Drying Up

Garbage Bags at Anmok Beach

LNG Pipeline Dock at Namhangjin

The title doesn’t refer to the sea drying up. It refers to the number of decent photos I have left to share this month. The above are decent compositions, but the light is harsh. They are not destined for my portfolio. Maybe I’ll try converting them to black and white and see what they look like then.

Speaking of converting, I’ve recently changed the software I use to edit and develop my pictures. I now use the following programs for photography:

Faststone Image Viewer – This software is basic, but it’s free, has some adjustment functions such as straightening and contrast, displays raw files (Windows is very slow to add support), is free, and uses Windows’ folders instead of creating a database. And it’s free!

Fujifilm X RAW Studio – This unusual raw convertor requires you to connect your camera to the computer because it uses the camera’s hardware to make adjustments. Whatever you can adjust in the camera when making photos can be adjusted in this software. Well, not things like ISO, obviously. It’s free and, although a bit slow, easy to use. The only bad point about the software is that it only works with RAF files from Fujifilm cameras. No adjustments for jpg or tif files.

Nikon Capture NX-D – Many moons ago you had to pay quite a bit of money for this software, but some years ago Nikon introduced a new version and put it on their website for free. The raw convertor is only good for Nikon’s NEF files but there are many functions that can be used on other (non-raw) file types. Levels, curves, sharpening, and so on. This means I can convert my Fujifilm photos to jpg and then do small ajustments in this software. I can also use Capture NX-D to make adjustments to film scans. Capture NX-D has recently reintroduced u-point technology which is very useful for selecting and making adjustments to specific parts of a photo without having to apply masks, etc.

A few days ago I cancelled my subscription to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Now I’m using all free software that will do everything I want. Frankly, if a photo needs more adjustments than what I can do with these three programs then it was probably a terrible photo in the first place.

4 thoughts on “Drying Up

  1. Free is good. I’m no expert on software packages but it sounds like you have plenty of options here, Marcus. The guys in my club do a lot of editing/post-processing. I think the general trend is towards more subtle approaches and away from the full-on HDR stuff of a few years ago. Thank goodness.

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  2. One of the reasons I follow mostly film blogs despite using chiefly digital cameras these days is that film photographers are not so heavy on the P'shop. Ralph Gibson said there is nothing wrong with Photoshop, but most people don't know when to stop. Sam Abell said that when he looked at a photo on the back of his digital camera, he wanted to see a completely finished slide. That's what I strive for, but I'm no Sam Abell. :)I remember the HDR madness of a few years ago. Ewwwww.

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  3. Talking about HDR (I can hardly write the letters without shuddering…) there's still a few on that wagon, and I still can't get what they see in it. Anyway, free is good for sure and you will most likely do fine with what you have listed here. I have always only used free software, but then again I hardly touch anything except some tiny light adjustment and maybe a touch on the contrast slider and that's about it. Oh, and I sometimes remove some of the dust if it's a scan I like to present a little bit better, but mostly I can't bother too much about it for just posting on the internet. If I'm printing it's a bit different, of course.

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  4. I added Adobe Bridge to my tools a week or two ago. It's free and good for things like batch renaming and adding Headline and Description to photos. These get added automatically to Flickr when I upload there. The other software doesn't have that. Adobe Bridge even comes with Camera Raw, which does 99.99% of the things I used in Lightroom. But I prefer the Nikon software for adjustments, to tell the truth.

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