Marc Rochkind's Apps, Books, and Opinions


You can now buy prints

You can now buy prints from my SmugMug gallery, at a very reasonable cost. For example, the regular price for an 8x10 is only $12.99.

And, until Oct. 10, 2016, you can use the coupon code Basepath50 for a 50% discount of the pre-shipping cost on any order.

What the heck do you do with a photo of Half Dome?

Taking a pretty picture of Half Dome from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park is incredibly easy. You put on a telephoto lens (90 mm equivalent, say), aim the camera, and shoot. I goosed it up a bit in Lightroom and used the new de-haze control:

mjr_2016-09-06__9060066

Not a thousand words here, but just one: Boooooooooring.

But, if you take it into Topaz Adjust and choose Spicify, you get this:

mjr_2016-09-06__9060066-edit

I was in California for a week, and got seven photos worth showing you, all processed by Lightroom and Topaz Detail or Adjust. To see them, click here.

Two Lightroom non-alternatives

From time-to-time I take a look at Lightroom alternatives. Not because I'm thinking of switching, but just to stay informed. ($10/month for Lightroom + Photoshop is an incredible bargain.)

First, I tried Lightzone. Didn't get far, because the screen font was too small to read on my monitor, with no way to make it any bigger other than to change the resolution of the monitor, which is out of the question. So, can't say too much about Lightzone. Maybe whoever works on the Windows port can get a better monitor for Christmas.

Next up, DigiKam. Lots of features, but it won't work for me because (1) the raw editing is incredibly clunky, and isn't parameterized like Lightroom (no going back to tweak an adjustment), and (2) no way to export JPEGs to a folder, something I do all the time when I create magazine and books, prepare a slideshow, upload to Photo.net, and lots of other things. I couldn't believe the app couldn't do this, so I spent a couple of hours working on it, but I'm convinced. Maybe they think that since they're changing actual image files, they can stand for themselves when you need a JPEG externally. That's hopelessly wrong.

In the course of investigating digiKam, I came upon several very positive online reviews and user comments, and found most of them pretty sad. A combination of group-think, denial, ignorance, and boosterism. They don't know what they don't know. One guy made a comment that he didn't use Lightroom, but his brother did, and, from what he could tell, the two apps were pretty much the same. Another reviewer was bothered by digiKam's white screen, figured out how to make it gray, and then showed screen shots of digiKam and Lightroom side-by-side and figuratively patted himself on the back.

digiKam comes from the Linux world, although there are ports to Mac OS X and Windows, and the Linux people usually grade on the curve. If the Linux, MySQL, and Apache developers had that attitude, they would have gotten nowhere.

If a Lightroom competitor comes forth, it will most likely come from Affinity, whose Photo and Designer apps probably are giving Adobe sleepless nights. But, like Adobe, their apps don't run on Linux.


Click here for the whole blog.

Mac/Windows Apps

Apps for serious photographers: Exif­Changer, Ingest­amatic, Proof­Sheet, and Exif­Extreme.

Verifying and Uploading Large Archives of Photos

ZipVerifier and S3BigUpload are for preparing large image archives and uploading them to Amazon S3 and Glacier. Designed for the backup of last resort, to be retrieved only if all other backups have been destroyed. The emphasis is on verifying that the archive is absolutely correct and that the upload, which could take days, completes and is correct.

SmugMugBrowser

The first Chrome App for SmugMug. You can browse galleries, organized by category and subcategory, view thumbnails for a gallery, and view larger images, annotated with EXIF data. As it runs under Chrome, it works on Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Chromebooks.

Classic Cameras

The web version of the iOS Classic Cameras app, now free. Features high-resolution photos of over 100 classic cameras, along with reviews, ads, and lots more. A treat for anyone who's ever shot with a classic film camera.

Wright Brothers Photographs

Photographs taken by the Wright Brothers themselves, digitized by the Library of Congress from the original glass plates. Contains 183 photographs with captions. Includes many taken at Kitty Hawk, including early gliding experiments and the first flight.

Programming Chrome Apps

Also available from Amazon.

Expert PHP and MySQL

My latest book, capturing what I've learned building apps, both the few successes and the many failures. Advanced material, too, such as two-factor authentication and data conversion.

Published by Apress in 2013 and available from Amazon.

Generating PDFs with PHP and FPDF

How to use the free FPDF library to generate PDFs directly from your PHP app.

Published in 2013 and available as an eBook from Amazon.

Advanced UNIX Programming

The first book on UNIX programming, updated in 2004.

Published by Addison-Wesley and available from Amazon.

More Books

All of my books (16 or so), available from Amazon.

Bernie's Bar & Girll

My first (and only) novel, which would be a romance, except that the main character is a man. It's got everything: humor, sex, a car chase, a bar fight, a trial, an exposé of Big Oil, and some endearing Creationists.

Published in 2012 and available from Amazon as a $1 eBook.

Articles

Various articles I've written over the years, ranging from mind-numbingly serious to ridiculously silly. Most are in-between.

Contact Me

Click this box for support on any of my apps or to contact me generally.

Entire site ©2006-2015 Marc Rochkind, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Books image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.