Monday, November 19, 2018

Things Go Wrong

Sunday afternoon at the marsh
The skies are still smoky here, but we're supposed to get a whole lot of rain Tuesday night that will pour all the way through Thanksgiving weekend. It'll be good for clearing the smoke out of the skies, but it's going to make travel tough for all the people who will be heading out for family gatherings. We're not going anywhere, just going to wait this storm out at home.

My camera has a problem that is not repairable. See the smudge in the sky and one in the water in the above photo? It's not on the lens, it's somewhere in the camera that I can't get to. All my photos now have it. I had been able to use Photoshop to edit it out of the photos lately, but now Photoshop isn't working for me.

I got a new computer the other day, and for some reason my Photoshop CS6 won't let me use it anymore. I bought the application 2012 and when I try to use it it wants me to log in to Adobe and start a 30 day trial. I remember going through this with the program last year when I got a new computer then. Somehow I figured out how to find the serial # and fix it, but really I don't want to go through the long drawn out hassle anymore.
Saturday morning at sunrise fog and smoke
So, I'm going to buy a new camera. I'm not a photographer. I have a good eye but no actual skills when it comes to F-stops, focus, etc. So, it should be interesting to find something that will let me photograph clouds and halos, dragonflies and spiders, and sun and moon risings. I've heard that Nikon Coolpix 900 might be good for my level of know-nothingness, so I might head to the store to see if I can easily and comfortably hold one in my hands. I've also heard they're a bit big and heavy. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Also, any suggestions for photo editing programs would be great as well. What do you use to enhance your photos to make them look the way the scene looked to your eyes? I've been reading about something called GIMP. I may try it.

In the meantime, I'm going to use my smudgy camera and the Preview photo editing program that comes with my Apple laptop. 


39 comments:

  1. Had Gimp on my PC at work though could not fathom out how to use it. I also have pgotoshop Elements but have not loaded it on my lapto instead I tend to use the softwear that cam on my laptop (Windows10) CS6 is donkey's years old now so no doubt it's not supported you hav eto use the online version now. If you want buy something get elements 2019 is a cut down version of the full photoshop. The freebie I use is Irfanview but there are a lot of free wear you can try out. The nikon 900 gets good revies though. I'm a Canon fan my wife like Sony and has her eye on the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX10 III. Just get the best you can afford and you won't go wrong

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    1. Bill-- It's true about CS6 being donkey's years old. I've had it a long, long time. I think I may try Gimp. Roger downloaded it on his computer, so I'll play with it there. I'm going to try out a lot of cameras at the store to see which one seems right. Thank you so much for your input.

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  2. I had a camera that produced smudges like that. I had resigned myself to throwing it away but before doing so took the drastic step of seeing if putting the vacuum-cleaner hose against every possible part of the camera might cure the problem. Amazingly this worked! While I would not recommend this course of action, as it could equally well wreck the thing, if you're going to throw the camera away you might as well try it.

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    1. John-- It never occurred to me that the dusty smudge might be removable with some vacuuming effort. I may give that a try. I don't mind wrecking this camera. I'm really on track to get a new one anyway.

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  3. I mostly just use the photo editing program that came with my Mac laptop. And I often push colors using Instagram filters. I used to use 35mm cameras but now I just use my phone. Which isn’t ideal. The iPhone camera has quite a bit of distortion, especially on faces. But I’ve become used to the convenience of it. Your making me think I should dig out my old nikkormat again. It’s from the 60s, belonged to my uncle before he gave it to me when I was 10, and is built like a truck and still works beautifully.

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    1. 37paddington-- When I was the assistant director of student media at UC Santa Cruz, I learned how to use Photoshop. It helped me to advise the students. I got very attached to it, so kept buying the application. Now they don't "sell" the application, they expect consumers to pay them monthly to use it. CRAZY. Roger has an old Nikon that he has talked of dusting off and using it again. Ah the modern world.

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  4. GIMP is the Photoshop equivalent of Open Office. If you know your way around Photoshop, you should be able to use GIMP. Elements is the pared-down Photoshop for casual users and you can't go wrong with that. Since I'm a Photoshop user, I don't use photo editing software that comes with my Mac and cannot speak to its merits.
    Point and capture cameras have changed so much since I used one, I can't point you in any particular direction.
    Ha! I'm so useless, you're probably wondering why I even commented here.... :-)

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    1. CCorax-- I know my way pretty well around Photoshop, but my skills were honed many, many years ago. I like the idea of GIMP, so may give it a try. You made me laugh. Useless...hah... I always love what you have to share here!

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  5. I forgot to mention, my cameras (plural) have all ended up with those spots. They really need regular maintenance I haven't been able to afford (maintenance as in "sent out to have them cleaned"). Also, there should be a "clean sensor" function on the camera, and you should use that on a regular basis. Which I've never done. And I have those spots, although whether they are on the sensor or not, I do not know.

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    1. CCorax- Ah you remind me that I should google around to see how to clean and maintain this camera. To be perfectly honest, I never really liked it that much, so I am not sorry to see it go.

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  6. Think I would try John's remedy. A speck of dust could cause that image. Let us know what you try.
    Have no idea about Photoshop programs. Probably why I don't post many pictures. You do though and so well so I hope you find an answer.

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    1. Patti-- I am going to try John's remedy. It sounds like an interesting way to approach this smudge. I'm learning about all the new stuff that has changed since I bought Photoshop 6 years ago. Ah the modern world!

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  7. Cameras and computers are a mix made in Hades. I'm convinced of it. But . . . . persevere. I'm confident you will come out on top.

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    1. Catalyst- I agree, a mix made in Hades indeed. I'm a slow decision-maker, weighing everything carefully. Not sure how long this mess is going to take me!

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  8. It looks like dirt on your sensor. If you have a removable lens, cleaning is not difficult.
    On photoshop, you are allowed to use it on 2 computers so you will have to remove it and reinstall on the new computer. I still have PS5 and refuse to pay Adobe for software that I don't own. No monthly fees for me.
    Elements might be a work around.
    Also I have a P900. It has an incredible reach but the viewfinder is not great. I use the screen a lot of the time but that can be problematic in bright sun. Tripod infinitely improved photos when using the lens extended and the video is superb.And it has a moon mode!Only shoots jpg which means your PS6 won't have any problems opening.
    It's a good bridge camera but I prefer my D500 and lenses.

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    1. MyamuhNative-- This crazy Panasonic Lumix I have won't let me remove the lens, so I'm pretty stuck. I was going to buy a new camera anyway. So I'm not too bummed out about it. I do a lot of photography pointing my camera at the sky, I love halos and atmospheric optics, so I am worried about that sunlight issue. Other users of the P900 have mentioned that to me was well. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it.

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  9. I have GIMP. It is similar in spirit to Photoshop, but not as good. Still, since my computer stopped allowing me to use my old version of Photoshop, too - GIMP is all I have. I'm happy to have it.

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    1. Colette-- I love knowing that you use GIMP. That gives me some confidence in trying it out. Roger downloaded it on his computer yesterday, so I may play with it some today.

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  10. Re: Photoshop's pricing, I just looked it up. It's $10/month and you get Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. That is so much cheaper than what you had to pay back in the days of Photoshop CS, it's hard to argue that they are ripping you off.

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    1. CCorax-- I thought it was $20 a month, so $10 sounds actually pretty reasonable. I may have to check it out.

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    2. this is what I use -- the yearly plan provides updates and that's a good thing because sometimes the programs have glitches that need fixing.

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  11. I have used a Nikon D 50 since they were introduced (?2004?) and have loved it. It has never given me a problem until recently and I may be forced to buy a new camera. I will definitely buy one smaller and easier to handle, but still a Nikon so my lenses will fit.

    I have never used any of the photo programs that come with the laptop. My pictures are what you see is what you get.

    Hope you will share with us the results of your search and final decision.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- I never really loved the camera I've been using for the past two years, so I don't mind giving that one up. It's so hard to figure out what to get these days. I look forward to seeing/hearing about the new camera you buy.

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  12. I wish we could have that rain. Or at least a bit of a damp morning.
    I hope you will sort out your problems because no way can we go on without your pictures!

    I had a Lumix and it developed a black spot which took some time to be noticed. Same story, can neither be opened nor cleaned. I did some research online and through a photography class a friend ran at the time and was given a lengthy and complicated explanation incl. air pressure. Now I just use my phone and leave the elaborate stuff to my family.

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    1. Sabine-- Well, we found the original Photoshop CS6 disc in its original box, serial number and all. So I just installed it on the new computer. The application is a bit old for this spiffy new Macbook Pro, but I'm still going to give it a try. I'll keep trying to post pretty pictures!

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  13. Our little Nikon S9700 also has a spot which is almost certainly dust somewhere inside, on the sensor or on a lens element. I have tried the vacuum trick to no avail. Apparently the long-zoom, fixed lens cameras are susceptible to this problem. When the lens extends, it expands the volume inside the camera, so it sucks air from outside into the camera, sometimes bringing in dust with it. We are not careful enough about dust, apparently.

    I have a small, interchangeable lens camera, an older Olympus model, but I would like an even smaller, pocketable camera that I can take with me on my dog walks. I am kind of looking at a Panasonic (ZS100) which gets good reviews, but I'm not sure about it at this point.

    It seems like you take photos that need a longer lens fairly often, so I guess you need either a long-zoom fixed-lens camera kind of like our Nikon, or an interchangeable lens camera like a DSLR or the kind we have.

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    1. Mark-- It never occurred to me that dust could get into the camera like this. Such a strange thing. I'm going to head out to the store in a few days to look at what's available and hold some cameras in my hand to get a sense of it. My first digital camera was a Nikon Coolpix with a 3x optical zoom. I loved it. I wouldn't mind having a new model.

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  14. I love my very LIGHTWEIGHT mirrorless Fujifilm XE 1. You'll pay more for it, but it is truly a great camera with the added benefit of being lightweight. You can use a variety of lenses on it. And, the image quality is OUTSTANDING and your pictures will all of a sudden look WAY MORE FANTASTIC. In all my 40 years of photographing, I've never experienced such a quantum leap in image quality.

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    1. Tara-- I may have to look at one of those cameras as well. But I really need something that is a little more sophisticated than a point and click, but not anything that requires me to know how to do any kind of actual settings or stuff. Oy.

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  15. Just started using GIMP, on the advice of my partner's son that the latest version doesn't have as steep a learning curve as it used to. He's right! I'm finding it very comparable to Photoshop. Like you, I exhausted my allowable installation of PS from the disc, which pissed me off sufficiently to make me want to wean myslef off of proprietary editors and go open source. Besides, to get Photoshop now, you can't even really download it; you subscribe to it online. Which is even bigger bullshit than DRM.

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    1. Dave-- I found the original disk for Photoshop CS6 with the serial number and was able to get it on to my computer. The tricky part was that these new Macbook Pros no longer have disk drives, so we had to use an old computer with a drive and blah blah blah. I think I would like to try GIMP because I find Adobe's subscription idea to be total bullshit as well. So good to hear from you, Dave! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  16. Using Adobe once in a while, but Corel Photopaint and GIMP for the most part. Also thinking about getting a smaller camera that is lighter to carry, possibly a point-and-shoot Lumix.

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    1. kerrdelune-- I'm going to have to check out Corel Photopaint. I seem to remember that from years and years ago. I have a Panasonic Lumix now. It's my second one, I like it but it has let me down on many occasions.

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  17. Been busy and sick, etc.. so just getting around to visiting here. Well, you know, I'm still very happy with the Nikon P900. Trish on FB is using one too - for her nice hawk photos. It rarely lets me down. Didn't take long to start taking good bird photos -- which was my main reason for getting it. If I wasn't planning on photographing the moon, birds whales, etc.. I would use one of my other cameras as it weighs a couple of pounds. However, that's my favourite stuff to photograph. I have a long strap - almost like a guitar strap -- and it attaches to the bottom of the camera using a little bracket. I can walk around with it for hours without feeling the weight of the camera. I see you solved the photo editing problem. I confess that I just use the iPhoto tools for most of my cropping and tweaking. If I need something more, I use Gimp.

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    1. bev-- I'm still trying to figure out what it is I most want to photograph. I really like atmospheric optics and that often requires close proximity to sunlight. So, I'm thinking about how to proceed. I did get my Photoshop CS 6 loaded, but I think I may want to try GIMP just in case Adobe fails me. I have found that iPhoto has some fine editing tools. So glad you are feeling better!

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    2. Just wrote a reply but it vanished. This will be the condensed version. I use the tilting LCD screen and not the viewfinder for shooting photos with all my cameras - haven't had too much trouble with sunlight making it hard to see. The big issue with this camera is the size. It is the size of most DSLRs. If you want a compact camera that you can walk around with in your hand or pocket, this isn't it. However, it takes great photos of just about everything -- although if I want a really close up photo of an insect, I prefer my Olympus TG5 which is great for that kind of thing.

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    3. bev-- I don't use a compact or pocket camera. The camera I use now weighs 1.3 pounds. I read that the Nikon weighs 2 pounds. Not a huge difference. Still thinking about it all. Thank you, friend.

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  18. What? You are too a photographer! Sorry about the tech glitches. xoxo

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    1. kathy-- Thank you so much for your kind words.

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