Friday, June 16, 2017

Photo Friday: Not Pleasing the Missus

My wife isn't happy about my year-long photo project.

Oh, it's not the content of the project: with most of the photos, she's given me an "oh, that's nice" or a "that's a beautiful shot," or even "I love that one."

She wasn't crazy about my Photo of the Day (POTD) pic of that young woman on the beach at Playa Pilar, but what can I say? I'm at heart a childish, dirty old man!

One of my favourite photos, so far, that was shot on our recent trip to Cuba, was a street scene in the town of Morón, an hour's drive from our resort on Cayo Coco. DW liked it so much, too, that I earned one of her "I love it" praises.

Here it is, for Photo Friday. (Notice how I keep with my current Cuba theme?)

So just what is DW not pleased about with my POTD? It's how I process the RAW image.

For years, I've been using photo-editing software that her company produces: Photo-Paint. PaintShop Pro. Aftershot. I've always been happy with the results that I've gotten from these products. They give Adobe Photoshop a run for their money—even exceed that industry standard in ease and speed of some features, at a fraction of the cost.

And, because DW works for the company on these products, we get them for free.

Part of my self-imposed criteria for my photo project is to not only shoot a different photo each day but to also get it out on social media in that same day. Depending on the time of day that I capture the image, I don't have a lot of time to get it off of my camera, process it, and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr.

About a month ago, I took a photograph at 11:37 in the evening. By the time I got home, I had less than 10 minutes to retrieve the photos from my D-SLR, select the best one, edit it, and deliver it onto my social-media sites.

I can't do that on a computer: I would need to pull out the dedicated cable that connects my camera to my laptop, transfer the images, open an app to view them, open one or more of my photo-editing programs, clean up the image, save it, and individually upload it to Facebook, to Twitter, and to Flickr.

Because Instagram doesn't let you upload from a laptop, I'd have to grab either my phone or my tablet, copy the image from Flickr, and then upload it to Instagram from the mobile app.

I'm tired just describing the process, and I know that all of that would take far longer than the method I use. And this is where DW is not happy.

Using my tablet, I establish a WiFi connection with my camera, and a Nikon app displays the photos as thumbnails. I quickly scan the small images, pick one or two that I like the most, and download them onto my tablet as RAW images.

I then open Snapseed, a powerful, free photo-editing app that is extremely quick and easy to use. It's not as robust as any of the programs that I have on my laptop—I can't work with layers nor do any fine touchups—but it's really good at popping colour saturation, sharpening details, and creating more contrast. It also has lots of filters for special effects.

Once my finished image is completed, I can go into Instagram, where I can upload and share the photo to that app, Facebook, and Twitter in one fell swoop.

After then, the photo goes into my Flickr POTD album.

Done and done.

I still use my laptop apps for other work: this week's Wordless Wednesday, for example, shows photos that were exclusively edited with PaintShop Pro. Even the firebreathing shot, which I had originally posted as a POTD from my tablet, thanks to Snapseed, was re-done on my laptop. 

DW doesn't like that I turn my back on her company's apps for a faster, easier one, but she understands that the constraints of my project call for mobile abilities. And I haven't completely forsaken these wonderful apps that she works on. I still rely upon them when I need to take great care at fine work.

Who knows: maybe her company will create a mobile version of its apps?

Except, it's hard to beat free in this competitive market.

Happy Friday!

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