Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy Birthday blog and a first look at Lightroom software

I notice that it’s exactly nine years ago today that I wrote the first Herbie blog post announcing that we had put a deposit on the boat.  How excited were we?

Well 1294 posts later we’re still here and still owners of Herbie.  There weren’t too many boat bloggers then.  We got the idea of keeping a blog from a chance meeting with Sue on No Problem who if she wasn’t the first, must have been damn near it.  I hesitate to guess how many posts Sue has done and how many page views she has had. We’re on well over a quarter of a million!

This last year we have done rather less blog posts, partly because we’ve done a bit less boating, but more because I’ve taken less photographs.  In that regard I have been lazy, just relying on my phone or iPad to take the odd picture rather than keeping a proper camera to hand. One of the results was I didn’t have many pictures to use for the Herbie blog, and that’s a problem because many of my blog posts are stimulated by a particular photo.

I’m not big on New Year Resolutions, but this year I do intend to do better.  One of the photography things I have been struggling with over the last couple of years has been Photoshop Elements (V.11 in my case).  I don’t really like it, and neither does my computer. It seems to keep hanging my PC and although it can help me do smarty Alec things like this,


I find it generally slow and cumbersome and not all that good at helping me find the photos I want.  Anyway, over Christmas, our son Peter was home and he gave me a demo of Lightroom, which just like Photoshop is published by Adobe.  It looked promising so last week I downloaded a one month free trial and watched the numerous tutorial videos, then had a go at doing the stuff I need to do.  I like it so much more than Elements.  Granted it lacks the fancy layers stuff that Photoshop has but I hardly ever used, but Lightroom is much quicker, much better at finding pictures. I can ask it to find me a picture of Kath that I took in Tring cutting with my Lumix camera  in 2008 and stuff like that. Its also really quick and easy to do the things I actually need like improving how my photos look.  Hardly any photo makes it to the blog without a bit of tweaking.  Things like lightening up shade and getting more detail in skies, straightening building perspective, and getting rid of intrusive lamp posts and telephone wires.  Photoshop can do that stuff, but nowhere near so quickly.  I suppose most of all I like Lightroom’s interface and find it a lot more intuitive.  Of course there is a lot more really clever stuff Lightroom can do too, but for now it does what I need.  The downside of course is that it costs nearly £100, and there are free bits of software that do quite a bit.  I’m going to keep playing and make my mind up at the end of the 30 day trial.


Les Biggs said...

Happy birthday blog.
Mine is 9 years of being afloat, a bit more if you count the lead up to a water life but whose counting just call it 9 years.
So many posts and comments but do you know the best of it all is the realy smashing people you meet. Not all of them bloggers but boaters who say "hi I read your blog". So many friendships made.

Neil Corbett said...

Les you are absolutely right. We've made some wonderful friends through keeping the blog. Glad to read you are doing well by the way.


Marilyn McDonald said...

Good heavens, Neil, I didn't realise you tweaked your photos! I never have time for that - and I don't know how and I wouldn't leave it to David or I'd never get any posts done ...
I really enjoy your blog - informative, funny, with beautifully judged self deprecation. I have also referred people to your 'how to' posts as I found them very helpful. I am interested that often it's a picture that prompts a post for you - for me it's usually something lovely/funny/strange that has happened, a conversation, a meeting, or quite often something silly/stupid that either David or I have done. At the moment our focus is on the redecoration and garden revamp at our new (to us) house. But now it's only 120 sleeps till we are back onboard nb Waka Huia and I will then be within 1 year of my blog commencement - lots more to go to catch up with you and Les!
Cheers, Marilyn nb Waka Huia

Neil Corbett said...

Thank you Marilyn. A lot of my photos need a bit of rescuing, especially if I take them in a hurry.

As to my How To posts, they may well be outnumbered by my How Not To ones, based on my own botched attempts to d stuff. Look out for us on the water.