Still Life

A friend gave us some pumpkins from his garden.

I woke up after a night of insomnia to the morning light streaming through our kitchen window. They were begging for me to take their picture so I pulled my iPhone and snapped a couple of pictures using Adobe Lightroom. I can decide which one I like best… What do you think?

As always, please click on the image to see it bigger.

The Elegance of Technology

I don’t pretend to know everything. I don’t even pretend to know a little. I am humble like that…. 😃

I always admit when I don’t know something.

The thing I think I am most proud in my personality is the fact that I have an inquisitive mind; a thirst for knowledge and for finding answers or scratching the surface of something new.

I think that is why I love technology so much.

I also don’t pretend that technology holds all the answers.

I does not… just because there are new things invented/created on a daily basis and what was an answer yesterday finds a different response today or tomorrow.

That is the nature of innovation.

 The interplay of light and shadow at Yale University

The interplay of light and shadow at Yale University

I took this picture in 2009 with my then new, Nikon D80. It was during a photowalk around Yale University in New Haven Connecticut.

It was languishing in my hard drive together with all the other pictures that me and my son took that day (he wanted to be with his dad, so I told him he could go with me and I gave him my old Canon G9 so he could take pictures as well).

I have come a long way in my post processing and one of the things I love to do is go back into my libraries to reprocess old images and see what new treatment I will give to the images that I have not process or that were not worthy of a second look before.

One kind of finds some jewels with the help of new techniques and processing software.

I think the image was ok in color, but that interplay between the columns and the light was clamoring for a Black and white treatment.

In color it was ok, it Black and White it was awesome!!

I think is a lesson that says: “Don’t throw away your images, you never know when technology is going to catch up to your expectations and creative endeavors”

Oh Affinity, I couldn't have Done Without You!!

So my father is writing a book about our family name…

Salomé

I know that is book that he has been planning for a long time (His capacity of planning is truly admirable) and I know that as preparation for it, he interviewed all his aunts and other family to get the gist of the genealogy tree.

One of the things he is including, are old pictures of relatives. Some of them people that I probably never had the pleasure or I was too little to even remember.

One such people, is my great grandmother, on my father side, Salomé.

So he had this picture of her that was in pretty bad shape. Looks like it when to war with some humidity and it lost the battle!

He was here visiting and he said that he was going to send it to me to see if I could do something with it. I didn't think he was going to send me the actual physical picture but he did. It took almost a month to get here (via snail mail, of course) and it got here the day of the big storm.

The manila envelope was wet and I though: “Oh, great, just what I needed, a family heirloom ruined by rain!”. Thankfully, it was ok. The envelope took most of the brunt of the rain (like the photo needed more humidity).

I immediately scanned the photo using my Epson Workforce Printer (My Canon scanner is nowhere to be found since the move) and decided to open the photo in Affinity Photo.

First thing I did was turned it into Black and White to remove the red color from the humidity stains and decided to save a Work in Progress (WIP) version and work on it later.

At night and before I went downstairs, I decided to copy the WIP to the cloud, to see if I could do some work on my iPad. Affinity Photo has, to everybody’s pleasure, a iPad version that is fully complete.

As I laid down in my bed, I was able to work on the photo with a level of detail that I had never achieved using photoshop. The combination of Affinity Photo, the iPad, the Apple Pencil and some Ghost of Paraguay music, made the restoration a breeze and a joy!!

I was able to complete 95% of the work last night, something that took me days on Photoshop on a previous restoration. Oh Boy! I am totally hooked on the Affinity Products.

What you see here is not the finished photo (I reserve the right to only share that with my father, for his book) but what I had completed on the iPad last night. The before and after can tell you that I could not have done it without the help of Affinity Photo.

What an incredible fast workflow!! I can see myself working more like this.

Affinity allows you to connect to any cloud storage (in this case I used iCloud, but I have worked on Affinity Designer using other solutions like Tresorit) contrary to Photoshop that tries to force you to only use their stupid cloud solution as part of the Creative Cloud Subscription.

If you are not using the Affinity Products, give yourself a few days, download the trials and believe me when I say these will change your life. They have Affinity Photo (Photoshop like Editor), Affinity Designer (Illustrator like Vector based Editor) and now you can even download the Beta version of Affinity Publisher (InDesign like Layout Program).

There is a learning curve involved, but nothing you can get over easily using Affinity Vimeo channel with plenty of tutorials.

I can’t wait to play more with this wonderful suit of applications. Thank you Affinity by Serif!!

The inviting entrance to Area 52

Playing around with the new version of Skylum's Luminar 2018 and some foggy pictures...

The Inviting entrance to Areas 52

One of those mornings when I wake up at 4:30 AM with insomnia and decided there was nothing else to do but get out of bed up and go to the office to get some shit done.

Luckily, I happened to look at the weather report while I was brushing my teeth which called for some foggy weather.

I packed my computer and decide to take the Fuji X100F for a spin in low light/foggy weather.

As I was driving away from the house this was the scene at our local library's entrance.

I kind of reminded me of a story I read a long time ago where aliens invaded the earth and they were shaped like street lamps.

The new version of Luminar 2018 (Jupiter) is blazing fast! Every day I find new and interesting ways to use this program and every day I move a little bit farther away from Lightroom. Mind you, I still love me some LR, but the speed and versatility of Luminar are enough to convince any diehard LR alumni.

There are so many choices and possibilities with this application that creativity becomes fun once again, and I think that is what LR is lacking.