Saturday, October 19, 2013

Nikon Issues

I'm camera-less.

As many people know, Nikon has had some issues with the D600, revolving around dust (or actually lubricant) that gets thrown on the sensor. They won't admit it, but that's why they came out with the D610. My camera has been back three times. I sent it in again this week with a recurring case of the dust measles.

I'm going through withdrawal, but it's easier the third time around. Besides, I have so many images in my computer that I haven't worked on yet, who has time to go out and shoot? Actually, I was thinking about honing my skills by using nothing but my iPhone or my P&S for a while. Guess I have no choice!


See? The little Nikon S6000 point-and-shoot does a pretty good job. I turned the clarity down on the first shot in Lightroom, used the radial filter on the third one, did nothing to the middle shot. My house is basically ready for winter. That firewood has now been stacked, gazebo roof stored, maybe I will have to cut the grass one more time. Two more things to do, but I won't for a couple more weeks: put the snow tires on the Subaru and the snow plow on the ATV. 

but Nikon is doing the right thing

They're replacing it.  Too bad they can't do it directly, they have to support their dealer network and not sell directly to consumers.

There is now a cheque in the mail to me from Nikon for my full purchase price. I'll go out and buy a D610 next week. However in my discussions with Nikon, I told them that I would rather have a D800 or D800e and I would accept an exchange for a factory refurbished one. The bad news is, they don't have any on hand. The good news is, I have a written open agreement that when and if they do get one, they'll take the D610 in an even swap.

So I'm a happy guy, anxiously watching for the mailman...

It's a bad time to be without a camera. Here's an oil-painted image out of the point-and-shoot when I rode up into the woods today.

Another one. I love the contrast between the yellow maple leaves and the bare aspens and birches. 

I also did an iPhone video while riding one-handed through the trails. Too big a file to keep, unfortunately.

Did you  upgrade to Photoshop CC and do you run a Windows 64-bit system?

By default, the link that gets installed into LR5 when you install CC goes to the 32-bit version of Photoshop CC. That can only access a limited amount of memory and will crash on you with big files. You need to go in and point that to the 64-bit version.

Also by default, Photoshop CC installs a shortcut icon on your desktop that in my case (and in others on TIF, apparently) links to the 32-bit version. Toss it in the trash can, go to the c:/Program Files/Adobe folder and find "Adobe Photoshop CC (64 Bit)" and drag a shortcut to the Photoshop.exe file in THAT folder to your desktop and you're good to go. By the way, in the same folder you'll find a subfolder, "Plug-ins". Drag copies of your Topaz, Nik (Google) and other plugins from your previous version (assuming it was also 64 Bit) into it and they'll appear in your filters menu in CC.

PS: I was the one who caught that. Hold your applause... nah go ahead. Make my day.

Mechanic in a Can

One of the advantages of writing a blog, especially one that contains "the sporadic musings..." in the subtitle, is that you can write about anything that strikes your fancy. It doesn't have to be photography related but it has to be interesting, or at least of benefit to the readers. This is a case like that.

Many years ago, word of a product was passed around the Vulcan Riders and Owners Club. It was touted to be the solution to all problems mechanical. Unfortunately, it was only available at select locations in the US and the occasional visitor to Canada was kind enough to bring a few cans up with him (the main player in this ongoing play was – is – a Canadian ex-pat nicknamed "Kudzu" (all VROC members have nicknames. It's a biker thing. Mine is "Guns"*) from North Carolina who regularly visits family up here.

* It was supposed to be "Gunslinger", a play on my name and what I used to do before I turned back to photography, but there was another guy with that nickname. Although he died a couple of years ago, I've not changed mine in his memory.

The product in question goes by the unlikely name, "SeaFoam". They make more than one product, it's the 'motor treatment'. I'm here to tell you that if you own ANY machines with internal combustion engines, especially small ones, get some SeaFoam and put the recommended amount in the gas from time to time. I've used it in all my motorcycles over the years, but had forgotten about it until a couple of months ago when I couldn't get my ATV to start. Now you turn the key, it starts instantly. First bang. Every time. The same thing is true of a snowblower that hadn't been started in 2 years (for sale: I have the ATV and don't need it any more), a lawn mower, ANYTHING.

This stuff cleans out the carbs or injectors, it'll double your gas mileage, you can stop on a dime and get 9¢ change, it takes moisture right out of the gas (so you can use it when you're storing your bike over the winter) and I'm told it tastes like fine single malt scotch and will make your digestive system completely regular. OK, that last one was a joke. Don't drink it.

I thought it was a big secret: but the word's getting out. I mentioned it to the mechanic who's looking after my ATV and he says, "Yeah. It's magic. A mechanic in a can". And guess what? It's available at Canadian Tire now. Pass the word, but on the QT. You wouldn't want everyone to find out about it!

Here's a shot of my ATV from last week. Remember I wrote about increasing the colour temperature to 10,000°K? Oh yeah, that was in my newspaper column! If you do, it really changes the look of forest shots! OK, technically that's not what I did here, in camera, I did it in post-processing. 

Speaking of my newspaper columns... I've written 18 articles now. They're all up on the site (click on the "Tips" button). Taken together, they'll make a dandy eBook, so that's my next project. It's tough coming up with a new topic every week: years of writing this blog have helped. The other thing I'm going to work on is another printed coffee-table book, so watch for it! I'm going to try to do it in Lightroom 5.

This week's Feature Photo

When this immaculate 1965 Shelby Cobra showed up at the Inn across the road, I knew I had to photograph it. And I also knew what shot I wanted to achieve.

The trick was to get rid of everything except the rim-lighting and the orange signals. It started with a shot that was 5 (yes, five) stops underexposed. And then a lot of careful Lightroom and Photoshop work. I think it would look fantastic as a poster or a large scale print. Click to blow it up to full screen. Interested? Let's Talk

I'm going to try to do a featured image whenever I post to the blog. I've sort of been doing that, but not specifically. Let's see!

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