discovered, they fixed it but said nothing.
  3. Their idea of “press releases” for important news like the password debacle amounts to a blog post on their obscure blog that nobody reads.
  4. They changed their Terms to claim almost every legal right known to mankind on every file you put in Dropbox. That’s when I closed my account.

 

Dropbox can be used for:

 

  • Backup
  • Syncronizing files between multiple machines
  • Sharing files publicly

 

The Dropbox people (now filthy stinking rich bastards who will likely care even less about their customers thanks to huge VC funding they mostly pocketed rather than increasing the security of their product) seem to focus on the ‘sharing files publicly’ use case. This is reflected in their attitude in the forums, their product design of data de-duplication and no user-controlled encryption, and in their recent Terms changes. My use of Dropbox, sync’ing private files between machines, has nothing to do with sharing anything publicly and really needs more security.

Here’s the rub. Still, nothing works as well. I picked Wuala because it is more secure and I could get more storage space for free. But it’s slow as hell and I think it just corrupted my Lightroom catalog file. F*#K!! I can’t believe I’m considering using Dropbox again. I despise the Dropbox people don’t agree with how the people behind Dropbox run their company and their product, but I love the Dropbox product. It’s my nemesis. It could be so much better, too, but they don’t care.

I hope and pray that iCloud solves this before I cave in and go crawling back to Dropbox.

Star Trails

I tried shooting star trails during the Perseid Meteor Shower last night – my first star trails with a digital camera.

As I was finishing up processing, I was playing with color casts. I couldn’t decide which one I liked most, so I put them all in a single image and post it here. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

 

Art trumps gear

How important is your gear to your craft? If you lost it all and had to start over, would you give up, or would you still work your craft with your cell phone, your compact point ‘n shoot, your grandfather’s speed graphic?

Cool gear is cool, but if your photography is your art and your craft it must come from the heart.

Round-trip Editing

Many Photoshop plugins either also work directly in Lightroom or have a version specifically for Lightroom. For example, Nik Software, OnOne Software, and Topaz Labs all do this in one fashion or another.

Let’s say I use a noise reduction plugin, then a sharpening plugin, then a color effects / HDR plugin, then a black & white plugin, and finally a framing plugin, and all this completes the look of my image. It may seem a bit contrived, but it’s not that uncommon.

So, if I do this in Lightroom, a new TIFF file is added to my catalog as a result of each plugin use. To use the next plugin, I should use the TIFF from the previous plugin as my starting point for the next plugin. Plugin, TIFF file, plugin, TIFF file, and so on. If I use five plugins, I’ll have six files for one image, including the original RAW file.

What a waste.

If I choose to Edit in Photoshop from Lightroom, I can use a hundred plugins and still only have one new file added to Lightroom. And, if I do it right with Smart Objects and use PSD as my Photoshop round-trip file format, I can even re-edit the image and the plugin settings after saving the file. Sure, I don’t have to keep all the intermediate files that the Lightroom round-trip plugin usage creates, so disk space isn’t the root problem. The workflow is clumsy and time-consuming.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but it seems that Lightroom’s round-trip editing behavior is a pain in the neck. I love Lightroom and use it 95% of the time, but I don’t mess with Lightroom round-trip plugins for the other 5%. Am I just realizing this long after everyone else?