It looks like nowadays you can’t go online without seeing an ad for Lightroom Presets.11,000+ here, 7,000+ there, some for free, some not so. By now I have some 70,000 pictures in my Lightroom Library and none have received a preset development treatment.  Does that make me a reactionary curmudgeon? Probably.

But here’s my take on it.

Some people travel a lot and have a fairly big Lightroom Catalogue as a result. Finding those pictures can be a chore if they have not been keyworded properly. You may even have no keywords at all. So how to find those pictures that you took “some” years ago in New York? If you have geotagged your pictures, there is a very easy way to find those pictures.

Photoshop was perfect for what I needed. Since 2005 I had a digital camera and all my pictures went on my C: drive in several folders. Right from the start I had decided to organise my pictures by date, or at least by year. Then came the moment where the first 9999 pictures were taken and the camera restarted its file numbering. Another folder for that year and everything went fine from there on. That occurred a few times, then I got a “real” DSLR, a Nikon D40X. File numbering restarted at 0001, luckily with a different prefix for the name (DSC_).

Photo files started to accumulate in different folders, with duplicates named slightly differently for processed pictures. Then came more folders as sometimes I was shooting panoramas or (difficult with with a D40X) some HDR-type shots.

Windows had been my OS since 1991, so I was used to the folder system and organisation. The first thing I did when I started shooting was to get out of the “My Documents”, “My Pictures” and the “My …” type of folders. Windows was storing stuff in there that I definitely didn’t want mixed with my own. Back then it was Windows XP, escaping from the “My anything” grasp was fairly easy. Later that became more of a problem, so I resolved in putting all my stuff on a second internal hard disk.

In 2007 Lightroom made its appearance and I was immediately sold on its ways of organising my pictures. The catalogue became bigger and more organised by the day it seemed. Also, the number of photos grew exponentially, filling up my internal drive.

So, here I am, trying to lose some weight. In the last 25 years I have been a programmer, a teacher and now again programmer. Apart from showing off in front of a classroom, my life pretty much passes in a leather chair. The only muscled parts of my body are in my hands and fingers. I got a “warning” from my doctor that if I stayed the way I was, I’d have a 16% “chance” not to get through the coming decade alive. Talk about a chance.

I don’t do heavy lifting and I don’t swim. I hate walking like a zombie in the neighbourhood under the pretext that I need to walk. Walking in a mall or in a supermarket, ok, but that is only for a small period of time. But walking is exactly what I am doing, hopefully I don’t look like a zombie. But then again, who cares?

Everybody was always “astonished” that I would gain weight seemingly just by breathing.

Using Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom, you will have noticed the “Camera Calibration” panel at the bottom of the develop screen. I never paid much attention to it when I started using Lightroom. Mind you, I was shooting jpg at the time and the panel didn’t give me anything useful. Only “embedded”. When I started using RAW, the panel had some choices, but they looked the same as on my camera. Selecting one or another didn’t seem to make much difference apart from the colour saturation here and there.

For a long time I have resisted the temptation to write about politics. Personally, I hate politics, it always looks as if everyone has a secret agenda and whatever you want or decide, someone else will put a stop to it. Yesterday I attended a meeting in support of Ukraine’s EuroMaidan movement. A movement that we now know has had the Ukrainian government topple and the president scrambling to save his greedy ass.

For about 2 and a half years I have blogged on this site with a (then) modern software package. All went well, nothing wrong, but recently (about a week ago) I have upgraded this to the latest version of their program. As a result of this, the site now uses a responsive design, meaning you can see this site on your “device” meaning iPhone, iPad, Android or any other type of tablet and enjoy it with an appropriate layout. The top menu might change its appearance as well as some other elements. All depending on the device you are using to see the site.

This has taken some time to get it right and as a result, the emails going out to subscribers of the blog have gotten mixed up. It seems that you now get emails about “new” posts a few weeks old! Since this is Google’s Feedburner doing the job, I expect this to resolve itself in the next few days or weeks. There is nothing wrong with the site and it is not trying to spam you, it is just a bit mixed up in the dates, it seems.

In the mean time, enjoy the posts, even the older ones!

This post contains pictures of a more personal nature. If you’re not used to that, don’t read this.

On January 18, 2013 I felt a bit strange. Now you’ll tell me that that’s no surprise, but this time it was. For a while already I had been warned by my doctor that my blood pressure was a bit too high. High Blood pressure comes with risks. One of the risks is stroke.

A very good friend of mine in Holland had been in coma after a stroke since a week before Christmas and had just woken up. Not in the best of shapes either. No walking, no talking and worst of all, apparently no memories either. He had had a severe stroke due to, among other things, high blood pressure.

For a long, very long time I was convinced that Windows Live Writer stripped the EXIF data from my photos. So I tried some plugins (PhotoMetis) that will read the EXIF data and paste it below your pictures as a title. Not the best solution either. I like to show the title as *I* decide, not the way some plugin decides to write it.

So, like many, I searched the internet, arrived on the social Microsoft forum, where there is a latest message that the developers “will look into the issue”. The message dates from somewhere in 2008. Not the best of promises. Nothing appears to have been done, no more messages about the issue anywhere. So, either it has been resolved, or nothing has been done. As I saw no EXIF data, even in the latest version of WLW, my thoughts were that nothing had been done.

Ok, it’s not often I write about the more technical side of photography, even less about the computer part of it. Whoever takes digital pictures of has scanned his paper pictures of even the negatives will have found himself in this situation.

Hard Disk Full

Hmm, definitely not the best situation to find yourself in.

Many people have come across this problem with the Garmin Etrex series. After about a year of normal use, the rubber band around the Etrex is coming loose. Not just because it has been in a warm car or has been left in the sun. I live in Winnipeg, and hot weather is not part of the climate here.

So, my rubber band came loose. First a little bit, then a little more and then completely loose. Well, loose… The gooey, sticky glue of the seal between that rubber band and the plastic housing of the Etrex simply kept sticking to my hands.

At some point it was not possible to touch the %^&* thing without having to wipe my hands afterwards!

So I decided to do something about it. 5 months after the first symptoms.