Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Ice, I̶c̶e̶ , Land, Baby


Iceland Photo By Matt Hardy

Luminar is again hosting a week long photo expedition to Iceland, a place forever on my bucket list- where it will no doubt die.  But just because I can't afford to take this trip doesn't mean maybe one or two of my followers can't. I know people with the financial means to go, but they're not all that interested in upping their photography game; and I know people who'd kill to spend a week in Iceland with 6 master photographers, but they can't afford to take the trip. Somewhere... somewhere out there is the happy medium: Someone with the bucks, and the desire. This post is for you!

This trip is limited to 36 lucky individuals, and will run from August 24-31.  I'm told there are still a few slots available. You can find all the pertinent details by clicking here 

It's not a lot, but if you decide to take the plunge and sign up for this trip of a lifetime, I can save you $200 off the package price, when you use the code, ICEMANDAN, when you check out.  I envy you!

Monday, May 15, 2023

YouTube Is My Fox News

Most Caucasian men my age spend their entire lives planted in their recliners being spoonfed weird conspiracies and right wing white supremacist talking points, till the drool puddles in their laps and their wives kick them out of the house sending them to the golf course to meet with all their red-hatted buddies.

Not me, though. When I get up in the morning, I grab a cup of black coffee, plant myself in the recliner (similar so far, but WAIT!), turn on the TV and start scrolling through YouTube videos... sometimes until lunch time (or beyond), just seeing what there is to see.

Of course, I have my selected favorites... cycling shows, like The GCN Show, GCN Racing News Show, and the GCN Tech Show, plus any racing highlights I haven't already seen on GCN+. Can't leave out politics... probably the best being Beau of the Fifth Column (watch, and you'll see... just don't judge that book by its cover!). I'll also always stop by at least briefly at the live cam for the Soo Locks.  Miscellaneous sports programs, home improvement, science, music (check out The Daily Doug!), cooking, baking, and on and on. The list is endless. Oh! How could I forget Looper?

But some of the best things I find are just from looking at the thumbnail and thinking, "hmmmm that might be interesting." Or, as was the case yesterday: "Oh! this will be awesome" when I saw this trio of crossroads blues soul selling:

And, as you know, once you view one type of video on YouTube, the algorithm won't let you go without showing you many many more of the same type. So, check out this master class!

Since this was so much fun, I may make it a point to plop a few of my favorite discoveries here once or twice a week. Would you like that? Sure you would.

A Tale Of Two Images

The False Slot - ©Daniel Gauss/Shot On Site

"False Slot"? This is nowhere as big as it looks. A kind of optical illusion, if you will. It's actually a massive boulder immediately north of the Pony Hills Petroglyph site in Luna County, New Mexico. Sometime in the distant geologic past it had broken into two parts. In reality, what looks like a one hundred foot long slot is closer to 20 or 30 feet, and about 12 to 15 feet high, and let's just say way too narrow for a slightly plus-sized septuagenarion like myselft to traverse. So,  kind of an entertaining illusion, right?

I wasn't sure the image above was going to come together. I had taken the two images below, with slightly different exposures, trying to get something that was balanced. I wasn't crazy about either, but I decided I would see what I could do with it back home at the computer. 

By now, you know that my editor of choice is Luminar Neo, and I was just itching to get this into the HDR Merge extension. There was a problem, though. These two images were just hand held. I did have my tripod with me, but pure laziness on my part kept me from setting it up.  As a result, when I pulled the two images into the HDR Merge extension, I had to opportunity to try out a function of the tool I hadn't needed in previous images:  Auto alignment.  Turns out it works pretty damn well. As you can see from the third image below which is a composite of the two images at 50% opacity, they weren't lined up very closely at all. Compare it to the finished image at the top of the page, and it put them together nearly perfectly. I say "nearly" because while the viewer will not see any fine details that didn't quite mesh, I can. I can always see the faults.  It's my curse. 😐


Have a look at the top of the right sidebar, and you will see an ad for the Mothers Day Sale, which has just a few more hours to run... till 7:00 AM EDT, May 16 to be precise. If you look and the ad's no longer there, you missed out again. 50% off. Or 60% off if you also use the code, PHOTODAN at check out. Later, all.