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I'm playing around with a couple of new toys tonight; one is a maybe for the geeks and one is a maybe for the photographers... The geek one is pretty straightforward, but a bit amazing if you're prone to putting up XP boxes again and again (why on earth? Oh, yeah, that's why <g>): it's a utility called DriverMax. This little gem will pull a listing of all the current drivers installed on your XP system and give you a printout of what's where and what's signed by whom. Oh, and it will export the entire driver library for import to that rebuilt box. ...or whatever. (Free, valid email required for registration.)

...and while we're on "free", and outfit named Ichikawa Soft Laboratory has released the beta of their RAW pre-processing/developing software known as Silkypix. This is one I thought about purchasing just before Adobe released the beta on their Lightroom product. I'm glad I held off as this one may be as capable and may go for a lower price once the market shakes out and things move past beta...

There's no way to say working with Silkypix's beta is as pleasant as working with Lightroom, but I put it on the lower-powered Win2k box and it did just fine. Tuesday's gerbena pic was 'developed' under it. Oh, and there's no way to call this one 'intuitive'; the language disconnect is significant. Still, it's worth a look if you'd like to play with the dynamics of your photos. ...and this version has added support for jpegs.

More later...


A vast fog..




Kid's choir concert (photo on the blog)...


Hope! Yes, hope that maybe we can chill a bit. ...other than I'd like to be up before sunrise one morning for a photo shoot <g>.

Plans, plans, plans...


Photo notes and such... Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom has moved up to Beta 4.1. On windows boxes the installer has some issues (or at least appears to); the approach that appears to work is:

  1. Download Beta 4.1
  2. Use the Beta 4.1 installer to uninstall Lightroom Beta 4
  3. Delete the Lighroom folder in the Program Files folder
  4. Use the Beta 4.1 installer to install Lightroom Beta 4.1
Here is a decent thread on the problem; both garret and I have managed successful updates with the above instructions.

The other beta in the toolbox is Silkypix (mentioned Monday); "Faded Glory" came through that process. ...and since that shot started as a jpeg in the 'small' camera I'd say Silky is doing the job well enough to keep on the Win2k box to play with.

Men and their toys...


...and their boys? Let's keep talking photos today: that shot of Daniel was taken at a recital his choir did Thursday evening. Although I was in the front row, the lighting was such that to even get a shot of him on that back riser took f/3.5 @ 1/10s with the ISO at 800 and a focal length of 200mm. Hand held. So yeah, you know that's not going to yield a decent photo. ...but working it up a bit in Lightroom and then making Lemonade with it in Elements turned it well enough to use.

So I went looking for one I took of Brad from point blank range in the stands at the State game last month. That was another ISO 800 deal but with the fill flash set (and I believe using the tele). Again, still a noisy photo, but there's sufficient information there to be able to pull out 'essence of being'. ...and that's one definition of portraiture...

Oh, whose definition? Why, mine, of course <g>!

The Conjuror
Click image for larger version

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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