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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
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. The age-old question loses some meaning when a dead president hatches from the cheap, mass produced plastic egg it was stuffed into. This year’s annual Easter Egg Hunt showed just how large the family has grown over the years. Despite the growth, the event is still one of the happiest events of the year. The food is always incredible and there is always too much. It has also shown the changes in values. Kids used to shake the eggs to see if there was change in them before they picked them up. They still shake them, but the ones that rattle are left as they search for the ones with the folding money. If it was me, I’d give all the eggs a pass and look for the magic chicken that laid them. Which Came First? Dave
  2. Pictures taken between Monday, April 12 and Sunday, April 28. 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!
  3. I travelled with the 18-105 f/4 for quite a while. I find that My need for a longer lens was seldom enough that choosing the superior image quality of the 18-105 over the 18-200 was best for me. If I were to shop for a travel lens for my APS-C Sony now, I would buy the 18-135. It has slightly better image quality than the 18-105, is smaller and has a bit more reach. Several folks here on the forum have this lens and are very happy with it. I would keep the 16-50. Sometimes you just want the size advantage. My 2¢... Dave
  4. Just a thought. If you are planning on doing this from your balcony, keep in mind that it is customary for the captain to spin the ship to present the glacier to balconies on both sides. Dave
  5. Well, this was an easier choice than I thought. While browsing the website to decide whether to try Flex out right away or not, I randomly checked the "My Software" page on my Luminar account and it turns out I already own it. It was a bundled option with my original Luminar purchase back in 2017 so you might want to check your own license page if you are interested in Flex and owned a previous version of Luminar. All I had to do was download the new version, install it with the plug-in function pointing at Photoshop and Lightroom and activate it using my license code. It was just about that easy. Download - Install - Activate. It is invoked like any other external processor by right-click > Edit in > Luminar Flex. This brings up the Edit Original/Edit a Copy/Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments dialogue. If either of the make a copy options is chosen, an -edit copy is made and the Luminar interface opens. Once editing is done, clicking Apply in Luminar saves the changes to the copy. If you change your mind and click Cancel instead, the Luminar interface closes but the -edit copy remains, unchanged. (You can re-use it by right-clicking and choosing the Edit Original option the next time or just delete it.) It would be a real breakthrough if instead of editing a copy, it would create an adjustment layer over the original, but I imagine that would take some form of cooperation from Adobe or some pretty extensive reverse engineering. I can dream. I will run my next batch of photos through the AI Auto in Luminar and see if it does well enough to justify creating a copy and editing rather than just doing my usual editing in Lightroom. As of now, I can see using a favorite Luminar "look" on a number of images in a themed project but not as a daily driver due to the necessity of creating multiple redundant files. I will have to do some more extensive testing before sliced bread is threatened as the best of ideas. To be continued... Dave
  6. Another Blurb fan. All of my Picture-A-Week annual books are from them and the quality is superb. Not only did this thread present an excellent book project from Mr. Click but it is highlighting an issue that we should all be aware of. How do we make the images we take available to others in a way that is easily accessible and won't bore them to death? I'm in the process of researching the technology that Disney uses in their Club 33 to display high resolution images on LED screens so they look like prints in normal room light. 4K screens are so cheap now that replacing the large static prints on the walls with active screens makes some sense. Changing the images hourly, daily or whatever time frame that seems best will solve my not-enough-walls problem to some extent. I like the idea of a YouTube slideshow to communicate with the electronically addicted in our families. Dave
  7. Just an final update. After a few months of occasionally trying to integrate Luminar into my workflow, it has become clear that it is just not going to work for me. Were I to switch to Luminar, I would have to re-edit many thousands of images processed in Lightroom's non-destructive editor. The alternative would be to export all my images to a new set of folders with the changes applied and store the originals somewhere. Not a practical plan. The other issue is the painful slowness of the catalog. I'm sure it is due to the number of images I have in the catalog but 2-3 minutes to load on startup vs. 12 seconds for Lightroom is just not acceptable. The editor is faster now, so there may be some hope for the catalog someday. On the other hand, if someone is just starting a catalog and getting into post-processing their images to make them better, Luminar is a good place to look. The interface for using their very capable AI enhancer (soon to be updated to v2) is simple, intuitive and the results are very good on all but the most egregious exposure errors. The extensive library of free and for-pay "looks" to add punch to images, process to B&W or make some other visible statement add to the appeal and are just as easy to use. I like it well enough that I will be transferring my copy to the PC I'm giving to my daughter's family so the budding photographer over there can be introduced to the concept of workflow and editing. Back to Lightroom. It looks like Skylum is listening to people like myself who have posted our plusses and minuses to their feedback forum and has introduced Luminar Flex which installs as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, Photos for Mac OS and Photoshop Elements. It offers the same features as the full product but is invoked from the plugin menu from within the supported programs. They say it will be supported as a separate product going forward which seems to indicate that they expect it to diverge from the full product in some way. Maybe this will eliminate the "install as a plug-in" option in the full product and let the developers concentrate on improving the features specific to each segment. Anyway, this looks like a good way for me to get access to some of the remarkably good features in Luminar without having to spend two years re-editing the 150K+ images in my catalog. But that's a subject of another thread.... 😉 Dave
  8. Check your camera's menu. Color settings are usually set for "standard" saturation which is a little muted to avoid blowing out detail is some colors. I tend to leave mine set there and add saturation if needed later but you can set your camera to "vivid" or "saturated" to increase the intensity of the color right out of the camera. Dave
  9. I carry a Sony A7III with a 24-105 zoom on it most of the time. That makes it about the size of an RX10. I carry it on a cross-body BlackRapid strap which makes it very convenient to access and it doesn't really get in the way. It also makes it easy to wear it under an outer jacket and swing it out when needed. I've never worried about concealing the camera while walking around since pictures of the inside of a backpack are seldom very exciting... 🙂 On another note, the RX10IV is a fantastic camera. IMHO, of course. Dave
  10. My granddaughter isn't the cutest little girl in the world...said no grandparent ever. We are blessed to have grandchildren that are easy on the eyes. Strangers have never looked into the stroller and complimented us on our cute pug puppy only to suddenly blush and fumble an apology. (Everyone’s made that mistake like I have, right?) The picture this week wasn’t just a reason to showcase Jackie’s pretty eyes. It was a test of a recent upgrade to my camera’s eye-tracking autofocus that locates the eye of a subject and maintains focus to ensure a better chance of a good portrait. I had less than a second between “Hey Jackie!” and the faux-shy covering of the face. Looks like the upgrade worked. Those Eyes... Dave
  11. I'm trying to include the what and the why of the various aspects of the upgrade so please tell me if I leave something vague. Also feel free to ask specific questions. If I don't know the answer and have to research it, we both win! 🙂 The changes on the horizon will impact the Mac world as well since they use a lot of the same hardware. (You just have to buy a whole new computer to get the new tech.) I'll keep an eye out for Mac-specific info concerning the upcoming changes. Macs are only about 8%-9% of desktop systems overall but the percentage is considerably more in photo-centric users, so I'll try to keep that in mind. Dave
  12. Pictures taken between Monday, April 15 and Sunday, April 21. Pictures taken between Tax Day and Easter....there's some inspiration! 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!
  13. Project is on hold. Sort of. My daily reading has turned up some upcoming issues that have me switching to a wait-and-see mode as far as upgrading. Much like my move to full-frame, I tend to make upgrades at generational improvement points rather than incremental ones and there are some changes on the horizon that look like it bay be worthwhile to wait a bit. The trigger for the start of this project was the second generational uptick beyond the graphics card in my PC with faster memory and the new ray-tracing technology integrated into the hardware. This was on top of a fairly large bump in the speed of Intel's chips and improvements in SSD drives. The upcoming changes will introduce improvements that may make PCs with the new tech as far ahead of anything I build now as a current build would be compared to my current machine. The main pipeline between the peripherals and the CPU is set to double in speed and bandwidth with the introduction of PCIE 4.0 and though it would be backward compatible with current products, they wouldn't get any benefit from it. Another unknown id the introduction of a new generation of AMD CPUs. They have played catch up with Intel for almost three decades and it looks like they are going to release a new series that will finally surpass intel's offerings...for a while. All this is coming in the next few months and it has me exercising a little patience in hopes of adding a couple of years of future-proof to my next machine. I'll keep this thread alive with news of the new technology's progress. I will also be picking up some more parts unaffected by the upcoming changes and probably add some random ramblings on optimizing for photo editing and storage. Dave
  14. Good - Small - Cheap Pick any two. 🙂 A sad truth. Good luck in your search. Dave
  15. It's easy to make good pictures but you still have to drag your butt off the couch and do some work to get a great one. 😉 I keep telling myself that. Dave
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