The SDS “Wrath” voting round has come to an end.

Here’s the updated logo . . .

If you want to know more about the SDS challenge, THIS Post <<link explains it.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins stories submitted for the Sin of Envy and see the results of the vote, THIS POST <<link is what you want to visit.

Can you believe it’s been almost four weeks? That’s right; you have less than two days before the voting closes. I wouldn’t wait until the turkey is in the oven, but that’s up to you.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Envy, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

I often have an occasion or need to search an old post for something or other. Invariably, I come across comments from people who have left us.

It’s weird . . . I can look at a photo of my brother and others who have died (some much too young) and have an awareness that they are gone. There is an emptiness where their place used to be, sadness for their absence, and gladness for having known them.

I see their smiling faces in photos or videos and I know they are gone, and I miss them, and I hurt.

The comments on the blog are a different kind of gut-punch . . . I almost want to say it’s worse even though there’s no gradation in sorrow . . . but it is different.

It’s different because the comments (and private emails) of people were and are — and here’s where words fail to describe fully what I mean — part of an ongoing conversation. The words are somehow more dynamic in a way that a photo and a video can never be, and reading them today feels like we’re still conversing.

The photo may bring up memories, often obscured and dulled by time, but the words are clear . . . I can read them and the essence of the person shines through.

Understand, I don’t mean to disparage or minimize memories of loved ones . . . but isn’t a letter from a loved one just a little more precious than a photo?

There are exceptions, of course. For instance, memories of my brother are still vivid, and photos of him emotionally powerful . . . but I think a letter would be more so.

Why am I mentioning this?

. . . yes, it’s a homonyms feast. But, to go on . . .

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Envy, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE<<link  When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button/symbol at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

The first post in this two posts series is at this LINK. In that post, I specified that the photos in the SmugMug Gallery are the same size as what was in the blog post.

Well, no longer . . . these reworked photos were run through Topaz Lab Gigapixels AI to double their size. That means that even a crop of the photo is still substantial For example, this photo (JPG output of the RAW file as it came out of the D7000 camera) . . . .

Turns into this cropped, cleaned, enlarged, and processed photo . . .

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS SmugMug Gallery.  

For a SmugMug slideshow click HERE. When you click the link, it will open in a new window and you have two options:
1) Manually scroll through the photos by clicking the “<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos.
2) There’s a PLAY/PAUSE button at the top-left of the screen with the transition set at about 5 seconds. Note: clicking the PLAY arrow will run a full-screen slideshow. You can then still use the”<” and “>” symbols to the left or right of the photos as this will pause the slideshow.

If you want the full experience, keep reading.

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Edited to Add: I figure I should include a link to the SmugMug Gallery (LINK) for them inclined to visit it and see the full-size photos.

I’ve been using DxO’s PureRAW as a pre-processor for many of my latest photos and I wanted to do a quick test with DxO PhotoLab to compare the two.

With PhotoLab, the output is used pretty much as is, while PureRAW has to be further processed in Lightroom. Well, “has to” is a bit strong. I usually process it because the output is a bit too aggressive and contrasty for my tastes, but it’s a good starting point.

Remember this panorama?

That’s six photos processed in PureRAW and then tweaked in Lightroom. Here’s the photos processed in PhotoLab, also stitched into a panorama.

. . . dead flowers artsified, paintified, and otherwise modified.

If you are new to the SDS Challenge, a little background.

Three writers will each write one story a month going down the list of deadly sins. The stories can be anywhere from 666 words to 6,666 words in length, although those numbers are not set in stone. If ambitious, the writers will provide accompanying graphics. These stories will not be anonymous because some writers may want to use the same characters for each story and write a series — or book — encompassing all seven sins. Finally, interpretation of the titular sin is up to the writer. Meaning, each ‘sin’ can take multiple forms.

Disclaimer: The writing challenge has no restrictions and the stories will likely span a wide gamut of genres. The majority of the stories fall in the PG-rating range with a few perhaps pushing into the soft R-rating. Some readers might find a few of the stories disturbing because of the topics, language, and/or plot points, and if so, stop reading and move on.

If you want to read the Seven Deadly Sins submissions for the Sin of Envy, and then vote, your gateway is THIS POST <<link. There, you’ll find links to each of the three stories and a poll for you to vote after you finish them (if you be so moved).