I have of late been looking at the prospect of replacing my ageing Lightroom. Adverse, as I am to paying the Adobe conglomerate a monthly hostage or blackmail fee, I was hoping to find a reasonable standalone option. Not that I want flashy sliders and zillions of use/ful/less presets. No, my requirement are simple. Good image management, and the excellent keyword search facilities. Truth be told, I think Abobe still are the only ones in the ball park.
But I was amused to look at some of the offerings. Catchy marketing phrases, “Make the most of your photos.”
“Reveal the hidden photo within”. “Photos that will look their ABSOLUTE best”. “Match your artistic inspiration”.
I worry about ‘finding the hidden photo’, as in I’ll put up an image I’d have deleted anyway, and a few tweaks with the ‘inspired’ AI software, and dah dah! Oh, what a great image, I didn’t know I was THAT good a photographer. Where has the image been all my life.
Yet not one of them has the simple ability to find the Keyworded “Black-shoudered Kite, WTP 600mm f.8, D810”, or what ever. With just on 100+k images, I’m not likely to rekeyword to match a program that can’t read standard IPTC data sets.
But what got me thinking was the ability to now discover previously overlooked photos that somehow match my artistic inspiration.
As a young photo-assistant, my mentor talked of three images. The one we saw, the one we photographed, and the one we printed and distributed to the customer. Now it seems we can add a fourth, the one we never saw coming.
Which I suppose means I can mindlessly point the camera out the window, run the file through some AI (artificial intelligence, in case you’ve not been keeping up), and lo, there it is in all its glory. No longer is digital development or enhancement a craft in the service of my vision. It has become my vision.
It’s like a singer with no vocal training, no voice development and no concept of fine breathing picking up an AI microphone and revealing the hidden talent within to sound like Pavarotti.
There is, so say the ancient sages, a little bit of Yang in Yin, and a little bit of Yin in Yang. I’m often grateful that I came to photography at the height of black and white. The power that comes from working to get the best angle, the right shape, the richest lighting, all necessary to take our 3D world and bring it on to a 2 D medium, print/book/screen.
Push the Yang, and we get dark moody results. Push the Yin, and light and bright shines forth.
I found this Little Raven on a local tv antenna. It was preening, and talking to its family stationed on other close perching spots. At some point, just as I pressed the shutter, it decided to turn and talk to its close neighbour.
What astounds me is the bird’s ability to turn its head in the direction it’s going to move, then lift off and with total confidence turn its body to match the direction and plant its feet back on the perch. Poetry in motion.
The yin of the eye makes its statement within the yang of the bird. The yin of the cloudy sky is balanced by its little bit of dark antenna.
The freedom of the bird is contrasted by the fixedness of the aerial.
The confidence of the bird is balanced against the rigidness of the tubes.
The cleverness of the bird making use of the available is contrasted against the metal structure built for just one purpose.
I’d love to see AI find all that.
4 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post: #35 Of Shape and Form”
Indeed! Although sometimes I need an edit suite that by some AI magic can make a lousy image at least, good! Never going to happen! Interested to note you refer to a vocalist being assisted by AI – we have been doing that for years! (I won’t name names but some would surprise you!)
It is much the case that we are stuck with Adobe for now and an upgrade means the monthly fee, that is just the commercial reality of providers needing a constant, recurring income flow. One day, maybe, someone will come up with a suite that matches Adobe, but then it will, most likely, be subscription based!
(PS All the Raptors were out around Hoppers Lane/Sneydes Rd/Federation Trail yesterday, including the Black-shouldered Kites)
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Yeah I thought the singer was a poor choice, but it was late and a typewriter that writes a novel, seemed a bit of a far fetch. 🙂
My problem is Operating System Update. Mac are about to go to the new Catalina, and it has a lot of smarts in it to prevent old programs from working. No doubt Microsoft are fishing in the same waters.
i don’t care for sliders, un-suck filters and the like, I can easily get by with Photoshop, a level or two and some layer masks.
What I do want it to maintain the integrity of my database and the keyword/colour marks/star system and albums/collections. Nearly 20 years of data there now.
It is essentially in Lr all IPTC data sets, so its easily read, but for some reason, almost all the ‘alternatives’ have their own database of Metadata that is semi-incompatible.
I am toying for the shorter term of a second computer-ipadpro? to do all the grunt work of day to day, and keep the old machine running Lr as it is at the moment. I don’t need my images stored in ‘the cloud’, which is why I’m fairly ambivilant about Flickr at the moment.
Had a morning with two female kestrels at the towers, and the browns on Synedes. However the Black-shouldered Kites must come when you call. 🙂
This cloud business where you pay continually for the privilege is not my way of working. I like to own the software and be free of that dependency. I use ACDSee Ultimate 8 and Corel Paintshop Pro X4 for my work but I know Adobe has a great suite which many pros use.
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Hello AB, yep, like ACDSee. Their mac version is a little bit tardy for my needs, but no doubt that will fix up one day.
As I said to David, the integrity of my database is my number one need. Sliders and the like to ‘fix up’ poor images, and lots of plug ins to reveal ‘the photo within’, are pretty much ho hum.
I like to use Nik Software Suite, if I need that little extra touch.
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