Its December the 21st, the shortest day, and almost Christmas. Where has this year gone? Winter is as easy as it gets for wilderness landscape photography; sunrise is at 08:14 and sunset at 16:03 where I live. Its possible to have a late start and still be on location in plenty of time for the sunrise 🙂 Unfortunately, the weather isn’t playing ball tho, its warm with boring overcast skies. Anyway, its provided the opportunity to overhaul my workflow, tools and to catch-up on some much overdue processing.
I’ve been using Lightroom since 2007 when Adobe released version 1. Over the years I’ve got to know and love the software including its quirks and performance issues. In more recent years I’ve subscribed to Creative Cloud (CC) and its Photography plan. Its been a great value way to use the latest versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. I even subscribed to the full CC package as I used Illustrator and InDesign for a short period. But my use of the latter software was always for short-duration projects and thus maintaining a full CC subscription for infrequent InDesign and Illustrator use was not viable. Of course, on returning to the Photography CC plan I lost access to Illustrator, InDesign and the ability to rework those projects. This was an issue I recognised at the start but it got pushed to one side. However, with the recent announcement from Adobe that they will no longer offer a version of Lightroom outside of CC it was time to reconsider the whole software by subscription approach. I realised that I was deeply uncomfortable with the direction of Adobe and that it was time to seek new tools. Furthermore what really underscored the need to change was Adobe renaming Lightroom to Lightroom Classic and launching a new product that binds photographers to the Cloud. As far as I’m concerned Adobe might as well have announced they were discontinuing Lightroom.
So, its been a busy few weeks evaluating new tools, but I’ve now successfully moved my workflow and tools away from Adobe, choosing three core applications: Capture One from Phase One, Affinity Photo by Serif and Luminar 2018 by Skylum. Assuming I choose to upgrade each year it will be more expensive than a Photography CC plan. But I don’t have to upgrade and importantly I don’t loose access to the software should I not upgrade. OK, this software doesn’t provide the functionality of InDesign and Illustrator and I’ll need to find alternatives for those too. At the moment I’m considering Affinity Publisher and Affinity Designer.
It’s been a steep learning-curve for Capture One and I’m nowhere near as proficient as I am with Lightroom Classic, but there are many capabilities I think are much better. e.g. layer-based editing, export recipes combined with batch processing and annotations. Yes, there are some capabilities I’m missing, notably panoramic stitching and stacking but Affinity Photo has a great stitching capability and I’m hopeful that I’ll either discover an alternative to stacking or that annotations will suffice.
The demise of Nik is the reason for my inclusion of Luminar. It was the only application that seemed to come close both in effect and usability. Color Efex Pro was wonderful. Hopefully, its new owners, DxO, will give it a new life as a standalone product. Long live Nik!
Whilst evaluating software I’ve reprocessed several photographs from earlier this year. At the top of this post is the Wick of Sandsayre near Leebitten on Shetland. The day had been quite cloudy but by late afternoon there were signs of the cloud breaking then, as if by magic, they parted just before the sun set. Whilst hunting for interesting landscapes I stumbled across this bay with its little jetty. I love the detail in the wooden stanchions, rocks and water – it really looks better larger tho so I recommend you click on the photograph to see a larger version 😉 The second photograph is of a lonesome tree on Dartmoor at sunset. The colours in the sky were just wonderful.
As Christmas is just around the corner, I wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
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