Top 10 Software I use for editing

disks & thumbs storage

disks & thumbs storage

These are the TOP 10 software packages I currently use for my image and video editing and the hardware I use to run them on.

Surprisingly six of the ten programs can be had FREE for non-commercial use!
While four are paid or subscription model products.

Links to all the applications both free and paid are at the bottom of page.

The Software

What I edit still images with:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom Classic
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Photoshop
  • Skylum Luminar 2018 (Jupiter update!)
  • Topaz Studio
  • Microsoft ICE
  • Picolay

Image developer and catalog
Image editor
Image developer
Still image artistic effects
stitches panoramas
Focus stacker by Heribert Cypionka

 

 

 

 

 

My image catalog database is currently

  • Adobe Creative Cloud Lightroom  (Image developer and catalog)

 

What I try to bash together videos with:

  • Blackmagic DaVnci Resolve 15
  • Adobe Premier Elements 9
  • Handbrake
  • Audacity

Insanely powerful video and audio editor
video editor lite
video converter
audio editor

Note: A hiccup with the current Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 15 b3 and now b5 in some modules causes GPU out of memory condition,
Correction: hiccup appears fixed with the final GA release of DaVinci Resolve 15 now available!

The Hardware

The Monitors

  • ASUS ProArt PA248 (Main image editing display)
  • Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 (Text and control panels)

 

The eater of bits

  • Custom built Intel I7 system with
    • 32Gb RAM
    • 250Gb SSD + 500Gb SSD + 4Tb sata3 + 2 * 1Tb sata2 internal drives
    • Radeon R9 4Gb video card with 3 hdmi/dvi outputs
  • Wacom Intuos 3 9*12 tablet
  • Spyder Pro  (colorimeter)

 

Backup & Stability

  • Acronis TruImage 2018 (data backup)
  • A random array of Western Digital external drives (backup medium, on and offsite)
  • Apc UPS units (power stabilization)

 

Here are the links to all the products if you want to get any them

(Full disclosure:  I do use affiliate links for some products,   you do not need to use them)

Paid/subscription

Adobe Photography bundle includes both Lightroom & Photoshop for $9.99us/month at
Skylum Luminar is available for 99$Cdn at http://bit.ly/luminarpp
Adobe Premier Elements is available from Amazon here  Adobe Premiere Elements 2018
Acronis TruImage 2018 for 29.99$us (search the web for discount coupons!) at http://bit.ly/Acronispp

Free!

The following six products I use can all be downloaded and used for free!

BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve 15 (video/audio editor) for free at http://bit.ly/resolvepp       (non commercial use)
Topaz Studio for free at http://bit.ly/Topazst          (Pro adjustment packs are at extra cost, if you want them.)
Microsoft ICE (Panorama stitcher) for free at http://bit.ly/msICEpp
Picolay (Focus stacker) for free at http://bit.ly/picolay
Handbrake (video converter) https://handbrake.fr/
Audacity (audio editor) for free at http://bit.ly/audaditypp

Bonus

qDslrDashboard (remote camera control)  for free win/mac and paid app for android/ios at  http://bit.ly/2IVppWf
Wired and wireless camera control, timelapse with bramping, focus stacking, quite a powerful package.

Camera backpack and bags

Early gathering of my bag farm as it was in 2012

Early gathering of my bag farm as it was in 2012

The camera backpack and bag farm

As requirements and needs change over time one accumulates a variety of camera bags in search of that “perfect” one “does it all” bag that does not exist!

I dragged them all out in, took a photo of the bag family, and cataloged them all, yes bad weather stinks again, so am bored. (going to have to take a new updated photo some day, there are a half dozen or so new addition since this one was taken.)

These are the lists of the currently high use bags that head out with me, and a list of the entire bag family.

Lowepro seems to be the preferred go-to manufacturer for soft bags, in all my decades of use their products have never let me down!
Though the ThinkTank Retrospective 7 has become a favorite for city wanderings and air travel.
And Pelican (they also make Storm) for my hard shell cases.

I have replaced both the old LowePro Photo Trekker Classic and Slingshot 300 AW backpacks with a newer design Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack. Hoping for lighter weight and less stress on an easy to malfunction shoulder.

My current in use bags

Manufacturer Product Usage
ThinkTank Retrospective 7 day hiking, city wandering / urban exploration, travel carry-on
LowePro Flipside AW 400 field kit, day hiking
Kata-bags MarvelX-40DL Sony nex5r vlogging camera
LowePro S&F Filter Pouch 100 Filter's and holder
LowePro S&F Lens Exchange 200 AW FlipSide add-on
LowePro EX 180 “Strobist” lighting kit
Gitzo GC3100 Series 3 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Benro AC1046 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Pelican 1520 case vehicle gear transport
LowePro Stealth reporter D400 AW events
LowePro Photo Trekker Classic heavy field kit
LowePro Fastpack 200 wife's taken it for her kit

The entire bag farm

Manufacturer Product Usage
Benro AC1046 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Gitzo GC3100 Series 3 Tripod Bag vehicle tripod transport
Kata-bags MarvelX-40DL Sony nex5r vlogging camera
LowePro Flipside AW 400 field kit, day hiking
LowePro S&F Lens Exchange 200 AW FlipSide add-on
LowePro Orion AW currently unused/storage
LowePro Orion currently unused/storage
LowePro Toploader day trips to big city
LowePro Trimtech Odyssey currently unused/storage
LowePro Mini Mag P currently unused/storage
LowePro Orion Trekker II currently unused/storage
LowePro Fastpack 200 wife's taken it for her kit
LowePro Slingshot 300 AW currently unused, shoulder issue make it problematic
LowePro Stealth reporter D400 AW events
LowePro EX 180 “Strobist” lighting kit
LowePro Photo Trekker Classic heavy field kit
LowePro Film organizer AW Whats FIlm ???
LowePro D-pods 30 point&shoot
LowePro D-Res 20AW camcorder
Pelican 1520 case vehicle gear transport
Pelican 1300 case kayaking - dslr
Storm 3 model 2500 kayaking - P&S
Storm keycase kayaking - car keys
Sigma EX 120-300 case came with lens
Sigma EX 150 macro case came with lens
Tamrac Adventure 4 won as door prize
ThinkTank Retrospective 7 day hiking, city wandering / urban exploration, travel carry-on

DSLR a brief history of prices, rising?

Palantir See All mystic DSLR

Palantir See All, the mystic DSLR

Are camera DSLR body costs rising, stable or falling?

To answer that question I took a look into the past. Checking in on the mid level bodies from Canon since the introduction of the venerable 3.1 megapixel D30 way back in 2000.

I created a table of a brief history of Canon DSLR introduction dates and their pricing at the time of introduction.
Not including the top end 1D series and low end Rebel series.
Basically cut the top and bottom off,  just looking at the middle so called prosumer level bodies.

The table lists the Canon DSLR “Manufacturer Suggester Retail Prices” in the USA at time of their announcements.
Which surprisingly seems to have remained fairly stable over the years for each series of bodies.

If you factor in the ever rising inflation rate the actual cost of the bodies has in fact been slightly decreasing! Right along with the decreasing buying power of the mighty dollar as the years advance.

Body Month Year Suggested Price Megapixels Processor
D30May2000 MSRP US$3,500 3.1mp -
D60February2002 MSRP US$2,199 6.3mp -
10DFebruary2003 MSRP US$1,499 6.3mpDIGIC
20DAugust2004 MSRP US$1,499 8.2mpDIGIC ii
30DFebruary2006 MSRP US$1,399 8.2mpDIGIC ii
40DAugust2007 MSRP US$1,299 10.2mpDIGIC iii
50DAugust2008 MSRP US$1,399 15.2mpDIGIC 4
60DAugust2010 MSRP US$1,099 18.0mpDIGIC 4
70DJuly2013 MSRP US$1,199 20.2mpDIGIC 5+
80DFebruary2016 MSRP US$1,199 24.2mpDIGIC 6
series-----
77DFebruary2017 MSRP US$899 24.2mpDIGIC 7
series-----
7DSeptember2009 MSRP US$1,699 18.0mpdual DIGIC 4
7D mkiiSeptember2014 MSRP US$1,799 20.2mpdual DIGIC 6
series-----
6DSeptember2012 MSRP US$2,099 20.2mpDIGIC 5+
6D mkiiJune2017 MSRP US$1,999 26.2mpDIGIC 7
series-----
5DAugust2005 MSRP US$3,299 12.8mpDIGIC ii
5D mkiiSeptember2008 MSRP US$2,699 21.1mpDIGIC 4
5D mkiiiMarch2012 MSRP US$3,299 22.3mpDIGIC 5+
5D mkiv August2016 MSRP US$3,499 30.1mpDIGIC 6+
series-----
5DSFebruary2015 MSRP US$3,699 50.6mpdual DIGIC 6
5DSrFebruary2016 MSRP US$3,899 50.6mpdual DIGIC 6

 

Vero, the new Instagram Killer?

Vero Another social media image sharing service goes hunting to take over the pack in the cloud

Another social media image sharing service goes hunting to take over the pack in the cloud

Moved to Vero yet?
Look for me as “Peter Pauer” on Vero

What is Vero?

Vero is an image sharing social media service similar to Instagram with some MAJOR usage differences!

The differences

there are NO AD’s to flood your timelines.
and it has a NO algorithm linear timeline, so you see what people are doing as they post the content.

Rapidly growing

Right now it is experiencing explosive growth. Over the last few days Vero has become adopted by photographers and other creatives who are flocking in droves to set up accounts on the service.

Photographers and creatives who are completely fed up with the crazy things and algorithm scrambled timelines happening over on Instagram.

It’s user base streaked past the 1 million mark to well over 3 million in just the last few days.  And its continuing to rapidly grow. This unexpected explosive growth has causing service interruptions as the servers it is on could not handle the new rapid load growth.

Subscription model, a good thing!

Originally the first million users to signup were to have free lifetime access, after which new users would need to pay a small yearly access fee.
However the unintended service interruptions are good news for new people wanting to setup accounts. As they have caused Vero to extended the lifetime free signup access to new users until they get all issues resolved from the high growth rates.

A side benefit of becoming a paid access service might be no or few bots!
After all who is going to want to pay to create automated spam bot accounts?

The App and  futures

The app  “Vero – True Social” has jumped to #1 in downloads on google store and itume’s. (Currently it is only accessible from a mobile phone platform.)

Will it be successful and knock the ad clogged, scrambled timeline, berzerk rules on who see what post Instagram out?
Only time can tell!
But if Instagram does not wise up and clean up its growing stupidity Vero has a good chance at taking over.

Is it for you? Can’t say. But I grabbed my slot while the getting was good (free) and will see what develops on this new platform.

For more information their website is at https://www.vero.co/

Winter Photography – Minden Wild Water Preserve

We decided to take a short day trip to go do some photography at the Wild Water Preserve in Minden, on the coldest day of the year so far.

A little bit about the Wild Water Preserve

The Minden Wild Water Preserver Harrington Park is a stretch of rapids
that run along a portion of the Gull river between Minden Lake and Horseshoe Lake.
They can be reached by following Horseshoe Lake Road [County Road 20] from Highway 35.
About a 2.5 hrs. drive north east of Toronto on highway 35.

google map of Minden Wild Water Preserve

Wild Water Preserve

Whitewater Ontario owns and operates the Minden Wild Water Preserve.
The preserve boasts a campground, amenities and hiking trails on the 100 acre parcel of land for members.

The river’s whitewater section is 800 meters long and ranges from Class II to IV rapids with large rocks providing some interesting obstacles.
When kayakers are actively running the rapids, especially in the warmer season,  the preserve becomes a very popular and hectic site.

In winter the area is more serene, although the water seems even more wild!

Enjoy a short video

I made of the waters rushing through the Wild Water Preserve during a cold snap (around -25c) of winter.

 

More information can about Minden Wild Water Preserver Harrington Park can be found here

Topaz Labs 2017 end of year sale – 35% off coupon!

Topaz Labs has kicked off their End of Year SALE!

2017 end of year sale is over .

Get 35% off storewide, including plugins, the collection, collection upgrades, studio adjustments,
the Go Pro Pack and go Pro pack upgrades
(The Go Pro Packs and Collection are already 50% off, you can use this coupon to save even more!)

Use Coupon Code “HOHOHO” to save 35% through New Years Day.

The Coupon Code is valid on both stores!
If you are interested in the Studio Adjustments or the Pro Pack to to the Topaz Studo Store
if you are interested in the Plugins or the Collection go to the Topaz Plugins Store

Topaz Labs 2017 year end sale

Topaz Labs 2017 year end sale

 

Topaz Labs Black Friday 2017 75% off Coupon

Topaz Labs Black Friday 2017  75% off Coupon

Sale is over for 2017!

For Black Friday Topaz Labs is offering 75% off of all of the traditional plugins in the full TopazPlugin Collection or the newest technology in Topaz Studio with the TopazStudio Go Pro Pack.
Whether you want to achieve stunning photography enhancements
or apply artistic effects, either option has you covered.

Visit the Topaz Labs Black Friday page to learn more http://goo.gl/EvSrx9

The plugin Collection includes 17 Topaz Products including the Topaz
Studio versions of Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify. (over $1000
individually) for only $249.99. As an added bonus you receive a few pro
adjustments in Topaz Studio from Impression, Clarity, Detail and Simplify
As well!! Can’t beat best of two worlds!

*(Detail: Precision Detail & Channel Mixer; Clarity: Precision Contrast &
HSL Color Tuning; Impression; Simplify: Abstraction & Quad Tone & Edges)

You can also save on the updated Go Pro Pack with all 20 currently
available Pro Adjustments (over $450 individually) is on sale for just
$113.75.

The savings aren’t just for new purchases either. Owners of the older
Topaz Collections or older Pro Packs can take advantage of the savings as
well! They will just need to log in to their accounts, then add the
collection to their cart to claim their unique upgrade price for additional
savings on the Collection or Go Pro Pack!

*Note that this discount does not apply to individual plugin or adjustment purchases,
which are sold at full price.

 

The coupon code ‘BLACKFRIDAY17’, will be auto applied in either store when
you add the Pro Pack or the collection to your cart

Topaz Collection Black Friday 2017 75% off coupon
Topaz Collection Black Friday 2017 75% off coupon

Want to buy both

Want to buy both the collection and the Pro Adjustments?  Topaz Labs has you covered!
Visit Topaz Labs Black Friday page to see  how to get the most out of your money
It explains how to buy the the collection, redeem the Pro Adjustments
then get the Pro pack, so you aren’t double charged for effects in both packages!

As per my Ethics guidelines
I am a affiliate of Topaz Labs

Adobe release new products versions

cloudscapes

cloudscapes

Adobe releases their new versions of many products.

Of Interest to photographers are the former Adobe Lightroom CC has been renamed to Lightroom Classic CC
And the new Lighrtoom CC is now cloud based.

New plan pricing

Lightroom CC plan

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC and 1TB of cloud storage.
US$9.99/mo.

Photography plan

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC, 20GB of cloud storage, Lightroom Classic CC, and Photoshop CC.
US$9.99/mo.

Photography plan with 1TB cloud storage

Includes the all-new Lightroom CC, 1TB of cloud storage, Lightroom Classic CC, and Photoshop CC.
US$19.99/mo.

That’s US$10/mo for 980meg of additional storage?
In a year you could by a 4tb drive for the same amount, and handle your own backups.

For now think I will stick to the base photography plan!

Only time will tell how this will work out for them, but working in high end “cloud” systems for years I would not trust my personal important data to any of them.

Hacks, cracks, thefts and redundancy failures oh my.

Now the fun starts checking in on just how well these updates and new programs really work!

Topaz Studio (free version) Impressionistic test

Topaz Studio trial

After downloading the free version of the new Topaz Studio I planned to give it a whirl.
Then I selected a not so good (read normally an image that  would have been deleted) image file to play with and in a only a few minutes created this impressionistic result.

Before Sample of Topaz Studio creating an OK impressionistic image out of a normally deleted imageAfter Sample of Topaz Studio creating an OK impressionistic image out of a normally deleted image

It only took a few minutes! Using the builtin filters and presets, along with a little careful masking. Tools that are all available in the free version.
While the interface is not quite what I was used to with other more traditional editors it did not take long to get the hang of how things worked.

I promptly tried it on a rather pedantic image of  a field of wildflowers and in no time at all came out with this impressionist result.

topaz studio impressionistic flower image beforetopaz studio impressionistic flower image after

I am on an impressionist kick at the moment, however Studio can do a full gaumet of image types from highly realistic, to out of this world!

Get your own copy for FREE and get started with a great editing suite at this link
Get Topaz Studio FREE

Extend Topaz Studio with Pro plugins

Want even more control and power?
Purchase individual plugins that will extend the functionality of Topaz Studio here Shop individual plugins

Or Go Pro and Save! get the entire Pro Plugin suite and save 50% off the individual purchase price!

* Note that the current 50% off offer may end at any time!

Truth in advertising: I was impressed enough with the capabilities of the new Topaz Studio even in the free version that I have joined their affiliate program.

A mini review of Sky Crystals

A mini review of Sky Crystals – Unraveling the Mysteries of Snowflakes

Sky Crystals - Unraveling the Mysteries of SnowflakesSky Crystals – Unraveling the Mysteries of Snowflakes by Don Komarechka

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great book! It is a hardcover printed on a heavy stock that showcases the images very well. The book is divided into 3 main sections, with lots of very well reproduced images.

The first section goes into the science and mechanics of how snow crystals are formed.
The second covers the equipment and how-to of shooting your own images of snowflakes.
And the final section covers post processing the many shots in software to arrive at the final image.

Highly recommended read if you are interested in the science, or photography of snowflakes or even just looking at all the pretty pictures of these short lived wonders.

It was a catalyst in rekindling my interest in macro photography!
Very pleased to have purchased it!

View all my reviews on Goodreads

The book can be obtained from http://skycrystals.ca/