Sunday, October 30, 2022

Customizing My Old Images. Because I Can

Cody, Nebraska 2008. ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Back in 2008, we embarked on one of our longest trips in the Hare-Brained Express, leaving Ann Arbor, where Margaret's brother installed a new radiator in the Bounder, for the west coast and back again. That trip was chronicled extensively on this blog back then, and you can relive the adventure by clicking on "2008" > "August" in the blog history in the right sidebar. But, if you don't want to go through that, here's the graphic overview...  

About a third of the way home, on the northern portion of the loop, we had to hit a small town in the southwest corner of South Dakota to renew our driver licenses, as we were (air quotes) "South Dakota Residents" for purposes of mail delivery, vehicle registrations, voting, etc. When that task was completed we dropped down into Nebraska and stopped for the night in a quaint little town called Cody. The city park there had RV hookups for $5 a night. It also had this view of a beautiful prairie railside grain elevator and water supply. I took lots of pictures. The picture leading off this post has been edited with, you guessed it, Luminar Neo. The original looked like this:

Yeah, a nice tree, but the main subject is the elevator, and the parts of the tree I left frame it perfectly, especially after switching to landscape from portrait. I also dialed up the warmth for a more "golden hour" look.

But, what if we weren't there in August of 2008. What if I wanted you to believe it was, instead, late October of 2008? Using the Landscape and Color tools, and some masking it's easy to bring on an Autumnal look to this image, (can't you just feel the frost in the air?):

Cody, Nebraska 2008 "Fall Edit"  ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Lastly, maybe we weren't there at all. Maybe we just saw the image in a photography gallery somewhere. An image by the alternate universe Dan Gauss? Multiverse of Madness, indeed! Well, if it's artsy, it's gotta be black and white, no? More Luminar Neo tools, of course.

Cody Nebraska 2008 (Black and White Edit)  ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Give you some ideas? Why not try it soon.  The Halloween Special Offer expires soon! And remember my Coupon Code: DANGAUSS to save $10 (not sure if it works with promo prices, but it wouldn't hurt to try!)

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these, I may receive a small commission at no increased cost to you. Thanks.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

It's Great.. To Be.. A Michigan Wolverine! It's Great.. To Be.. A Michigan Wolverine! Etc. Etc.

 Also, it's good to be an "Arrogant Ass from Ann Arbor" once again.

See ya next year, "Little Brother".

Oh yeah. My alma mater tightened its hold on the top spot in the NCAA Division II poll...  A good weekend all around. Drinks on me!

Just kidding.

About the drinks.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Value of An Evolving Editing Program (to me, anyway)

When  Luminar Neo first launched last February, it was a very good editing program, but not a great
editing program. It had a lot of useful tools, but it was also missing tools... tools that had been in previous iterations of Luminar: LuminarAI, Luminar4.  
                                                                                                                                                                Gradually, over the next few months, with free updates, improvements and additional tools were added. But the best was yet to come!
Fulfilling the promise to build a fully functional edit platform, to rival the best of the competition, the Luminar team began to drop the first of the "extensions", those being HDR Merge, and NoiselessAI, both of which you've seen on these pages. November will bring 3 more: UpscaleAI (which I teased in a previous post), AI Background Removal, and Focus Stacking.

(The fact that Skylum/Luminar can keep the doors open, and the updates and improvements coming all year long while working in the war zone of Kyiv, Ukraine is nothing short of miraculous!)

But I digress. How do I, Dan Gauss, find the evolving Luminar Neo so gosh darn valuable? Well, you already know I edit nearly every current image with Neo. But I've got literally thousands of old digital images, going back to my days as a sighthound event photographer beginning in 2003. And even thousands more on negatives going back to the very beginnings of Shot On Site Photography in 1994, and beyond!

With every new extension tool, it becomes possible to make nearly every old image in my compendium to look far better than they ever could have looked with the editing tools back in the day. A case in point:

Race Day Morning.2008 NOTRA Nationals, Boswell OK
©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

This is an image I found yesterday morning while assembling an order for images from this event*. I don't remember taking it, and if I ever saw it back in 2008, I don't remember it. Anyway, I pulled it off the disk and ran it through Luminar NEO. The original wasn't bad, mind you, but it was helped with a few tweaks. I'm looking forward to getting UpscaleAI next month. I'll take this 2MB original JPEG and see what it looks like at 32MB (or bigger?)

So, if you're like me, and have hundreds or thousands of old, small, digital images in need of improvements in color, or exposure, or resolution, you'll want to give Luminar Neo a try. And there's no better time than now to try it (risk free, of course). Special pricing and a bonus gift! Click the ghost in the right hand sidebar, or this link

*Yes, old Shot On Site friends, your old images (from 2003 on) still exist! They're still on my Photoreflect website!, and I still get orders to this day! Not all, mind you, but images from every major lure coursing event, race meet, breed specialty, open field hunt, ASFA II are there.  The regular weekend lure coursing and race meets have been removed, but never fear, I still have them on disk. Just email me:

And remember: if you do order images from "the olde dayes", they will now be edited in the latest and greatest Luminar software!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these, I may receive a small commission at no increased cost to you. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

It Was the Mother of All Crepuscular Ray Sunsets

Original Fujifilm X-E3 Raw File: f8, 1/800 second, ISO 400. Fujifilm XF 16-80mm f4.0 R OIS WR zoom at 18mm.

Last Saturday, I took a break from the recliner in front of whatever college football game I happened to be watching at the time to grab a snack, or refill my water bottle, whatever. Returning to the living room, I glanced out of the open front door and saw this magnificent photo opportunity.

Now, crepuscular rays are not an uncommon site here in The Land of Enchentment, but this was notably exceptional in that the rays were directed out in all directions, owing to the broken cloud formations, and the elevation of the setting sun.

I grabbed the X-E3 and stationed myself on the front porch for the next half hour or so, snapping picture after picture after picture.

I was hoping to get into the editing later that evening, but life - as it does- got in the way, and I didn't get to it until Monday. The screen grab above is the Fuji RAF raw file I started with when I opened up Luminar Neo and sat, staring at the screen, wondering how I wanted to proceed.

I'd watched a YouTube video a couple days before, by a Luminar ambassador, Jim Nix, edit a very similar image, using some of the seldom used tools in Luminar Neo. That's the direction I decided to go.

While Luminar Neo has a very cool "Sunrays" tool, it was obvious it wouldn't be necessary with this image. But I wanted to really accentuate them, along with the golden hour colors. Recently, I would have run this through the HDR Merge tool, just to see what it would look like, but I decided to forego that step. The tools I did use included the almost obligatory DevelopRAW, NoiselessAI, Structure, Color, Super Contrast, among the usual suspects. The seldom used tools included Toning, and Color Harmony.

The beauty of any of the Luminar platforms is that they are completely non destructive. You can experiment with any number of the tools, jack the sliders up to 100, play with colors, vignettes, details, etc. and in the end if you're not happy you can revert to your original raw file or jpeg and it's completely unchanged, and ready for you to start over. I've been there.

Anyway, without further ado, you're probaby interested in seeing how it ended up after using 12 different tools (some more than once, which is another cool feature of Luminar Neo). Here's the shot: 

"From the Porch", ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

Remember, if you're interested in any of the Luminar products, use the links above, and if you decide to buy, save $10 with my coupon code: DANGAUSS

Till next time.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these, I may receive a small commission at no increased cost to you. Thanks.