Category Archives: Op-Ed

A few more thoughts on Nikon Capture NX-D

This is what happens when using Capture NX-D for more than 30 seconds.
This is what happens when using Capture NX-D for more than 30 seconds.

I managed to get the beta of Nikon’s Capture NX-D working again briefly. For some reason, it did not like working with files that weren’t in my home directory (I keep my images on a separate external drive).

Between reader comments and playing around more with the software, I’ve discovered a few more tidbits, some of which I’ve added to my previous post.

To add to the list of missing features:

  • Effect opacity
  • Auto Retouch Brush
  • Lasso Tool

So you won’t be able to do ANY retouching in CNX-D Continue reading

Nikon Capture NX-D: The end of Capture NX as we know it

Nikon Capture NX-D: A return to 2004 RAW editing workflow.
Nikon Capture NX-D: A return to 2004 RAW editing workflow. I made this screen capture before the beta software stopped working on my Mac Pro.

Along with the Nikon D4s announcement, Nikon yesterday also announced a long-awaited upgrade to Capture NX2. Called Capture NX-D, this Nikon RAW converter is being offered for download while in beta form. Public beta testing is something Nikon has been reluctant do to in the past, and it’s something I applaud them for. I downloaded the beta of Capture NX-D to see what it would do. Unfortunately, it is clear to me that this new product is more notable for what it lacks than what it offers. Continue reading

Busting Nikon D800 Myths: Is Abject Fear Stifling Your Creativity?

Sweeping skies over Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm Nikkor lens, 74s@ f/22, ISO 100.
Sweeping skies over Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Nikon D800e with 16-35mm Nikkor lens and Singh-Ray 10-stop solid ND filter; 74s@ f/22, ISO 100. According to the Internet, I should not have used these settings with this camera (Click for a larger view).

I have a Nikon D800e. It’s an amazing camera and I love using it. Maybe you have one, too. But if you handle the camera based on some of the sage advice offered up around the interwebs, you might be missing out. While the advice, from a pure technical standpoint, might be valid, it might also be causing you unnecessary stress. Let’s take a look at three common technical warnings for D800 users.

Continue reading

Upgrading to Photoshop CS6 while you still can (video)

Adobe rolled out the new Creative Cloud (CC) service today. If you are a long-time Photoshop user, as I am, this new service eliminates a perpetual-use license for Photoshop. I purchased Adobe Creative Suite CS6 last year and I plan on using it for at least another year. If you have Photoshop CS5, you can still get the $199 upgrade price to a full version of Photoshop CS6 for a short time.

To do this, you need to go to Adobe’s website, as authorized resellers are not able to offer the upgrade pricing. However, Adobe has hidden the upgrade pricing (probably to entice you over to the CC product), so I made a quick video showing just how you can get CS6 at the upgrade price:

The reason I’m sticking with CS6 (for now) is simple. I already paid for it. While I’m sure there are many nice things in Photoshop CC, I really don’t need them. I’m using Lightroom 5 (which I strongly recommend at $149 full / $79 upgrade) as a perpetual-use license. That gives me ACR 8.1 (also updated to work in Photoshop CS6). Frankly, the number of new features in Photoshop just doesn’t appeal to me right now. I use Photoshop for layer blending, textures, and smart objects for my Nik Collection plug-ins. Even at the introductory price, buying into the Creative Cloud model today means I’m stuck in it forever… stop paying and your software deactivates. I’ll reconsider this decision next year and save for now. Even though CS6 users get the first year of software for $19.99 per month, that’s $239 I can spend on other things this year. Hopefully, Adobe will offer different pricing plans in the future that better fit the needs of Photographers.

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Slowing it Down for Better Photographs

By slowing yourself down, you can learn to see things differently and get better results.
By slowing yourself down, you can learn to see things differently and get better results.

Photography is more accessible than it is ever been. Advances in technology have given us wonderful equipment at fairly inexpensive prices. One of the greatest assets of digital photography is that it allows us to shoot high-volumes of images at relatively low cost. The ease of clicking the shutter on a digital camera means that quite often will end up with hundreds if not thousands of images. But how many of those images are really good? If you find yourself shooting quantity over quality then maybe it’s time to slow things down and take a slightly different approach to your photography. It’s so easy to shoot with digital that sometimes it can be hard to control yourself! Here are some simple techniques that can help you slow yourself down and potentially achieve better results. Continue reading