Luminar, Skylum, DAM – Skylum

It’s time: Re-think your post-processing workflow:

Have you ever seen an Apple TV remote? It has three buttons on it. Compare that to the old-fashioned, TV remote with 60 or more buttons. That’s the kind of direction we want to take at Skylum. Simple should remain simple.

I really like Skylar’s Luminar for editing photos and have been eagerly awaiting their DAM solution, but referencing the Apple TV remote in a positive way like that gives me pause. The Apple TV remote sucks. I get their point about simplicity, but simplicity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Adobe is trying the simple route with Lightroom CC and it’s useless to me. On the other hand, Luminar is a pretty simple editor and I find that it works great for many things.

What I want is a solid, full-featured DAM and editor at a reasonable, subscription-less price. I’m cheering for you, Skylum.

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography | MasterClass 2017 12 23 09 34 15

A Masterclass featuring Annie Leibovitz looked like a great idea, so I paid the $90 and signed up.

I enjoyed listening to her perspective and insights on shooting portraits. She works hard on concepts, plans meticulously, and has a “vision” for what and who she’s shooting. The class, however, felt more like a 2-hour documentary than a class. I can’t recommend it at the $90 price. On the other hand, if you’ve already paid the $180 annual subscription fee for the “All Access Pass”, the class is included and is well worth your time.

Setting up the Pakon scanner again

Every once in a while I get the urge to shoot color 35mm film and scanning that film is no fun at all. The only thing I’ve ever found that made it painless is the Pakon F-135 Plus.

I recently paved and rebuilt my iMac, meaning I had to recreate my carefully-constructed Parallels/WinXP/Pakon configuration. This turned out to be no small effort. So that I don’t forget, I’ve captured a few random notes here. The short version is that once you have this all running, don’t lose it.

First, I needed a Virtual Machine that would run Windows XP. I decided to try VirtualBox, since it’s free and I wouldn’t need to deal with upgrading Parallels (and the associated cost).

I downloaded the Pakon software and updates from the Pakon Facebook Group. Join the group and check out the Files section. Lots of great information there.

I could not get the Pakon software to see the scanner after about four hours of throwing everything I knew at it. There’s even a pre-built VM available with everything already configured. I just could not get it to recognize the scanner. I must have done something in the wrong order when first connecting the scanner. Eventually I gave up and installed Parallels. That worked on the first try.

After installing Parallels and downloading/unpacking the PakonUpdate.zip from the Facebook Group, I did the following1)See also, http://filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=6842.0:

  • Run Setup from the fx35install folder inside the Pakon Update folder
  • Run Setup from inside the Pakon Update folder
  • Reboot the VM
  • Plug the Pakon in (USB) and turn it on
  • Wait until Parallels asks if I want to use the new device on Mac or Windows (select Windows)
  • When the New Hardware wizard starts, don’t let it use Windows Update2)There’s no way I’m letting XP touch the internet, but do let it find the drivers itself. This worked for me anyway, and I think is where I may have gone wrong earlier.
  • Reboot again (just in case).
  • Wait about 30 seconds, then launch the PMI app in Windows
  • Say No to the request to upgrade Firmware
  • Click the icon at the top left to get to the “advanced” screen. (I’m not sure what it’s called).
  • Leave the password blank when prompted and click OK

This left me ready to start my first scan. I’d almost forgotten how fast this thing is! A roll of 36 frames scanned at 3000×2000 and cleaned with Digital ICE in about 5 minutes. The colors are always dead on, or at least much better than anything I’ve been able to achieve after many hours of tinkering with every known scanning package. The Pakon scans are as sharp or sharper than those from my V750.

In short, if I’m going to shoot color film, the Pakon is the way to go, whatever it takes.

References   [ + ]

1. See also, http://filmwasters.com/forum/index.php?topic=6842.0
2. There’s no way I’m letting XP touch the internet