Archive for the Photography Category

Once Again Adobe

Posted in Adobe, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Computers, Fine Art Photography, Photo Editing, Photography, software, workflow with tags , , , , , , , , on 03/09/2016 by wooddickinson

100 in 365 version 2.0

I don’t mean to complain but Adobe can be a major pain in the ass. I’m an Adobe Creative Cloud member and rely on Lightroom and Photoshop a lot. I also use Audition and Premiere when I’m not using Logic Pro and Final Cut Pro. To be truthful I like the Adobe audio and video products but find Apple’s to be more conducive to creative flow. Logic works very well with my PreSonus control surface and I’ve never been able to get Audition to do the same.

I do create short teasers for both possible film projects and writing projects. I post them to YouTube and add them to my different websites. As for photography I’m pretty much married to Lightroom and Photoshop but also use a range of additional products like On1 Photo 10, the DxO Pro X suite, several Alien Skins filters and so on as ways to shorten my editing time. I spend on average two hours editing per photo that I post to my Adobe professional portfolio site now at http://wood.myportfolio.com/projects.

Now on to the issues, recently my Creative Cloud App stopped working. I could no longer download the software or the updates! I tried all the usual uninstall/install stuff Adobe says to do along with some special software that is supposed to fix these problems. Nothing worked. So, once again I’m paying for a service that I can no longer use. I called Adobe tech support and spent an hour on the phone with a woman from India that I could barley understand. It was obvious she was just a help desk kind of person and had no idea how to think beyond the instruction manuals she was reading from. Neither would she vary from the “Adobe Protocol” for support phone calls. After an hour she just gave up. Gave me a case number and said someone would call me within 24 hours.

Needless to say that didn’t happen but after a few days I did get a call from someone. They left messages and after several days and multiple misses I was able to be available for their phone call. You’d think they’d give me a number to call so I could make contact when I was available (not working) but no.

Another hour on the phone without a solution but at least I could understand this fellow and he did seem to know the systems and software much better. Another call back later and another hour on the phone I finally got the problem fixed BUT I had to download and reinstall all my Adobe software. That was an all day project.

While on these calls Adobe ran a program so they could control my computer remotely. The first woman I worked with was very poor at using this software and kept moving the pointer around putting my computer to sleep or ending the programs she was trying to run. I got to where I’d jump in to “save” her from the time consuming mistakes.

Upside. I did write a letter to Adobe corporate office after my first support call complaining about all this. demanded a year of Creative Cloud for free. I got the obviously stipulated 3 months of free service which I guess is better than none. Remember this. Demand free service when you have a failure of this nature. Really, it isn’t so free since I couldn’t install updates for about two months. It’s the very least they can do and really three months isn’t enough in my book.

Adobe could do a few things to improve on their service. First, have the people who I will talk to trained and ready to speak clear and understandable English. It’s just a common courtesy and nothing against any ethnic group. Put on your best public face I say and remove all barriers to customer satisfaction. Second, don’t make me demand free service, offer it up front again as a common courtesy to professionals using your product.

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To remind you Adobe’s Vision and Mission are below. I used this company in a lecture I gave on corporate ethics last year.

Vision Statement: To revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information.

Mission Statement:

Adobe’s mission is to be the premier provider of products and services in the information age for professional publishing solutions, business publishing solutions, document solutions, and digital imaging solutions in the company’s addressed market segments while: achieving and maintaining an above-average return on investment for shareholders measured in terms of return on equity, earnings per share, revenue growth, and operating profit; maintaining or achieving the number one or two position in addressed market segments in terms of market share, customer satisfaction, revenue generation, product margin, product functionality, and technological leadership; treating all employees with respect and rewarding both group and individual performance that exceeds commitments and expectations; being a good corporate citizen in the local and national locations where the company produces, sells, and services its products.

 

 

Back to It

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Block Island, Blogroll, Book, Computers, Exhibition, Fine Art Photography, Photography, Robin Randle Stories, Where Madness Dwells, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 02/22/2016 by wooddickinson

sea grass 128I’m getting back to all of this social media stuff. There are days I feel like throwing the iPhone in the trash and turning off the computer like, forever! I think it’s because of the amount of static or noise that finds its way into my email, Facebook and well, everything else.

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped paying attention just that the amount of useless information that’s pushed on us is incredible. It’s hard enough to read, learn and understand the important stuff in life that the noise has become impossible to handle. I don’t think I’m alone on this. It is a matter of filtering and getting filters in place is hard with our current technology. Current marketing practices demands you irritate everyone to get your message out. Targeting systems are getting better but the junk email just blows my mind.

I’m working on a few things. First my novel “The Robin Randle Stories” is with my editor now. Hope to see it published soon. I’m starting a new novel, “Mercy Lake – a ghost story.” I’m also working on a photography project called “A Study of Pathways.”

I will have an exhibition next summer for the Block Island Conservancy. I’m very excited about that. It’s wonderful to be involved in such an important effort. Here are some websites of mine if you are interested –

Wood Dickinson – my main portal and links to everything else

The Robin Randle Stories

A Study of Pathways

Mercy Lake 

Photographic Portfolio

I’ll be much more regular about writing. I do have a lot to say!

 

Why I Hate Digital Cameras, phones, computers, etc…

Posted in abandoned, Amazon, Apple, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Color, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on 10/11/2014 by wooddickinson

nkd810It never fails. I bought a Mac Mini and within a month Apple released a new Mac Mini that is ten times better than the one I just bought. This summer I bought a Nikon D800 camera. It’s a fabulous piece of technology and light years ahead of my “over the hill” D2Xs.

So now, Nikon has a replacement for the D800! It’s the D810. What happens? The price of the D800 falls through the floor. I can’t trade up to a D810 without spending $1500 to $2000. I’m so over this kind of business. I think a company that sells a high-end piece of technology should offer some kind of price protection or reasonable upgrade path for those people who have a suddenly obsolete (but very expensive) piece of tech.

I spent about $2500 for my D800 camera body. Thank God lenses can’t be obsoleted! I checked the price for a new D800 and it seems to be around $2,900 today. The D810 lists for $3,300. With the new camera out the price for a used D800 is dropping. Currently I could buy one for $2,300. So you know what I’d get on a trade.

This drives me crazy. Leica did the same thing when it introduced the M8. They said it would be a stable product and upgradable. They weren’t going to leave owners holding the bag. Guess what, Leica released an interim M8.2 then replaced that with the M9. Now they just call it the Leica M. Price for the M? $7,000 (body only). The M9 still sells for $7,000 too. My old M8 cost $2,400. I will say the value is holding for that camera. I see them selling for $1,700 on Amazon but the M7 (a 35mm film camera) is selling for $5,000. Oh hey, if you really want to be stupid Leica has a M version that shoots only Black & White digital images. Price, $8,000!

There was a time I used the beautifully crafted Nikon F5 35MM film camera. Again it cost about $2,400 but today you can get your very own for only $350. That’s a travesty. The F5 is a machine. All mechanical and the craftsmanship that goes into producing one is incredible.

That $2,400 range is about what I paid for my Nikon D2Xs. It was a top of the line Digital camera. Today they sell for $650. When Nikon release the D2’s replacement the price jumped to $6,000! Same as the Leica.

This is a hopeless situation. There is no doubt that my D800 is a fabulous camera. I will be using it for years. I just hate knowing within four months of purchasing it, it’s replaced and takes a huge hit on its value. Maybe that’s why I love film cameras. You can’t play this game.

I have no doubt there is a Nikon D820 just lurking around the corner to challenge the D810 buyers of today. This way of treating customers and I mean customers who are spending a lot of money with your company is over the moon. At some point in time the electronics industry (be it cameras, phones or computers) must find a better way. Leaving customers out in the cold like this is just not right.

Current Exhibition

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Chicago, Color, Exhibition, Fine Art Photography, Kansas City, Photography, Trains with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 08/20/2014 by wooddickinson

 

ball #2 s

FOO’S Fabulous Custard

Location

9421 Mission Road, Leawood, KS

Opens

August 20th, 2014

map

Discount

Posted in Art, Black and White, Color, Fine Art Photography, Kansas City, Photography with tags on 08/08/2014 by wooddickinson

For a very short time I’m offering a 20% discount on the Cafe Trio prints. The code to use is WDP201. Only good for the next 8 days.

To buy click HERE.

Work in Progress

Posted in Art, Black and White, Block Island, Buildings, Clouds, Color, Earth, Fine Art Photography, HDR, Holga, Photo Editing, Photography, Trees with tags , , , , , , , , on 08/01/2014 by wooddickinson

Back from Block Island with about a million digital negatives that I shot over the nine-day trip. Right out of the gate I find myself in a conundrum. I found this house that was once a church. I mopeded over to photograph it. At the time it seemed to present a fairly straight forward photograph. Planning on it being a Black & White and all that but then I get back here to Kansas City and when I look at the negative I shot it explodes with all kinds of possible stories.

What to do? The trials of an artist. It’s not like there’s one right answer. So I put it to you. I am attaching the original capture and the original corrected capture. The corrected one has been edited to take out the irritating bending the lens adds to the shot. From there I fell down a rabbit hole. Let me know which one (or none) of these versions works for you. I feel I’m far from done exploring this photograph and it’s just the first of around 1300 negatives! Of for the days of film…

Block Island House-10

Original photo #10

Block Island House-3

Corrected version for lens issues – #3

Block Island House #1

#1

Block Island House-2

#2

Block Island House-4

#4

Block Island House-5

#5

Block Island House-6

#6

Block Island House-7

#7

Block Island House-8

#8

Block Island House-9

#9

An Example

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Buildings, Color, Fine Art Photography, New York City, Photo Editing, Photography, software, workflow with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 07/19/2014 by wooddickinson

I worked on a photo I took in New York City back in 2009. Th image was shot using a Leica M8 digital range finder camera. It was so dark in this entrance to the building that I had to use the highest ISO the camera has. That means noise in the negative. In the film days it meant grain in the negative. All about the same problem.

I tried to salvage the photo by turning it to Black & White but as you can see it didn’t help much.

Now just 5 years later the tools have evolved (along with my skills) to the point that I decided to take another try at it. Using a combination of Lightroom adjustments plus Photoshop retouching with Topaz Clean, Topaz DeNoise and DxO Optics 9 I was able to clean up the noise while keeping image detail. I used Optics 9 to true up the wall and improve the composition.

Then back in Lightroom I turned the image into B&W for final output. All told, two hours to create a greatly improved photograph. I have put the original color capture here along with my original try at a B&W image (2009). The last photograph is the 2014 final version. What can I say?

Original Capture

    Original Capture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Try

    2009 Try

2014 Final

2014 Final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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