Photo Editing | Intelligent Sky Replacement

Landscape Photographers Dream?

One of the things I have been enjoying lately is the power and flexibility of Skylum Software. If you are not familiar with Skylum, then please allow me to introduce you.

Skylum, formerly Macphun, are a creative and innovative software business that provide Pro and hobbyist apps that are very easy to use and equally as powerful.

If you were to ask me who is it for? My answer would quite sincerely be anyone. And here is why.

To begin with, there is Photolemur, which is a drop-dead simple photo enhancer for all the family. Photolemur allows you to enhance your photo with no to very little manual editing.

Then you have the “Big Boys n Gals” software, in Luminar and Aurora HDR. Luminar comes in a few shades including; Luminar Flex, the plugin and extension for most users wanting instant gratification with the different Looks available as well as use with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

And finally, there is Luminar ‘standalone,’ if I can call it that, especially as the current versions I have been using are all available as standalone as well as plugin/extension apps. The latest Luminar, version 4+ is super cool with the enhanced AI Sky Replacement feature.

The Plus for mac Users

It’s a joy how Luminar works with Photos for macOS. It kinda gives Photos for macOS more value. And especially with iCloud working in the background. Check out my related posts below for more.

RELATED POSTS:

Auto Sky Enhancement
Landscape & Portrait Photography

Speaking of ‘O’Possum…

…look what we found one sunny morning.

 

Possum or Opossum? I didn’t know there was a difference.

From what I can gather the Possum is an Australasian marsupial that claims the name ‘Possum’ due to its resemblance with the Opossum of the Americas.

And just like the Kangaroo, these creatures give birth and carry their young in pouches.

The Opossum is famously known for its coy tac-tic of playing dead when under threat. An Opossum under threat is known to play dead for more than 30 minutes.

 

So, what is it that prompted me to make this post about the Possum?

Well simply put, it was all due to the fact that just as when I was receiving news about another of Google’s algorithm refinements – of course nicknamed ‘Possum’, that I heard someone outside shout “Manicou” which translates Opossum.

How funny is that!

Luckily I managed to get a few photos of the unexpected visitor, before allowing it to escape somewhere a little further away from home (you can think whatever you like).

Anyway…shortly after returning to my desk, I happen to stumble on a YouTube video of Cleveland Brown being attacked by a…

You said it.

Brian

www.theomd.com

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Really Worth Learning Code?

Learning Code Online

1st-time-wp-800

Okay, so perhaps you’re a blogger, or maybe you have an ecommerce store which you have successfully built without any coding experience whatsoever.

– Hey, after all WordPress (and others), does make it all so much easier…

Or does it?

Have you ever stopped to wonder just how much more control you would have, with not just with the appearance of your WordPress website or blog, but also other features and functions such as integration with print-on-demand services, social media and other third party offerings, as well as enhancements to the way in which users interact with your content?

Pretty long question huh?

Intimidating as code may first seem, learning code, or working with code is really a matter of shortening a long question into meaningful instructions, identifying patterns and what they signify. Well in short…(okay, okay, in my idea of ‘in short’).

Anyway, of course you’ll need to know and understand the more ‘advanced basics’ (if i can call that – for the sake of not making coding sound really, really easy). In order to even begin to encroach the world of the programmer / engineer. You will need some form of training or formal studies.

Start coding yourself

However, you can largely get away by simple observation, trying things out and picking up tips from the numerous coding related sites available online. There are sites such as; w3schools.comtutorialspoint.com, and of course codex.wordpress.org.

I would make a guess though, that for most WordPress  ‘non code bloggers’ their first introduction to code would be through wanting to achieve one the following:

a) inserting code in your widgets sidebar

b) formatting items on a page, such as applying a specific colour, alignment of images and graphics…anything that is not readily doable within the WordPress default you are currently subjected to working with.

 Using WordPress, what was your first reason for applying code yourself?

Read more at: Woppd.com


 


So, is it really worth learning code – What do you think?

Read more at: Woppd.com


Going Bananas

International Food Fair & Banana Festival.

Whilst here in Saint Lucia, I recently helped with the annual International Food Fair on the behalf of the Southern Tourism Development Corporation.

INFOGRAPHIC TIMELINE x800

For the event the Banana was highlighted as an important or significant commodity. The intention was to showcase exhibits that captured the different aspects of the Banana business, and tell the story of Saint Lucia’s History In The Export Banana Business, And Its Socio-Economic Impact.

You can view examples of the intended displays, videos and other related material here.

Some of the things I learnt about Bananas.

©2016-realbigenvelope.com-flowering-banana-saint-lucia.

©realbigenvelope.com | Flowering Banana, Saint Lucia.

For one, I had never seen a flowering Banana plant before, nor did I have any idea that the Banana plant (or tree as it’s often called) is actually a herb. Never mind the fact that there are 1000’s of varieties worldwide…( learn more at lucianlime.co)

 

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©2016 lucianlime.co | Packing Banana ( Fair Trade boxes)

I was also shown, courtesy of Winfresh, the complete process of Banana cultivating, right through to packing for export. I can tell you, there is a lot of emphasis on hygiene and ensuring that the quality of the produce meets the required standards.

banana-fest-logo-kitchen

The event was ‘branded’ with a specially designed logo incorporating an image of the Banana and conveying the Southern Tourism Development Corporation’s  embracing of the event. The logo elements are interchangeable and may contain different messages, colors and images for the individual exhibits, or even future events.

Learn More at Bananafestival-Replay

 

 

Hackney Conspired – George Orwell

George Orwell’s 1984 and Hackney

Hackney Orwell Conspired-800x

Studies that date back as far as 2007 have indicated that Britain has an overwhelming 4.2million plus CCTV cameras.  That’s like more-or-less a camera for every family in the country.

Although this count is not official, it is however the figure cited through academic research and as mentioned in House of Commons documents.

Big Brother is Watching You.

Some will say modern-day Britain is increasingly echoing George Orwell’s1984’ where he tells the story of a World governed with surveillance…

…But why ?

Didn’t Orwell already paint a dark enough picture of what life could be like under such a regime ? And yet we proceed down that very same route… Where do you think it will all end? And most of all why do we need to be watched anyway?

orwell-mem-plaque

Tackling Crime with CCTV

Well you have to admit CCTV has been at the centre of capturing many an entertaining moment, where criminals have been foiled, but not necessarily caught, whilst in the act of committing a crime in the most funniest of ways – real comedy.

The thing is, in spite of being caught on camera, catching these criminals is another story… ….just watch the video below (or here), you’ll see what I mean.

1984 Revised – Mobile Phones and Video

One thing that may not have been considered in George Orwell’s fictional World is how the public will also become mini-big-brothers if you get my drift. Everyday people carrying Smartphones and other hand-held devices with a built-in video camera is certainly NOT uncommon these days. The other day whilst waiting for a bus heading towards Hackney, I made note of the number of people carrying a smartphone, or at least had their heads poised as if looking at some form of hand-held electronic device. It all looked very weird to say the least. And especially as I had been living abroad for a considerable number of years. Here are my notes from that exact day;

So there I stood in the cold weather at a bus stop which must have had at least 50 people or so, also waiting. 

There was something very common about each and every individual, they all had at least 1 smartphone between the party in which they were travelling, and if they happened to be alone the chances of that individual having a smartphone was more likely. 

You see, there were those that, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think they were talking to themselves..,

Finally, the number 30 bus arrives and there is a mini stampede towards the entrance as the door opens. Followed by a mixture of attitudes, from courteous glances of ; “After you…”  to wild agitated glances of ” I just got to get on that bus right now” 

Anyway, so automated and reliant on digital technology has the infrastructure developed that a recorded female voice narrates the journey, updating passengers at each bus stop as to the current location.

And if that is not enough the recording prompts passengers to;

“Please move down inside the bus” 

I wondered whether the pre recorded instructions was present in order to avoid any confrontation amongst passengers and the driver?

After all I do recall hearing of drivers being attacked by disgruntled passengers on the odd occasion.

As the journey progressed It became more and more apparent that this voice was obviously controlled by the driver especially when the voice started repeating itself and then adding “no standing on the upper deck”.

Unless there was some kind of sensor that was able to detect non moving passengers occupying the head room of what could only be a standing passenger.

As I was saying; of the 36 or so available and occupied seats  on the upper deck of this particular bus, only a handful of people seemed not to have a smartphone at the ready.

So what was it with the smartphones popularity?

Some people were having conversations, some playing games or engaged in other forms of entertainment whilst the odd few smiled, bemused by the text message they had just sent or received.

By the way you should have seen how many cameras were on the bus itself… 

Images: realbigenvelope.com