Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Friday, January 13, 2006


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Back Door

Steve Gibson thinks that the latest WMF security hole is actually a back door. I'd take this more seriously if it came from someone else. I think Steve Gibson is a bit of a crank.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Ah -- the new Intel-based Macintosh computers boot with EFI. That answers the BIOS boat-anchor question. This is cool.

Has anyone seen any reports of how the new Intel MacBooks sleep?

A Picture

Worth a thousand words.


The Grimace
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

MacBook Pro

So the new Apple Laptops are nice, but when will VMWare run on it?


Rainy Cab
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It is really raining tonight.

Nikon Nixes Film?

In this press release, Nikon UK seems to indicate that it will cease production of a number of film-related products.

Following the success of our digital line-up over the last seven years, which has resulted in more than 95% of Nikon’s UK business being within the digital area, Nikon Corporation has made the decision to focus management resources on digital cameras in place of film cameras. This decision will allow Nikon to continue to develop products that match the demands of an increasingly competitive market place.

[...]As a result of the new strategy Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses with sales of these products ceasing as soon as they run out of stock. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories.

It seems to be saying that all large format and enlarging lenses, as well as all film bodies except for the F6 will no longer be produced.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


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Monday, January 09, 2006


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There is a darkness in my mind and in my photography that I want to lose this year. I want to see light.


Just a few thoughts about Adobe's recently-released (in beta) Lightroom application.

Positioned as a competitor to Apple's Aperture, Lightroom has a similar look-and-feel. Because its features overlap somewhat with Adobe's bridge, comparisons between the two Adobe products are valid, too. Where both Bridge and Lightroom attempt to organize and display groups of photos, Lightroom has some of Potoshop's Adobe Camera RAW plugin functionality: basic adjustment of exposure, white balance, black point, contrast, etc...

Lightroom Browser
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I like the neutral colors in the browser, and, as reported, scrolling around the images is generally quick and smooth. Importing photos is a different story.

My super high-tech workflow involves making a folder for the RAW images from each "shoot," dropping the folder into an "Edit" folder, then doing a basic pass of editing. The photos that pass the basic editing step get dropped into a "Post" folder. There are currently 10.1 gigabytes of images in that folder, a combination of RAW and PSD files.

Importing the "Post" folder took about sixty minutes. The initial import was done in under a minute, but Lightroom spent the rest of the hour churning through the files' metadata and generating thumbnails. This points out one thing I haven't seen others mention; Lightroom does just fine with Photoshop format files. Lightroom allows for two ways to manage photos: let it manage photos internally or manage files in external folders. I elected to have Lightroom manage my existing folders. Note that Lightroom will manage downloading images from portable storage, like a CF or SD card.

Once the files were imported, they appeared in Lightroom's browser, a thumbnail display. Lightroom allows you to change the size of the thumbnail, add metadata individually or to a set of photos, organize into "Collections," and rotate the photos. One thing I couldn't find, however, was a way to change the sort order of the browser window. It seems to sort images by date taken, as pulled from the image metadata. It would be nice to sort by name, etc... Maybe this is in there and I missed it.

Light room, like Apple's Aperture, seems to have the idea of a single, grand library. I was hoping that Lightroom would let me have multiple libraries: one of images to be edited, one of images waiting for post-processing, and one of images archived to external storage. This doesn't seem to be possible. Lightroom dumps all imported images into a single library.

Lightroom File Moved
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Removing an image from a folder doesn't make Lightroom explode, but it also doesn't seem terribly comfortable with it. The software preserves the thumbnail and tells you where the image used to be. If managed folders are moved, however, Lightroom tracks them seamlessly. Nice touch.

Once you have located an image, the "Develop" function lets you adjust basic image settings on both RAW and Photoshop files. These controls should look familiar to anyone who has used the editing tools in iPhoto, Adobe Camera RAW, or Aperture. The controls are smooth and appear to be high quality. Note that Lightroom doesn't appear to have tools for croping, rotating or skewing / transforming images. Seems a strange omission; maybe I missed this one, too.

Lightroom Develop
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Like aperture, Lightroom has a "Loupe" tool, but Lightroom's isn't nearly as cool as Aperture's. Basically a 100% zoom.

Lightroom Loupe
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Still, good for marveling at the detail captured by your snappy digital camera.

I like Lightbox's printing tools. They are particularly nice for making contact sheets.

Lightroom Printing
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There is a "Repeat One Photo Per Page" feature that I really like.

Lightroom Four Up
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This repeats the same photo in whatever layout you have chosen. Great for redlining in cropping instructions or making a dodge/burn plan. Good stuff.

Most of Lightbox's features are unsurprising. As with Aperture, I'm left wondering, "who will buy this?" Depending on the price, it would be a cheaper way to get Adobe's camera RAW plugin into your workflow if you didn't want to buy the full version of Photoshop and didn't want to use Photoshop elements. And like Aperture, it would be sufficient if one only wanted to do basic image editing. Allowing multiple, disconnected libraries or enabling multiple computers to share a library would push the software upstream. Enhancing the basic image editing features would push it down market.

It will be interesting to see where Lightroom goes.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Daily Snap returns tomorrow.