Photo Software


There are those who think that using digital post-processing is “cheating”.  For the most part, those are people who never really worked in a darkroom and understood all the “cheating” that could be done there by a master developer.

I have heard it said that Ansel Adams, perhaps the most famous photographer of the 20th century, was actually just an average photographer, but that he excelled in the darkroom.  He could dodge and burn images like a wizard.  That’s not to take anything away from him and his work at all…far be it from me to do so!!!!  Compared to the late Mr. Adams, I’m a pure novice!  But the truth is that nearly anything that can be done in Photoshop (at least as far as actual processing of photographs) could be done by an expert in the darkroom.

So, I don’t think that it is cheating…at least not as far as regular processing of photos is concerned.  There are plug-ins that can be added to Photoshop that help to make the photos look even more incredible.  I recently attended Photoshop World 2014 here in the Atlanta area and came away with some new software that I’m going to be learning for a while.  It’s from Topaz Labs and it is a collection of “plug-ins” that work in conjunction with Photoshop.  They have some great stuff!

Today’s photo is of a model who was at the show.  I took the photo and then converted it from RAW to .jpg and then worked the file a bit in Topaz Simplify (one of 14 plug-ins that were in the software package I purchased).  In the future, you’ll see some other work via Topaz Labs as I learn more about it!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War, the deadliest war in US history. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option.

In retreating from the Union army’s Appomattox Campaign, the Army of Northern Virginia had stumbled through the Virginia countryside stripped of food and supplies. At one point, Union cavalry forces under General Philip Sheridan had actually outrun Lee’s army, blocking their retreat and taking 6,000 prisoners at Sayler’s Creek. Desertions were mounting daily, and by April 8 the Confederates were surrounded with no possibility of escape. On April 9, Lee sent a message to Grant announcing his willingness to surrender. The two generals met in the parlor of the Wilmer McLean home at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Lee and Grant, both holding the highest rank in their respective armies, had known each other slightly during the Mexican War and exchanged awkward personal inquiries. Characteristically, Grant arrived in his muddy field uniform while Lee had turned out in full dress attire, complete with sash and sword. Lee asked for the terms, and Grant hurriedly wrote them out. All officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property–most important, the horses, which could be used for a late spring planting. Officers would keep their side arms, and Lee’s starving men would be given Union rations.

Shushing a band that had begun to play in celebration, General Grant told his officers, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.” Although scattered resistance continued for several weeks, for all practical purposes the Civil War had come to an end. 

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  An American woodpecker taps between 8,000 to 12,000 times each day!


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