My usual litany when I’ve been gone for a while goes something like this: sorry I’ve not been around much, but stuff be happening that precludes me from being more involved with the blog or the blogosphere in general.

Well, this is one of them times when the usual litany is applicable. Still, even when doing other things, I occasionally need to step away from “stuff” and dip my toe back into what relaxes me, namely, playing with photographs and posting them.

JPG output from Lightroom using “Auto” adjustments of the original RAW photo.

That’s a shot from the Rocky Mountains National Park, taken during a visit in July of 2010. The camera is the Nikon D200, and the lens is the Sigma 10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 at 13mm zoom (19.5mm effective). In fact, all the photos are shot with that camera/lens combination with the effective zoom ranging from 15mm to 30mm.

First off, to all the readers of this blog, I wish you all a boring and uninteresting — but happy — 2020. Of course, it’s not shaping up that way, but I can still hope.

Really, most people underestimate boring . . . until the fan’s big spinning blades start tossing the flying effluent around.

That said, I sincerely wish for readers to navigate the coming year safely and for the balance scales decisively tipping on the “good” side.

Luminar 4 Sky Replacement AI

Yup, more Luminar 4 Sky Replacement examples.  But, this post is actually about writing. And a relatively short post, at that.

I’ve made a few comments about the performance of Luminar 4. Specifically, how it’s slow to come online and once online, its difficulty with showing me the thumbnails of the photos I have. Then, when I’m editing a photo, it’s slow in updating the preview of the available canned “looks”.

I want to take my hat off to Skylum Support (the people who released Luminar 4 and also offer Aurora HDR 2019). They are responsive and knowledgeable and were able to point to things I could do to speed up things. For instance, among other things, they showed me where Windows 10 had hidden the option to assign High Performance computing to individual apps. Turning on the NVIDIA GPU for processing really speeded things up.

Still not great, but here’s the thing . . . I asked Luminar to load all 108,000 photos on my hard drive into one catalog. Nearly all are large RAW files. I mean, I don’t do that with any other program. Lightroom, for instance, is arranged by libraries for each year; at most, each Lightroom library has between 8,000 and 10,000 photos.

Considering what I’m asking it to do, Luminar 4 is pretty good. Skylum are supposed to release a new version to speed things up, but, again, just the tweaks I made let me work at a comfortable speed.

And, what did I do? Well, I tried out their Sky Replacement AI tool. So, for instance, I picked this photo:

Opened up the Sky Replacement AI tool, picked a sky and, in less than three seconds, this . . .