Hard Software

Lately, I’ve been testing out some different processing software, which probably means that I’ve got too much time on my hands.

Like choosing which camera to buy, getting the right program to achieve the results that you want can be fairly exhausting, and usually ends up with the user dealing with a series of compromises. O.K. I can get the image quality that I want here, but then I’ve got to take it into this other program to get the finishing touches that I like.”

The above shot was processed mostly in ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate, but then I had to use Silver Efex Pro to realize the B&W finishing touches that I like. It works, but it can be fairly sluggish at times, and there’s a fair bit of pointless shit I’ve got to repeat to get what I want.

If you shoot quite regularly, like I do, it becomes a necessary evil, though. To me, it’s like travel. I like being there, I (usually)don’t mind the flight too much, but I bloody well hate airports. You can only get so loaded at the airport bar before they refuse to let you board the flight.

As far as I know, I’ve tried every pro-grade editing program out there, and what I’m using now, seems to work best for me. I won’t mention them all, but I will say, that most do a very good job. In other words, they do what they’re supposed to.

Actually, I will mention one by name: Adobe Lightroom.

Why? Because FUCK Lightroom. Seven ways till Sunday!

“Tell us how you really feel, Joe!”

I really suspect that Lightroom has managed to influence it’s way into the ‘it’s popular because everyone uses it, and everyone uses it because it’s popular’ mindset. Like what U2 did in the rock world. 

By offering student discounts, and discounts to schools and educational institutions, Adobe cleverly implemented the ‘ol ‘start ‘em young, and keep ‘em,’ philosophy. There’s a fairly steep learning curve for most of these types of software programs, and every program has a different method for doing the same thing; so switching programs requires a fair bit of work -even if you know what you want to do. Students who know their way around the Adobe universe are less apt to switch programs.

Fear and loathing and ignorance and assholes and…

Occasionally, I browse some of the internet photographic forums to maybe see what’s new, maybe pick up a tip, or an idea or two.

Naturally, when you mix humans posting anonymously, you’re going to get various conflicts like ‘my junk is better than your junk’….’I’m smarter than you’….’Oh yeah? post some pictures, and let’s see just how good your shit is, there slick!’

I can’t be bothered getting involved. Most of the time it involves people that really don’t know what they’re talking about, or people that think because they’ve got expensive gear, they’re somehow amazing photographers -even though they’ve only been taking pictures for 6 months.

Recently, the morons out there have something else to express their stupidity with: Covid-19. Every time there’s some unforseen natural disaster, pandemic, or anything big, and out of the usual event, these internet experts (and yeah, I’m looking at you America. You guys have the most money, ergo, the most to lose; and all that cabbage gives a lot of you more free time to waste spouting bullshit online than anyone else on the planet -mind you, Canada, The UK, and other ‘first world nations aren’t that far behind.) are happy to ratchet up the fear-mongering with their asinine predictions, and poorly sourced -or not at all sourced- statistics.

Chernobyl disaster? ‘I’m loading up my kids with iodine tablets to keep them safe. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster? ‘Holy shit! We’re only 10,000Km from that clusterfuck! Load up the basement with bottled water, dry goods, ammo, and cheap whiskey, Myrtle. This could be IT!’

SARS, Y2K, 911…. How the fuck did we manage to dodge those shitstorms? ‘Uh… I’dunno… Commonsense? Keeping cool?

It wouldn’t be too bad if it was only a bunch of assholes spouting shit to other assholes, but this shit is slowly making it’s way into ‘mainstream’ news. ANNNDDD… there’s the subtle (or not-so subtle) xenophobia, or just out and out racism.

Back in ‘camera forum land,’ I’ve even seen incredibly stupid people ask if it was O.K. to order a camera that was made in China. 

Really? ‘Ol Min Li showed up to work, and even though visibly sick, no one said anything -and proceeded to sneeze all over your little camera to be. Then, it was quickly packaged, and sent out for shipping. After two weeks on a cargo ship, (where it was kept in a temperature controlled environment so as not to disturb the virus within) and a few more days passing through customs, and security, it got sent off to a warehouse, where it was processed, and over-nighted to you, Little Ralphy Waterhead. 

Boy weren’t you in for a fucking surprise!! Who knew that this little point and shoot that you ordered was actually going to be a real life Pandora’s Box? In the past, you’ve told everyone who would listen, that you’ve always patriotically bought American, but then, somehow, the Japanese became cool, and just this once, you couldn’t resist buying from China, because you figured you’d save a few more dollars still. (Realistically, you’d buy from Sudan, or North Korea, if the price was right.) 

Sorry Ralphy. Shouldn’t have clicked that ‘buy now’ button the other day.

Obviously, those last three paragraphs were just me creating a ridiculous scenario to make a point. Little Ralphy Waterhead didn’t order a camera. In fact, it’s going to take him a couple of years just to build up the courage to order anything from anywhere in Asia at all.

Don’t get your info from facebook, twitter, web M.D., instagram, or any of those other social, sharing sites. They’re ‘sharing’ bullshit.

Try these:

Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization

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