Category Archives: Photography

Showing my photography at art festivals

I’m going to be showing my photographs at art festivals starting this Spring. You know, the ones with those 10×10 white tents? Here’s a photo of my booth (set up in my garage–no shows yet):

My show booth

You can see the 24 photographs I’ll be showing at

All of my 2017 shows will be in Colorado, in Boulder, Loveland, Erie, Denver, and maybe a few other places. If you’d like to be on my show mailing list to hear about upcoming shows, you can subscribe by clicking here. (Subscribers to my existing mailing lists won’t automatically be added to my show list.)

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 8×10 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:


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

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


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, 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.

Why I post-process my photos

I see so many photos on Facebook and even printed and framed that are JPEGs straight from the camera (or phone). Snapshots of people are usually OK, because cameras and phones are optimized for that, but anything else–travel shots, for example–are usually flat and boring.

Here’s an example from a recent trip to Denmark. First, the out-of-the-camera JPEG:

Out-of-the-camera JPEG

And here’s the identical shot after I processed the raw image with Lightroom and Topaz Detail:

Raw after post-processing

(Click on either photo to get to the SmugMug gallery, where you can see the images much larger.)

That detail in the sky was really there all along. You just couldn’t see it in the JPEG.

To see what you can do without investing in Lightroom and Topaz Detail, I took the original JPEG and played with it for about 10 min. in Windows Photo Gallery, distributed by Microsoft for free:

Processed JPEG

It doesn’t have the impact of the Lightroom/Topaz Detail version, but it’s way better than the original. So, even a little post-processing in the simplest photo app is worth the time. But to get rocks that aren’t a muddle and a dramatic sky, you do have to use professional tools.