Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/27/2017

Photographic Software Tips

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

The fourth post in this month’s themed series of useful photography information focuses on the big two photographic software programs; Photoshop and Lightroom.

So, while the information is free, the software isn’t.
Personally, I try to get as much right in the camera as I can. Photography is my hobby and I work on computers all day long, so I’m not particularly interested in spending a lot of time on using software to “fix” my pictures. Still, I don’t know where I’d be without the software I do use. Mostly, I work in Lightroom, with the occasional Alien Skin add-on, but I also know that Photoshop is the “gold standard” in the minds of many photographers and creative professionals. So, the first ling I’m sharing this Friday is Are you a Photoshop Master? Even you may not know these ten features! It’s a short video of some helpful, but lesser known, features in Photoshop. It seems like every big program like this has at least one hidden feature almost no one knows about, so it’s always cool to find some, even for software I don’t use a lot of the time.
On the other hand, I do use Lightroom after pretty much every photography session. And, lately, I’ve been very interested in printing my work for easy display around the house. Of course, I’m mostly going to send those to a specialty printing company, but I still want to proof them and, possibly, try them in a spot on the wall before committing to a more expensive print. Or, I may want to do a little more “pre-procesing” before sending my work to the printer. No matter my goal in regards to printing, the Photofocus tutorial on Mastering Lightroom Print Layout Styles will definitely help me save time. Honestly, it’s a feature in Lightroom that I haven’t used, but I hope to use more this year.

So, there you have it. Two tutorials in the most popular photographic software packages to round out the month.
See you next week!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

11/21/2014

Future Bookcovers

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

So, it’s a little early to think that anyone writing a NaNoWriMo novel is done, but I think maybe people could use a break.

Hopefully, you all haven’t given up yet and are still writing.  But, I know it’s a hard slog, so I thought maybe taking a break to think about a cover for your future novel might help keep you inspired enough to make it the rest of the way.  So, I’ll start by sharing a tutorial from Thomas…
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8/8/2014

Essential Photoshop Skills for Photographers

Filed under: Art,Fun,Photography — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I’m not entirely sure I agree with this list, actually.

I tend to follow the dictum that, as photographers, we should strive to make a better photograph in the camera, not in the computer. However, the reality of the modern age is that Photoshop exists and, well, the people who use it will tend to have an advantage over those of us who don’t.  According to DIY Photography, there are Twelve Essential Photoshop Skills that Every Photographer Should Know.  Those twelve…
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7/11/2014

Lightroom Workflow

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

With Apple’s recent announcement that they’re letting Aperture die, without really replacing it, photographers of all kinds are looking toward Lightroom as their photographic management and processing tool.

I, personally, have used Lightroom for years.  I can do most of the editing I would ever want to do faster and easier in Lightroom than I would in Photoshop.  Of course, I’m strictly an amateur and don’t do any other fancy art stuff with my photography.  And, I try to follow Syl…
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11/29/2013

DIY eBook Cover

Filed under: Art,Fun,NaNoWriMo — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:22 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

So, at this point, you should be just about done with your novel for NaNoWriMo.

If you’ve kept pace, in the next 24 to 48 hours, you should be wrapping up your 50,000+ pages and breathing a giant sigh of relief.
You’ll want to step away from the writing tools of your choice and take a break before editing your fledgling star into something that people will want to not only read, but tell their friends about having read.  But, first, you’re…
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7/19/2013

Free 3D!

Filed under: Art,Fun,GUI Center — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:47 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

So, this month, the theme has been free graphic software, more or less.

Well, as much as I love taking as realistic photos as possible and capturing the actual moment, I have to admit, graphic artists who start with photos and make them into more always impress me.  I’m especially impressed by those who create whole realities from nothing.  That’s one reason I backed the Kickstarter project The Tube Open Movie.  When they’re done developing this, now late, movie, the things…
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7/12/2013

Free Image Viewer, And More

Filed under: Art,Fun,Fun Work,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Last week, I shared my favorite free image editor, but this week, I’ve got a bit of software that’s every bit as useful and important.

But, really, it’s more than just a viewer.  This little gem can do every thing from slideshows to file format conversions to cropping.  It can even do some simple editing like sharpening or blurring.  You can choose to view all the graphics in a directory in thumbnail format, or scroll through them one at a time…
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7/1/2009

EXIF Date Changer

Filed under: Art,GUI Center,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:09 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Kind of a specialty item.

Oh, if I only had a nickel for every time I heard that!
No, seriously, though, this is useful, but only in a limited way.  I know I’ve had photos get pulled from my camera and had the time and date wrong for whatever reason on them and wished I could change them to the right time.  Now, sure, I could just use a file utility and that would update it, but that won’t change the information deep, deep in the photograph that, among other things, is displayed on Flickr.  So, what to do?  Well, from now on, I’ll be using EXIF Date Changer to fix it.

Thanks internet!

7/17/2007

Personal Branding

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Fun Work,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:27 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Personal branding has always been interesting to me.

Maybe it’s my degree in Marketing that drives this strange interest in market segmentation and branding, or maybe it was the obsession, and being raised by a professional salesman and marketer, that led me to get a degree in Marketing. Either way, brands and how they’re created have always interested me. Toward furthering my knowledge and understanding of how brands work, I got a book sometime back that I’m just reading now, called Wordcraft. The book is all about the process of naming “stuff” in the business world. Naturally, this touches on brands.
One realtaively new idea in branding has been the “personal brand”. The idea that an individual can brand themselves. Naturally, the most common example is usually a Hollywood star who literally is their brand. But, consider also Oprah, Martha Stewart and Michael Jordan. Well, what got me thinking about this lately is the long conversations I’ve been having with an artist friend of mine, Mark Flood(link may not be safe for work, small children or my ex-wife), while I was in the hospital getting my chemo. In a way, he has branded himself, at least in the art world. His thinking, his creativity and his work is his brand, so to speak. I think this is true for every artist, even literary artists.
Right now, I censor myself quite heavily, though you might not always know it, because this blog and website are so closely associated with my corporate professional life. In a certain sense, I have branded this site and blog. Not in a truly conscious way, but in a somewhat organic way a personal brand has emerged. So, I started thinking about branding at this level in a more directed, concerted way. Naturally, that led me to start Googling the topic. I found a number of links, but the series of posts on Blog Branding that Chris Garrett has written looked like the best to me. I haven’t read them all yet, but I plan to before I launch my next project.

Which brings me to my next related thought in this post…
This site is what I think of as my “serious, computer professional site”, which regular readers will know is really not all that serious, professional or even always computer related. Still, it’s far from the wildly creative zany, wacky, perhaps even literary website I have in mind. And, that, dear readers, is my next super-secret project. In fact, this creative project is so secret it doesn’t even have a name yet. Well, okay, it doesn’t have a name yet because I haven’t finished Wordcraft yet and started the brainstorming process to create a new “brand name” for the site.  I tried doing this initially with Fantasist.net, but well, found the whole thing a bit too limiting.  I mean, not everything I write or create is fantasy, sometimes it’s science-fiction or even, gasp, modern or literary fiction.  So, I want something more, well, generically creative than that.  And, I’ve been considering consolidating or abandoning old, disused websites I’ve had and domain names I’ve controlled.  (Does anyone want to buy HavePalmWillTravel.com?)  So, moving content to the new site would bring some instant presence, without the baggage.  At least, in theory.

There are, of course, a lot of issues to work out still.
Not the least of which is a logo.  I used to rely on my ex-wife, the graphic designer, to generate most of my graphics.  Not that I ever actually got what I asked for, in spite of spending a fortune on graphics software for her.  There are several logo companies on the web that make logos cheap and, well, frankly, their work looks pretty good.  Better than what I eventually got from the ex-wife, in any case.  And, the bottom line is they produce in a timely fashion for a reasonable price.  In case you’re interested, I’m looking at using the firms listed in this old article on Wired Magazine about logo and brand creation.  The prices they list are out of date, since the article is several years old, but the information on the companies has been a great help.  I’m still thinking about it, but, I’ll probably end up doing it.  Logos are important to brands and, well, you get what you pay for.  At least, when you’re not paying in barter and to “family”.  I’ll keep you all updated on this process, either way.

So, that’s what I’ve been thinking about since I got out of the hospital last, at least, in regards to branding and blogs and such.
Oh, to protect my creative brand, I probably won’t actually link to it from here or mention it by name, though I will talk about the process as I work on it.  For those who are truly interested, e-mail me when it’s done and I’ll send you the info.  Don’t worry, I’ll announce it again when I finally get it up and running.


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