Inspiration – Part 2

“…Sing, you islands of the sea; echo back, you ocean caves…”

I have been told that I have a fertile imagination. No, I do not care to explain why. This phrase though communicates to me a beautiful image of crystal blue water, fine sand beaches and islands with caves all around begging for adventurers to explore their expanses! Is this not the dream picture we all have of a perfect “Island get-away” that we secretly wish would come true?

There is something more to this phrase and I will give it to you in two parts.

Part 1: We have described the islands, caves and sea but completely ignored the action to which they are called. “Sing!” “SING!” Who does not enjoy a beautiful voice that dares you to go back to your worries and anxiety? If anyone said “I do not” out-loud, I can refer you to some fine Nouthetic counselors.

Part 2: The purpose of their call to singing. Remember in “History Immortalized” I challenged us all to intentional, proper and encouraging photography. These Islands of the sea and ocean caves are singing and echoing the praises to a merciful God who gave his only son (Jesus), conceived of His seed, to pay a debt for my wrong actions, immoral thoughts and offensive words. God did this not for me alone, but for you too. This was not forced on Jesus either, in fact Jesus (the same Jesus that the hymn says “Jesus Saves”) said of his life “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.” (See: The gospel according to John chapter 10:18a)

The sea, oceans or any large body of water ought always to be treated with care and caution. Just because of the power it has by virtue of the laws of physics does not require us to stay away from it at all times, but rather calls us to exercise wisdom and good sense when enjoying the pleasure of water. I think this caps off what we desire in these grand fantasies including islands, seas and caves a well-defined boundary that can both protect us, but reminds us to mind well our strengths and look for help in our weakness.

Oh! By the way, Jesus did die, but he is the only man to come back to life never to die again. He was witnessed by over 500 people, talking with them, eating in front of them and some touched him. Get a copy of “The Gospel according to John” or find it in a Bible sometime, read it. It is true.

Post-Production Software – Part 2

GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program

First I would like to be clear; I do own and use other software besides these three free programs I have mentioned. I also have used the installations of other programs on my friends computers. I am not writing these posts from a prejudiced point of view that “free software is every bit as good as chargeable software”.

My premise is this: “each piece of software has its strengths and weaknesses”. Strengths and weaknesses which we can use to our benefit! It is my desire to share with you, my reader, the ways that I have found to use these programs in tandem or independently to achieve my desired outcome for each photograph and their functionality of mass file alterations.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is designed to create an image or manipulate an image already created. That is to say, any changes made to an image are saved to the original file and thus over-writing any previous data. So long as the user is aware of this there will be no problems in making your own image progression by changing the file-name (even one character difference is enough to distinguish between files).

Capabilities: Layers, Channels, Gradients, Patterns, Image history, Document history, Wide variety of Tools, Paths and the ability to edit every function of the program or write new scripts in PERL for customized performance. This is a rather brief description of the program capabilities but we can go into these specifics at a later time.

Strengths: GIMP is a wonderful program for the artist working on individual pieces of art or “fine corrections” on specific parts of an art piece. It is a powerful GNU GPL (General Public License) software making it available for tweaking by studious users. All of the Tool Brushes can be copied or new Brushes made to suit your specific purposes.

Weaknesses: For many users not being a file organizer is a turn off. (Thus it is listed as a weakness of the software. I personal still use GIMP for this purpose.) Scripts for complicated processing are minimal (i.e. HDR creation, Panorama stitching and Automatic Watermarking.) It would benefit from better RAW Camera Data reading and manipulation.

These are my professional critiques. For personal uses, this program has always exceeded my desires and performance requirements. It is a solid, fully developed piece of software that is well worth your time to learn and use!

NEXT:… Post-Production Software – Part 3 (Darktable)