Archive for fineart

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.

_______________________________________________

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!

 

Engineers…

Posted in Apple, Computers, software, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 06/12/2015 by wooddickinson

IMG_3873

And no, I don’t mean train engineers. I was always taught that form follows function. Seems safe to me. Of course “safe” isn’t always fun. If “safe was all we wanted then there wouldn’t be  Macs vs PCs or better yet Windows vs OS X.

But, even while trying to make a product (design) fun, it still needs to function very well. I remember when Steve Jobs said the inside of a Mac needs to be as excellent as the outside. I agree. A real good looking car just may not be the car you need to get the job done.

Now, about the current iPhone. Who in the world thought putting the power button directly across from the volume buttons was a good idea? Did anyone (yes ANYONE) not notice that this was a bad design idea? Really, not one engineer or beta user?  No department head at Apple? Anyone for that matter notice this blunder before the product launched?

To make matters worse, to chase other companies “cool factor” Apple curved the edges of the phone making it much harder to hold. I know, hands free, I get it.

The same goes for Apples newest product, the AppleWATCH. I have to wonder, “Did the product team at Apple ever notice young people don’t wear watches?” Nope. Apple pushes ahead asking us to buy this $350 (really more like $600 to $700) watch so we can sit back and watch version 2 roll out in a year. Don’t we all have to have the newest version?

Me, I love watches. They are truly works of art. I’m talking mechanical not quartz movement watches. There are some fine quartz watches on the market and I have a few but it’s the mechanical watches that draw me. The form and function in either a MeisterSinger or an Ernst Benz shows beauty of form and function at its finest. There won’t be an “update” for these watches. No Legacy System here.

IMG_3870

Memo – Someone at Apple, you should read The Fifth Discipline. I saw a short film Peter Senge screened several years ago. It was about Cremona, Italy. Cremona is the worlds greatest center for violin makers. Its most famous resident was Antonio Stradivari. This film detailed how experts have searched for the secrets Antonio knew that allowed him to make the finest violins the world has ever seen. In short, they failed.

Peter noted it isn’t about engineering or science but more about the soul of the violin maker.

Funny words for a MIT business professor to use.

I’m not on the AppleWATCH bandwagon and to be honest, I hate my current iPhone. I’m sick of endless product revision using the latest hardware, endless software revisions, well, you know the drill. Being a geek at heart I have a lot of what’s known as legacy systems around my house. Many of these systems truly don’t work with current software and operating systems.

Then there is my wonderful Les Paul circa 1970. It is all vintage and more valuable today than the day I bought it. To learn more about things –

Personal Mastery – The search for Stradivarius – Society for Organizational Learning

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

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

Hey Photographers!

Posted in Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Clouds, Color, Earth, Fine Art Photography, HDR, Holga, Photo Editing, Photography, Shutterbug, software, Sunsets, workflow with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/11/2014 by wooddickinson

• For a Limited Time •

You can receive $50 off the entire bundle of onOne Software.

You just need to own any of these competitive programs –

Nik, Topaz, or Alien Skin.

– Follow this LINK

I love Perfect Photo Suite 8 and use it all the time. It is an integral part of my workflow. To be fair, I also use Nik, Topaz and other secret type stuff as well. I love Nik’s  U Point® technology. It allows me to be very detailed in my work. Anyway this bundle is a great deal. The bundle is normally $179.95 but now you can get nine major editing tools for only $129.95. It’s a real a bargain.

Workflow

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Buildings, Color, Fine Art Photography, HDR, Holga, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 02/26/2014 by wooddickinson

232004.thbWhen I am working on the post production of a photograph I go through several different options looking for the right one that expresses the image as I see it in my mind. I find this takes several passes through possible treatments of the image. The way I work is to start with the original RAW file in Adobe Lightroom 5. I do some general cropping and possible exposure and white balance correction. My theory is to start with the very best capture of an image, then correct any capture issues and after that begin the process of image deconstruction. I know a lot of people shoot lomo or use lenses like the Lensbaby to create the look they want, but I feel all that can be done in the post processing of an image. That allows me the maximum flexibility while searching for the best representation of the photograph I see in my mind.

When I talk about deconstruction I don’t mean degradation. There is a wide palette of possibilities that include color correction, conversion to B&W, creation of a HDR image, focus manipulation, and so on. In fact the possibilities are so endless that I feel I must try several options before I’m sure I have it right. Below is a photograph I took a few years back in Key West, Florida. That’s right, I shot this a few years ago and I’m just now doing the post work on it. It just took that long for it to “cook” in my brain. I’d look at the original image and just know it wasn’t time to start work on it. I love film but with the tools we have today vs. film workflow I feel I can spend my time much more productively editing rather than worrying about chemical temperatures or air bubbles in the developing tank.

After the Lightroom adjustments are made I take the image into Photoshop to clean up, remove, and prepare the image for editing. Even when I’m working on a shot of an old building or abandoned hallway, I want to remove distracting elements like dangling wires, paint imperfections, damage, etc. You can see by looking at the original image I did do a lot of editing to prepare the photograph for creating the different treatments. This included removal of wires, removing of shadows, elimination of paint imperfections that bothered me and recreating parts of the building lost to time.

Once all this editing is done (about 1 to 2 hours of work) I go back into Lightroom and select filters (like Perfect Photo Suite 8, DxO filters or any one of a number of standalone applications) to get a starting point. I’ll build up layers of different kinds to achieve that “treatment” I’m looking for. I find that “canned” filter settings just don’t get me there. I have to tweak and add and remove stuff until I get what I’m looking for. This process can take another 1 to 2 hours and sometime more. At the end of the process I usually have anywhere from 2 to 5 hours in on an image before I call it done.

Below is the original RAW image as shot, followed by my treatment. I have added two possible B&W treatments and an optional color treatment. I passed through all of these, getting to the final one. Now you can be the judge. Did I get it right or is one of the alternate treatments better?

227 original

This is the original image.

test 227.1 s

My Original Treatment

test 227.4 s

One possible B&W Treatment (#1)

test 227.2 s

Another B&W Treatment (#2)

test 227.3 s

Another Color Treatment (#3)

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