Custom Backdrop

Custom Backdrop

I am hoping my new custom backdrop (one I designed) arrives today.  It sounds like it will work great for my afternoon portrait appointment. In the meantime I’m working on retouching and administrative work.

I love the UPS phone app.  It tells me when packages arrive.  Better than a doorbell, I love this app.

App Alert

Around lunch time my UPS app alerts me my backdrop is delivered.  Wow!  How cool is that.

I run out and grab it and open it right away.  It is SO COOL.

copyright 2017 db walton - custom backdrop
Duplicity Backdrop by db walton

I could hardly wait to see it as a backdrop, so I did a self-portrait in front of it…

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db walton by db walton

I named it “Duplicity”.  Hang it one way and you have a background of cool tones for a portrait.  Flip it 180-degrees and you have a background for warm tones.  Hence, duplicity.

Right now this is exclusive to photography by db walton llc.  Perhaps a year or two down the road I will offer them to the public for purchase.  However, if you like it this is the only place you can get a portrait with it as a background!

The Shoot

My shoot clients arrive and yes, they look great against the backdrop.  I utilized the cool end of the backdrop.   I then had them sit and got a little of both.

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The New Backdrop in Use

I love it when a plan comes together.

ESL Event

ESL Event

Elizabethe and I attended an ESL event tonight at the George Eastman House.  John Lynch, Executive Vice President of ESL Investment Services talked about the state of the economy, factors that affect the GDP and forecasts.  It was quite educational.

After the event they put on quite the spread with a couple of carving stations and grazing stations.  The food was great.

As we left they gave each of us a parting gift… a bottle of wine.

Okay, I appreciate their generosity, but I wonder if they understand how many people don’t drink wine.  Thus, I’ll write them a thank you note and recommend next time they also have sparkling cider for those who don’t drink.

Gearing Up

We hit a few stores as we are gearing up for our 3 months without grocery shopping.  We hit the Indian, Turkish and Asian markets.  (Produce is much cheaper there.)

The Asian market has a nice bakery.  I picked up a couple of pork buns for lunch.

Since we were in Henrietta we used our Harbor Freight Tools coupons.  I got a few storage items.  One is for my little X-E1 camera so I can keep it in the car without worry of it getting damaged.

 

My Orders

My Orders

My orders today (from my wife) are to stay in bed and elevate my foot.  At one point I got up to look for something and she said, “You’re supposed to be laying down.”

Ever since my accident my feet have been giving me problems.  This morning is about the worse it has ever been.  I am taking her advice and giving it a rest.

I’ve been trying to connect the dots here.  I have no idea what brings on these “flare ups”.  It’s like this… If you are hitting your thumb with a hammer, and it hurts afterwards, then you know you’ve got to stop hitting your thumb with a hammer.  In the case of my feet, I can’t figure it out.  Yesterday I was on my feet a lot.  However, the time before when it flared up, I had been sitting a lot.  Go figure.

Temple

When I woke this morning I thought there is no way I could go work in the temple.  But, as the day progressed, the pain receded.  So, I went to the temple.

I told our shift coordinator about the calcification on my Achilles tendon.  It worked out well.  My assignments were all ones where I could mostly sit.

Retro 1950s

Retro 1950s

Doing a retro 1950s shoot was quite fun today.  Two young women whom I’ve photographed quite a bit came prepared with clothing that looks like it belongs in the past.  My favorite was this one that is straight out of the camera…

copyright 2017 db walton - Retro 1950s Look
Retro 1950s Look

Or this one that’s a little more 1940ish glamour…

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1940ish Glamour

Because I had two models, there was little down time.  One would change while the other was in front of the camera.  I took about 375 photos.

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From the Silver Screen Era

It’s funny how we look back on various eras.  I laugh at the trend to make photographs look old and faded, however, this is not that.  This is black and white at its finest.

SOOC

SOOC, or straight out of the camera, works well given my camera has built-in B&W film simulations as well as color filter.  The above were shot with Acros film and a green filter.  Well, not really, but the camera simulated the effect of Acros with a green filter.

The top picture in today’s post is SOOC.  No post processing.  You’re looking at what I saw in the viewfinder without any changes. (Of course, it’s nice to work with Angela because she has flawless skin and features.)

 

Four Hours

Four Hours

I got four hours of sleep last night.  I woke at 2am and I’ve been awake ever since.  So, I tried taking melatonin, twice, but it didn’t phase my insomnia.

Before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for church.  I was a zombie during my church meetings.  It’s funny, I’m sleepy, but not falling asleep.

So, after church I tried to take a nap.  I don’t think I dozed off, but the rest felt good.  Finally, I got up and fixed dinner.

Leftover Casserole

We didn’t have leftover casserole, but I made a casserole out of leftovers.  The bottom layer was stuffing.  Next, I put a layer of mashed potatoes and gravy which was topped with sliced turkey.  The final layer was stringbean casserole topped with french fried onions.

I had no idea how it would turn out, but it turned out quite well.  The sister missionaries liked it, and so did Elizabethe.  I think I’m onto something.

Sunday School

Sunday School was about the Whole Armor of God.  I realized something for the first time.  Perhaps fiery darts doesn’t mean they are on fire, but poisoned.  When the scriptures mention fiery serpents, it is talking about poisonous snakes.  Perhaps they are poisonous darts which makes even more sense when you think about it.

 

A Month Before Christmas

A Month Before Christmas

It’s a month before Christmas… and no, I’m not going to attempt to make some silly poem about it.  However, it is one of those days when I do not want to go to any stores or malls.  That’s crazy.

Elizabethe and I went downstairs and took inventory of our food storage.  I think I should make a list of things to prepare during our 3 months of no grocery shopping.  For example, what can I make with _______ (fill in the blank).

While taking inventory I discovered a can that had been dropped, and the dented area had rusted all the way through.  Thus, it is important to check your food storage.  I also discovered the mice chew through the plastic containers of bullion.   We’re transferring it to glass jars.

Two Days Before the Shoot

It is also two days before my next shoot.  When I have slow days I like to get ready for the next shoot.  This usually means cleaning up after the last shoot.  That means finding things I misplaced during the last shoot.

Nobody makes studio organization stuff.  Camera bags are meant for organizing on-location shoots, but nobody… I mean nobody makes organization stuff for your equipment in the studio.

But then, amateurs support the photography industry these days.  They spend the money on equipment, however, they don’t have studios.  It’s a Catch-22 for those of us who do.

I have this idea for a studio organization system, but the manufacturing of a prototype is beyond my skill set.  It would even work for an in-home based studio.  (I also have an idea that would revolutionize lighting.  Hmmm… How do I get the attention of Canon or Nikon, or one of the big flash manufacturers?)

55 Plus Interview

55 Plus Interview

Paul and I were interviewed for 55 Plus Magazine — a magazine devoted to those over 55.  It was a fun interview.  We’re told our story will be in the January 2018 issue.  You can darn well bet I’ll be sharing links to it when it comes out.  I felt our 55 Plus interview went quite well.

Prior to the interview I was searching photos from the trip.  I didn’t look at all 40,000 images.  I selected certain days I knew contained good human interest images.

Cheap Dates

Elizabethe and I are cheap dates.  We went to Burger King and used a 2 for 1 coupon.  Two Whoppers, two fries and two drinks for the price of one.  And, if that wasn’t being cheap, we then went to Wendy’s and used our keytags for our free frosties.  (You must make a purchase, but cookies are only a buck.  A cookie and ice cream for $1.  You can’t go wrong.

After Thanksgiving Sales

I didn’t go to any stores or malls today.  I hate shopping crowds.  Instead, I waited for my favorite camera store — B&H to e-mail me.  They had 64GB SD cards for under $20.  And, they had 8TB drives, like the ones I use on my server, for $160.  So, I stocked up on storage stuff.

A photographer can never have too much backup space.

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 has been quiet.  No guests, no family, no big meal, just Elizabethe and me.  We’re talking it easy.

I made a ham steak for Elizabethe, and a t-bone for me.  Again, nothing fancy, just the two of us.

Software Updates

I figured I’d pull my laptop and tablet out and update all the software and install the latest patches.  Yawn.  Why can’t they handle it like my smartphone does.  But then, maybe I don’t want my laptop communicating to the Internet what I have installed on it.

Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for what you’ve got.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be complaining about having to update a half-dozen software packages.

I updated all but one because it wasn’t a free update.  The others were all free.  So, do I spend the $70 for the update, or wait until another release and update then (skipping a release).

If I were keeping score it would look like this…

  • Adobe 0 – a lifetime of paying $10/month just to keep it running
  • Corel 5 – 12-18 months purchasing a new update for about $50-$70 (still cheaper than Adobe)
  • Topaz 10 – Purchase and all updates are free

Computer In Bed

I’m not sure how my wife can do it.  She can recline in bed and work on her computer.  I can’t.  I can’t get my head in the right position, balance the laptop, and type.  Perhaps she’s more flexible than I am.

Hmmm… better yet… no computers in the bed.

Cheesecake Factory

Cheesecake Factory

We order gift cards as our credit card rewards.  Often you can get more dollars for your points that way.  So, I ordered a $100 Cheesecake Factory card.

I took it today to buy a cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert.  Asking if I could mix and match, I got the shock of my life… “Yes, but you will pay the per-slice price.”

Hmmm… $8.50 to $9.50 per slice… 12 slices per cake… there goes my $100.

She then added I could get half a cake of one and half of another.

Bingo!

Elizabethe likes plain, and I like something more exciting.  So I got 1/2 plain and the other half pecan chocolate turtle.  That’s about 1/2 the price of buying by the slice.

Early Taste

After dinner tonight both of us took an early taste of the cheesecake.  It’s not like we’re going to run out tomorrow especially since it will just be the two of us.  In fact, we might have cheesecake for dessert on Sunday when we feed the sister missionaries.

The pecan turtle cheesecake was really good with one exception… the pecans don’t taste very fresh.  It’s not worth the drive back to Pittsford to ask for an exchange.  But, I will mention it the next time I’m there.  When you spend that much for a cheesecake, you expect it to taste fresh.

Wegman’s Bakery

The Wegman’s bakery had a pretty nice cake.  I think the next time I’m in the mood to splurge for a dessert it will be their cake that is half cheesecake and half ultimate chocolate cake.

Adobe Koolaid

Adobe Koolaid

So many people have drunk of the Adobe Koolaid.  I decided to pit Lightroom against ACDSee today. After returning from a walk where I shot about 100 photos, I decided to see what’s quicker. Well, Lightroom is STILL loading the images and rendering the thumbnails. During that time I was able to rate all of my photos in ACDSee and modify three of them.

Oh, and if you’re running Lightroom on a PC and want it to run faster, there are two things that speed it up. 1) disable Adobe update (run it manually when you want to update), and 2) uninstall QuickTime (uninstalling QuickTime will make your PC run faster in general.)

It looks like Lightroom is about done importing those files. (Yeah, I was able to type this too.)  Waiting… waiting… Okay, maybe it isn’t done yet.

Why am I so adamantly against Adobe Creative Cloud?

Supporting it feeds mediocrity.  Not in what is created by Adobe products, but the products themselves.  Yes, they produce some cool features others haven’t thought of yet, but the lack of quality control and assurance means you end up with a mediocre software package.  (i.e. riddled with bugs).

The entire idea that you’ll just update the software and see what bug reports you get goes against everything I was taught as a software engineer.  SQA is what we called it.  Yet, I understand what Adobe is doing.  In this, “We want it now”, society customers grow impatient.

I would gather to say most of Adobe’s income comes from non-professionals who don’t care about speed and reliability.  If you can get that crowd to buy your product, then more power to you and your shareholders.  I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite them in the butt.

What was the winery back in the 1970s that said, “We’ll sell no wine before it’s time?”

Well, Adobe abandoned that concept a few releases ago and now has placed most of their products in that bucket except for Photoshop and Premiere Elements.  I just wonder how much longer before both of them become on-line use-at-your-own-risk applications.

A Recent Complaint

A recent complaint from a fellow photographer left me shaking my head and wondering, “Why do you put up with that?”

Yes, if you know Photoshop inside and out, switching to a new program has a learning curve.  I’m still going through that learning curve with Photoshop alternatives.  However, I believe I will be the better for it (financially and professionally) for having done so.  (Of course, most software is use at your own risk, however, when you purchase a perpetual license of a product that has been thoroughly tested, you can at least hold on to a version until you are sure the bugs are fixed.)

Wow!  Lightroom is STILL loading those photos.  We’re going on about 25 minutes now.

Here Not There

Why is this rant here and not on my dbwalton.com web site?

I put it here because my photography clients wouldn’t care about my rant.  And, perhaps you don’t either, however, this is my personal blog and you’ll have to put up with my ups and downs.

Oh, I’m still waiting for Lightroom to complete the import of those images.  Ah, that Adobe Koolaid comes with a bad aftertaste.

copyright 2017 db walton - Adobe Koolaid
Sacred Grove This Morning

Above image processed with Topaz Studio with Topaz Labs plugins.