On the photo front, I've broken down and have a new laptop (a Dell XPS), and most importantly Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe Ligthroom. Let me start off with saying Lightroom rocks. No knock to gimp and dcraw, but I never quite got the juju for messing with RAW files on my FreeBSD boxes. Additionally not have any real colour management has been an issue. Now that I've been shooting RAW and comparing to the JPEG output, it's making me kick my ass that I didn't shoot RAW all the time. To use a photographer pun
Now I've seen the light!!
Think of the RAW file as a digital negative, and JPEGs as a Digital Print. Now that I'm getting the hang of Lightroom I highly recommend this piece of kit. I've also added Noise Ninja and Neat Image to my kit bag. I will be adding Photokit Sharpener and Genuine Fractals. I am also contemplatng Noiseware. I've found each noise reduction program does the job slightly differently and when I'm fine tuning images taken at high ISO each gives me differing results. I've played with picture cooler and it is interesting but since it isn't working with RAW's directly I'm not pushing it too hard. In Gimp I was really happy with GREYCstoration and if that was converted to Photoshop Plug-in I would be a very happy camper.
For colour management I've been using a Pantone Huey Pro and does that make a difference as well. It does monitor calibration, then room ambient light adjustment. Now when I shoot with my expodisc to do my white balancing I have a really good idea of what my colours are really doing.
So over the next few weeks I have a schwack of images that I've shoot but never uploaded, and I'm gonna suck up my dated philosophy of not messing with the stuff, and anything that I have a RAW of and I like, I'm gonna tweak it and re-upload it. I might do a little more radical alterations if necessary, but that requires a more serious review. I can do a great fast first pass with the enhanced workflow within Lightroom. I've umounted my high-horse and will work with my images to my the best photograph I can.