Luminar and Looks
The amazing team over at Origin PC custom-built me a new PC! I was soooooo excited to receive it! Here is my rather random and silly unboxing video. It’s probably the WORST unboxing video they have ever asked someone to do. But, nevertheless, I finally got it done and I absolutely love the system.
This machine is screamingly fast, and it was a great move to put my main Lightroom library on here. It’s great to have my ~800K photos all in one place with no external drives (except for backups). And the speed… the SPEED! It’s so fast that not even the sloppy programming of Adobe Lightroom can slow it down!
Here’s the 360 video of the unboxing (you can move the camera around). I’ll put the specs below!
ORIGIN PC M-Class Desktop (Black)
Today I’m sharing a free Passport video with everyone. If you’re a Passport Member, then you get access to over 100 of these videos and a new one every Sunday! Some of my favorite ones are the six videos I released from Antarctica where you get to see all sorts of behind-the-scenes tomfoolery!
Here’s a video I recently made that shows how I edited a photo from a location very close to where I took today’s daily photo. Of course, I used Aurora HDR 2019 to do all the editing.
I came to this place with one of my worst plans, but it totally worked out!
Planning for this Japan trip was very difficult because I was going to many remote towns that a) do not take online booking b) where I stay in small hotels where no one speaks English. This makes getting reservations directly almost impossible!
I tried to get reservations via the bilingual concierge at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, and even though he was very resourceful, he said it was 100% booked. But I decided to go anyway and knock on every door of every ryokan until I found a room. I knew it would be hard because nobody speaks English in these places. Anyway, after I knocked on the door of ryokan #4 I finally found a room! Even better, they had private baths fed by all the steaming water from the nearby hot springs. It was incredible to be soaking in steaming hot mineral water while watching snow fall all around me.
Try out that Garry Shandling documentary. It’s very interesting! I always liked him… but never knew much about his story until I saw this thing… It’s called “The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling,” so check it out!
Happy Sunday! Here’s a very simple and quick edit, showing how I used Aurora HDR to finish off this Disney Castle photo.
Based on today’s Venice post, I was thinking about the time Rene fell into a canal in Venice, Italy. This video below never fails to make me laugh. I mean, you know what’s gonna happen, but it still always cracks me up.
Last time I was in Venice, I was there for a long 3 weeks. That’s a long time to be in a place! Hey, but I got to know it really well! It took me about 10 days before I stopped getting lost. Well, sometimes at night when I would walk around my friends, taking a drink of wine every time we crossed a bridge (we call it bridge-wine), we would end up getting quite lost. That may have been a contributing factor to Rene falling in a canal one night.
The creation of this photo took many steps, so I decided to split the process into two videos across two Sundays for Passport Members. So, today, we get to see the resolution to our exciting cliffhanger!
Here is a Link to Part 1 of this video from last Sunday if you did not see it. In this one, you’ll see how I put the finishing touches on this challenging pano with Aurora HDR.
This is actually another panorama, but it was a little easier to put together. I was lucky enough to go out and get really close to the space shuttle on the day before the big launch. I was so excited… just a like a little kid! I still get excited thinking about it.
If you’re a Passport member, today you’ll see how I’ve changed the way I stitch together my panoramas, especially for these shots that are made from the drone.
Creating this photo took quite a while, so I decided to split it up into two videos! In this first one, you’ll see how I prep the photos before I make the panorama and then the final stitching process. In the next video (next Sunday), I’ll show how I use Aurora HDR for the final touches.
It was a perfect day a few weeks ago on the drive back, so I got the new Mavic 2 Zoom up in the air to take this panorama. It’s kind of annoying, in a way, that when the Mavic zooms into the sky, it doesn’t do any exposure adjustment. That always requires a little bit of cleanup.
Today for Passport Members is a special and fun edit because you get to see me re-master the photo from Kyoto below and transform it into the new version. This is the 2nd of 3 photos I am re-mastering for Series 2 of the fine art series at TreyRatcliff.com.
First, here is the photo I made about 7 years ago. I still quite like it… but I think I’ve improved upon it a bit.
Want to follow along and edit with my same files? Well you’re in luck because here are my 5 RAW files for this temple in Kyoto.
If you’re enjoying Passport, why not recommend it (or gift it!) to a friend? It’s a great present because people get new stuff every week! Think of it like a wine of the month club, except it’s weekly, and without the wine. That’s not the best sales pitch I’ve ever made.
Ahhh, beautiful Kyoto! It’s one of my favorite cities in the world, so going back to re-master this one, seven years later, was still as much of a joy as the first time. It was also great to use better tools like Aurora HDR. to give it a better “look.” Before, I think I might have just used the sliders in Photomatix and not even done any touchup in Photoshop. I’ve also learned a lot more about color theory and this sort of thing in the time betwixt.
Check out this highlight video of our European Photo Walk Tour!
Also, here is an interesting podcast I just finished listening to where Yuval Noah Harari talks about his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. It is a wide-ranging discussion which is well worth some of your Sunday.
If you ever find yourself in New Zealand, check out Camp Glenorchy as a place to stay. I was there a couple of weeks ago to do an art talk and not only is it a gorgeous location, but they also have the best projector known to humankind. In today’s Passport video, which is the complete talk, you’ll not get to experience the projector in all its glory but you will get to hear some stories from my travels along with a fun Q+A session towards the end which focuses on art, life and creativity.
On the European Tour, we stopped in Monte Carlo one day to take photos and have a dinner before getting back on the bus to drive overnight to Cinque Terre. I had been to Monte Carlo a long time ago with my dad and I remembered being down by the marina. When I looked at the map, I saw there were two marinas, and I was not sure which one to be dropped off at. I chose the wrong one! And there were no taxis or Ubers around, so we had to walk up this mountain… when we got to the top, I turned around to take this picture of the scene below. Yeah, it’s a cool marina, but not as cool as the one on the other side!
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