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dXine.co.za – Affilliations

Freelance creative, graphic designer, desktop publishing operator, pre-press specialist, amateur photographer, occasional volunteer and adventurer.

Currently available for new projects.

May be able to assist with basic 2 or 3 page website designs; possibly some hosting solutions, but do not do E-commerce sites at the moment.

Please drop us a note for custom quotes, or download a basic rates list from the link below.

What is the next project?
— Read on dxine.co.za/affilliations

An update on Luminar Ai and other photo editing software packages.

An updated version of writing on questions about image post-processing software alternatives to Adobe. I posted the original article on my journal in February 2021.

Luminar AI.

In the last few years, Skylum Luminar has been giving the Adobe applications a run for its money in the photo-processing industry, being chosen as a better alternative to the classic Adobe software packages by a lot of the younger generation of photographers for post-processing and photo editing purposes due to affordability and ease of use. The fact that the software can be bought and that they offer both a referral and affiliation program to their users makes them a popular and much better priced alternative to Adobe’s subscription services.

Earlier versions of Skylum Luminar reminded a lot of a hybrid editing system, combining some of the best editing tools and library management tools from Adobe PhotoShop and Lightroom; with some pretty intuitive Ai functions added to the mix. A pretty impressive Sky Replacement tool and user-friendly interface in earlier releases of the software gave Skylum Luminar such a good footing in the photo-editing marketplace, that a sky replacement tool was suddenly developed and integrated into later PhotoShop releases by Adobe.

In the latest release of Skylum Lumar Ai, the software creators have concentrated on developing the editing tools that have secured them a footing in the competitive marketplace extensively; adding a better Ai system, User Interface and more intuitive editing tools and templates to assist photographers in transforming their photos into something truly spectacular. The software works well. It is a much easier system to use for newcomers to photo editing to get their heads around the world of image manipulation, at a lower price. Test the trial version. Follow the link https://skylum.grsm.io/dxine.

Adobe PhotoShop and Lightroom.

Industry-wide, Adobe PhotoShop and Lightroom is well known, being considered the most powerful and versatile software for photo and video editing; having lots of support and training material. Just search the web, for millions of YouTube training videos and blog entries on how to use these software packages.

Adobe offers a monthly photography subscription plan which include Lightroom, Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, including 20 GB or 1T of cloud storage at USD9.99 per month; but it is a year subscription or hefty cancellation fee. Read the discount conditions.

More photo editing software packages.

DarkTable is very similar to Lightroom; being a fairly good alternative, considering the software is free. RawTherapee is much more powerful than DarkTable, although not very user-friendly. On the other hand, at a purchasing price of ZAR899.99, Affinity Photo is a pretty good and much cheaper alternative to Adobe Applications.

For a free PhotoShop alternative, Gimp is by far the most powerful open source standalone project, with more and more functions being added regularly via open source plugins.

Most of the above alternatives is not as user-friendly as the more well-known applications, so users will need to do some YouTube training videos to master them while playing around with their images to be edited.

Original posting with images on https://journal.dxine.co.za

 

dXine.co.za – Experimentals

Freelance creative, graphic designer, desktop publishing operator, pre-press specialist, amateur photographer, occasional volunteer and adventurer.

Currently available for new projects.

May be able to assist with basic 2 or 3 page website designs; possibly some hosting solutions, but do not do E-commerce sites at the moment.

Please drop us a note for custom quotes, or download a basic rates list from the link below.

What is the next project?
— Read on dxine.co.za/experimentals

dXine Journal – Trying to make sense of the crazy…

dXine Journal – Trying to make sense of the crazy…
— Read on journal.dxine.co.za/

Free and Paid PhotoShop and Lightroom alternatives

There seem to be a lot of questions about post-processing software. This is a personal take, opinions differ and there is plenty more software out there.

Photoshop and Lightroom

PS and Lightroom is the best with lots of support and training out there. They offer a monthly photography subscription plan which include Lightroom and Photoshop.

Lightroom and Photoshop Alternatives

For free Lightroom alternatives, DarkTable is a bit lightroom-cloney but fairly good and usable for a free program. RawTherapee is powerful, but not particularly user-friendly. Affinity photo is a good one. Options like Darktable is good. For a PS alternative, Gimp is probably one of the best with more functionality added daily via open source plug-ins. Most of these alternatives is not always as user-friendly, so the user need to do some YouTube training videos.

Skylum Luminar

Skylum is sort of PS and Lightroom combined. Free training is also supplied via training videos and a free online course. It also has a plugin that can be integrated via PS, Lightroom and some other photo editing tools. The sky replacement tool is better than PS, and they have an AI that make suggestions on editing if you drop a photo in, easier if a person is totally new to editing. Personally, I am not always crazy about automated edits, so generally use the custom editing tools custom rather than using presets.

Skylum Luminar Payment Options

  • To try out the trial version, visit https://skylum.grsm.io/dxine.
  • Use the code LUMINAR-FRIEND to get a $10 discount on the purchase price when purchasing.

A trial version of Skylum is available to test out. Skylum Luminar is a software purchase rather than a subscription with free support and updates for a year until a next major release, after which upgrading software is discounted, and usually comes with a 1-year SmugMug subscription which is usually charged for at just over $55,00 a year for a basic package, as well as a user course from ThinkTap Learning.

Skylum Luminar: Photo-processing software simplified.

  • More Possibilities
  • Innovative technologies give a whole new world of possibilities to express your ideas.
  • Less Routine.
  • AI deals with the boring tasks, so you can focus on your creative story.
  • No Learning Barrier.
  • Whether you’ve been a photographer for 20 years or 20 seconds, you’ll get awesome results right from the start.

What is SmugMug

Smugmug has some photo sales tools built in and, if a paid subscriber, can be set to your registered domain as a website.

Original post on https://journal.dxine.co.za

A free Bitcoin Mining Rig and referral alternative.

2020 was a challenging year. Covid-19 lockdowns resulted in a lot of rejected and deferred visa’s; and lots Work-Away Volunteer and permanent employment opportunities that was lost nationally and internationally.

My partner and I have been working as volunteers for the last year, with the odd bit of remote of contract work where I could find it; and some paving and maintenance or hospitality jobs that happen to cross our paths that paid. Adobe Lightroom, Skylum, a cup of coffee or tea and I have become good friends in this period. Recent and current projects seem to be design or photography related, but generally freelance and contract work seem to be much less in demand in the last few months.

Online Work Search.

It is no fun trawling online in search of paying work, with millions of previously employed people doing the same. I am currently researching affiliate programs and other solutions, but may have to start looking for permanent employment soon. Nobody knows when international borders will open again. We have no idea we will be able to travel to the country where we were supposed to have started working in almost a year ago.

Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Purchase Infiltrations.

I do not like Cryptocurrency proposals after almost being scammed by such an “opportunity” in the past. Posts about Bitcoin scams seem to be infiltrating every job post on every work-related social page. Bitcoin marketers are trying hard to reel desperate individuals in with promises of big money if they buy training or software, generally both. Most of these seem to be doing so by hijacking social media posts of people in search of employment or work, inviting people to join Telegram or WhatsApp groups, or expecting the people on the feed to invest hefty amounts of money with them. Unfortunately, not everybody is as honest or sincere as they seem; with scams being in abundance.

It made me wonder… if mining cryptocurrency is so profitable, why do these people spend so much time hijacking job work-related posts on social media platforms. Why keep trying to get people to buy software setups, or Bitcoin training, or mining servers at extraordinary high costs? According to what most of these marketers are preaching, the money is supposedly just flowing into their accounts; but it does rather seem that there is more people making money out of selling promises, training courses, Bitcoin Mining Rigs and Bitcoin networking tools than ones actually mining these digital numbers.

Computta Bitcoin Miner Trial and Referrals.

I found a Bitcoin mining app that do not require selling an organ to invest. It is freeware software called Computta. Giving it a test-run. It runs in the background of the system all the time. I registered it on a separate Gmail account, running it in a sandbox app for security reasons. It promises little return, $20 a year, unless you do referrals. However, you do not have to sell an organ or family member to make use of it. I am still reading up on how exactly it works, or not. It is running numbers up in the background, but what it does with it, I have no idea. Here is the referral link if anybody want to check it out. https://computta.com/?ref=662396

Original post on https://journal.dxine.co.za

A Volunteering experience at Wild Lubanzi, Eastern Cape, South Africa

We had the opportunity to do some volunteer work in Eastern Cape in 2020. Consisting mostly of communal gardening, building maintenance, building, flooring, water pipe repairs and rock building projects, it was something very different from a day at an office, and so much more satisfying; other than cleaning toilets. Apparently, it is hard to work to fathom how to use a toilet brush or flush a toilet when finishing off in a bathroom.

Satisfaction is a feeling that can’t be beat.

Our visit was short, but it was a nice feeling, leaving something behind that will be used and enjoyed by visitors that go there in the future. This is probably something we would not have done if it was not for Covid-19 lockdowns.

Pipe Dreams.

Travelling, volunteering in other countries, maybe see somewhat of the world could be awesome, but after 3 visa applications being turned due to lockdowns already, that seems like a pipe dream at the moment. Exploring the possibilities, but the viabilities seem to be at odds.

A Project Completed.

©Anthony Gillespie
The rock-wall that was built serves to protect the steep hill from erosion; but also serves as seating or a small porch in front of the ‘Spekboom Tent’. ©Anthony Gillespie

The final look, a rock wall with natural seating in front of one of the safari tents; looking out onto the ocean. The small outcrop also serves as a small porch in front of the tent, a step to climb up the hill; and anchors the ground, protecting against ground erosion that is so common on these steep hills. The plants still need to grow.

Original post on https://journal.dxine.co.za

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