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pierces

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About pierces

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Southern California
  • Interests
    Cruising, cruising, wildlife...oh, photography too!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    www.pptphoto.com

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  1. Computers may be ageing faster than before... Samsung's ne 980 Pro now pushes the PCIe 4.0 bus to 7000 Mb/s read and 6000 Mb/s write. That's double the top of the PCIe 3.0 offerings and way better than the 30% or so improvement offered by the earlier PCIe 4.0 drives. With intel soon moving to PCIe 4.0 built into the chipset, Nvidia will likely follow AMD's lead and offer 30x0 series cards in 4.0 bus versions. I still maintain that my computer isn't obsolete until it won't do what I want it to do, but when the 3-4 year replacement cycle rolls around, it looks like parts shopping is going to be really, really fun! And yes, my PC is still fast enough...for now. I almost picked up a game or two for it since the graphics card is pretty hefty, but the Xbox Series X just exploded onto the scene with some really remarkable specs and priced at $499, which is less than a decent graphics card upgrade. That's a screaming deal for a casual gamer. Tech is really interesting these days. Now if they would only announce the A7rV so I can have another upgrade path and cost/benefit balance to fret over! 🙂 Happy computing/shooting! Dave
  2. This week, son Dan made an unplanned visit prompted by a last minute decision to accompany our grandson on his drive from Texas to start his stint as a student teacher. We had a very nice three days of good talks and lots of great food and drink. Since we have all been on diets for much of 2020, we pulled out the stops and ate real food. Sunday featured a family dinner with favorites like Kim’s macaroni & cheese(s) and the banana pudding “casserole” topped with shortbread cookies. Monday morning was biscuits and gravy and so on. Tuesday evening I killed two birds with one stone and we had gourmet hamburgers prepared on the flat top griddle since I needed a photo for the family cookbook’s cooking tech section. Two-fer! Three-fer since I used it here... Meatopia, 2020 Dave
  3. Pictures taken between Monday, September 21 and Sunday, September 27. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
  4. An innovative design with an interesting mix of features. Definitely not a contender for a pro rig replacement but not really entry-level either. Excellent, but not superlative video. 24MP back illuminated sensor, probably the same as the A7III (which is not in any way a negative). It has Sony's latest real-time tracking autofocus but retains the A7III's Bionz-X processor. It has the new (highly desired by yours truly) articulated LCD, but inexplicably retains the old menu system. Good viewfinder. 10fps burst shooting doesn't set any records, but is respectable and is more than enough for most applications. Really small for a full-frame (keep in mind that the A7III is itself very compact): It is actually only fractionally larger than the A6600 with a similar grip housing the larger FZ100 battery. The initial reviews are calling it an all-weekend battery in this camera, so that's good. Mostly a6x00 control layout without the front dial. No front dial is one of those things that is a giant deal-breaker for a lot of reviewers but in practical use, I never missed it on my A6000 or A6300 and seldom use it on the A7III. I guess it is what you're used to or maybe it's a box that needs to be checked in a review. Sorry...editorializing again. Bottom line from my point of view, if this was on the menu when I was jumping to full-frame from the A6300, I would have chosen it over the A7III. With the new 28-60mm zoom, it is a near-perfect walkabout camera and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as a travel camera or daily driver. But... Having the A7III already, I can't personally justify picking one up. Yet. If I were to break down and go for the massive MP of next year's A7rV with usable APS-C in-camera or post-processing crop for telephoto enhancement, I would be probably bail on APS-C and replace my A7III with the A7c as the second body. Just my opinion. Happy shooting! Dave
  5. Pictures taken between Monday, September 14 and Sunday, September 20. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
  6. No sunglasses needed yesterday...thanks, 2020. Dave
  7. Last week, we noticed a few tatters in our flag and a new one was ordered. They normally last about 4 - 6 months in the strong afternoon breeze that is normal for our area. I don't know if the brutal 114° weekend temperatures plus the breeze stepping up to a wind contributed to the rapid decline but as of Monday, Old Glory was seriously tattered. On Wednesday afternoon, the smoke from the semi-local fires and our brave but battered flag made me run for the camera. With the 19th anniversary of 9/11 a couple days away, a record fire season and anarchy now the favorite pastime of the uninformed and uninformable, this shot reminds me that though America is taking a few hits from those who hate all, it remains by far the single greatest place on earth. Dystopia, 2020 I know I usually wait until the week is over, but the chances of a better PAW are pretty slim for me. Dave
  8. Well, it looks like they want people to upgrade. My previous purchases qualified me for a $59 for one or $69 for a two user deal. I'm officially on the pre-order list and will be commenting on what I find when it magically appears in my inbox. I may also have my darling granddaughter install it on her laptop and share impressions from a newbie to photo organization and editing. Dave
  9. As the sun rose through the smoke caused by the fires to the east of us, I reflected on the year so far and gave thanks that the road-killed animal in the extreme lower right corner didn't rise and attack a passing jogger. Dave
  10. This reminded me of the first time we rented a dumpster to do some spring cleaning. We got it Friday afternoon and left it at the end of the driveway. By Saturday morning, late night "donations" left it nearly full with a ratty old couch, rusty patio furniture and maybe 100 square feet of shockingly dirty carpet. Now when we fill a dumpster or put old appliances and such out for bulky item pickup, the big stuff is gone and a quarter of the dumpster has been emptied before the trash truck gets there. Even our regular trash is rooted through regularly. When I saw this sign, I wondered if the purpose was to discourage neighborly donations or the growing pastime of independent recycling. It seem like one man’s trash has truly become another man’s treasure. One Man's Trash... Dave
  11. Pictures taken between Monday, September 7 and Sunday, September 13. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
  12. Another year...another Luminar. Luminar AI is up for preorder and at this rate, It is hovering about even with my subscription to Lightroom over the same period. So much for the evil big-tech plot to skim our money with subscription business models. I still use Luminar rarely since there is still absolutely no way to migrate a bazillion non-destructive edits from Lightroom. Again I'll state that just exporting all my photos with adjustments applied and maintaining a separate space for the old unretouched versions isn't an option I'll pursue. I could bite the bullet and just accept the changes made and move forward from this point on, but the combination of Lightroom and Photoshop still provides more basic organizational and editing power. If I didn't have years of experience in both and was starting from scratch, the story might be different. Luminar lacks much of the organizational power of Lightroom, but for a user with no need or desire for detailed keywording and facial recognition (Lightroom is a bit stupid on faces), the ease of use and automated retouching with "looks" can make digital life easier. I am also a bit put off by the creative direction Luminar is going with image manipulation. The pre-order trailer video was big on improving your "like" count on social media and lean on detail but the rest of the page hints at features to add atmosphere, alter body and facial features like Anthropics Portrait Pro and of course, change the sky from the one you took to the one someone else took and sold you in a bundle for $45 on a special introductory price. For me, capturing a great sky is like finding a shiny gold nugget in a stream bed. Buying a nugget just doesn't feel as good. 🙂 Again, much of my reluctance to adopt Luminar is from being not only invested in the Adobe environment but my personal preference for mostly realistic photography without all the added replacements and effects. If this appeals to you and you don't have thousands of non-destructive edits in a Lightroom database, Luminar is reasonably priced, powerful and offers some pretty good and rather powerful image editing tools. Paid upgrades and add-on packs can add up over time, but if you aren't blown away by the new bells and whistles, skipping an upgrade cycle is a money saving option. Since it is only $79, I'll probably give the AI version a look and if I do, will outline my experience here. Take a look for yourself: https://skylum.com/luminar-ai Happy Shooting! Dave
  13. On Saturday, we finally reaped some of the benefits of all the work we have put into our backyard entertainment area and hosted a brunch for the August birthday girls. We spent a fair amount of time planning the menu with a goal of providing something for everyone’s tastes while keeping the overall volume within the limits of the serving area. Once the items were chosen and the presentation planned, Kim worked her magic and the game was on. Two kinds of gravy for the biscuits, Eggs Benedict, home-cured smoked ham, sausage, cheesy eggs, waffles and a pastry tray were laid out with just enough room left for the fruit bowl pictured here. Except we had no bowl. As you can see, we made do with what nature provided and the result was photo-worthy. Fruit Art Dave
  14. Pictures taken between Monday, August 31 and Sunday, September 6. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others!
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