Capture One 10: Split Toning


I miss the days of the black & white and colour darkroom. An eight hour day would literally fly by while immersing myself in the art of traditional film developing and the darkroom print process. My few experiments with split toning* were always a bit of a hit-or-miss, nonetheless, always a challenge.

When digital photography became the norm, production in the studio went way up, but the “fun” component fell to an all-time low, at least as far as I was concerned.

Eventually, any Tom, Dick, or Sally could become a “professional” photographer by setting their fancy DSLR to auto and rapid firing away.

Post production editing, especially print production, was often passed on to professionals in Pro labs. At one point in time, I was producing approximately 7000 prints a day (over 40,000 per year), many of them enlargements, on a quarter-million-dollar Noritsu.

I felt like a slave to the machine. The fun of professional printing work had left the building with Elvis.

All that was left to look forward to was correcting other people’s mistakes in the lab, invariably made during the production phase of “pro” photography.

To this day, I am shocked how little many working pro photographers know about digital editing, let alone the silver halide print process.

Like many photographers in the 1980’s, I started digital editing with some of the earliest versions of Photoshop. I moved on to Aperture (v. 1 through v. 3) until it’s forced obsolescence by Apple, replacing it with either Lightroom or Capture One. Somewhere along the line, I just lost interest in the entire photography process, selling most of my pricy Nikon DSLR bodies and lenses.

Today, I shoot with a simple Panasonic G6 Micro Four Thirds camera body with a 14-42 kit lens. A lightweight and compact system, capable of decent 1080P video, that I picked up used for a mere $200. Additionally, I have an original Sigma DP1 that I have utilized over the years for wide angle or landscape work – the colours, detail, and sharpness of the little Foveon-based camera often rivalling my Nikon D300 with a 2.8 zoom. I also carry a diminutive Canon point & shoot with me, more often than not, a simple and effective instrument for candid photography.

I still believe that most novice photographers should start out with a simple manual film camera and a 50mm kit lens, shooting black & white film. It teaches individuals the very basic principle of “seeing” light and shadow – the very essence of “light writing” better known as photography. The hard part, today, is finding decent black & white film locally and a lab to develop it.

A novice photographer in a black & white darkroom is like a kid in a candy store. The look in their eyes, upon seeing an image slowly appear on paper immersed in chemical, is one of wonder and amazement, their inevitable smile stretches from ear-to-ear.

*The original digital colour photos were edited in Capture One 10 utilizing a built-in split toning preset. The images of the Tamiya F1 1:10 scale car were shot rather quickly with the Panny for blogging purposes without too much concern for lighting or composition.


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Legalism: The Dragon that Slays

Knight battling Dragon
Courtesy pgwebdesign

There is probably nothing more insidious in the life of a Believer than legalism.

Legalism is the Dragon that Slays – destroying not only ourselves, but nearly everyone around us.

Legalism, from a theological point of view, is a dependence on moral law rather than on personal religious faith. A legalist is one who has excessive adherence to the law (especially Old Testament Law) or formula (historical Church teaching).

To the legalist, personal religious faith, i.e., a personal walk with Jesus Christ, is either non-existent or has been displaced or shelved in favour of unyielding moral rules and regulations. In one sense, legalism amongst Christians is an erroneous attempt to put God in a box, neatly ordering their lives into Do’s and Don’ts. The grey areas of life do not exist to a legalist because, for the straight and narrow, it makes living life far too complex and difficult.

They have surrendered their Christian liberty for slavery, having been badly burnt by the Dragon that Slays.

I would be disingenuous if I did not disclose that I have been affected by legalism in my walk with God. Sometimes, I still smell that hideous, metaphorical combination of burnt flesh and rusty armour. When I happen upon a legalistic Christian in my daily activities, I often can smell the smoke long before I experience the fire.

A strange fire that spawns from the very pit of hell.

I am torn between having compassion and mercy for the legalist, yet being literally repulsed by their personal behaviour and public actions. Each new morning, as I gaze into the mirror, I am reminded how rigid Catholicism, aberrant Fundamentalism, and legalistic Pentecostalism nearly destroyed me as a human being.

I feel sorry for the captives still in those religious groups. They think God is on their side, not realizing or comprehending the swath of sorrow and destruction they leave behind them.

Make no mistake about it. Legalism kills the human spirit.

If you, as a follower of Christ, recognize the aforementioned legalism in yourself, I want to encourage you that there is a way out. There remains a path that leads to life and freedom, and it begins with an open and contrite heart. If you are willing to acknowledge that maybe…just maybe… your Christian life has been a train wreck – you have already stumbled on to the path of freedom and liberty.

Jesus is always present to those of a contrite heart. He wants to hear your story, in your own words, of all that has led you to where you are today. He wants to hear about your pain and sorrow – the very dark secrets you have hidden away in your mind and heart.

He wants to set you free!

For the rigid moralist who claims that the Bible is their guide in life, praying lofty prayers and expressing heavenly song in the magnificent cathedrals, and yet refusing to do anything significant about the plight of the poor, the homeless, the destitute – I have some simple advice for you.

Go back to the BIG BOOK that you cherish so highly, but, set aside all that you think you know about God. Turn to the four gospels in the New testament and study the life and example of Jesus Christ.

Is this the person that you follow?

It will take a 180 degree turn (repentance) from where you have been going to effectively turn that heart of stone into a heart of flesh. And I know, from my own experience, how difficult that is going to be for you to do.

In discussing the content of this article with my gentle wife this morning, she made two very interesting statements:

  1. Legalists do not know how to love others because they do not know how to love themselves.
  2. Legalists do not know how to forgive others, because they have never truly forgiven themselves.

Wow! What a terrific insight.

    1. Our love for others is proportional to our love for ourselves.
    2. The capacity to forgive others comes from forgiving ourselves first.

Good stuff….

The choices we make today become who we are tomorrow…

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Dagfinn Bakke: Northern Norway

© Dagfinn Bakke

As a Canadian with a German-Norwegian ethnic background, I have always been fascinated with the country of Norway, it’s people, and their culture. As it turns out, I just happen to have a whole lot of family there, many of which I have never met. Although I have travelled through much of Sweden, Lapland, and Finland, through unfortunate circumstance, I never did have the opportunity to visit Norway so many years ago.

Dagfinn Bakke’s artwork is an excellent example of the simplicity of Norwegian life on the untamed islands of Northern Norway.

Dagfinn Bakke (born in 1933) is an artist, illustrator and graphic artist. He lives and works in Lofoten. Dagfinn Bakke has exhibited in several countries, and his work is exhibited in many public art galleries, including the National Gallery of Norway. Several public buildings have his adornments in addition to the thow Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Steamer) “Finnmarken” and “Nordnorge”. The nature of northern Norway where Dagfinn Bakke grew up has been the main inspiration for his art.

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The Invitation

The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo [il tʃeˈnaːkolo] or L’Ultima Cena [ˈlultima ˈtʃeːna]) is a late 15th-century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. It is one of the world’s most famous paintings. Wikipedia
How many of us would turn down an invitation to have dinner with the Queen of England? Who amongst us would decline to have a casual lunch with the Dali Lama? Would we say no to a formal audience with the Pope? Would we decline a special invitation to a state dinner at the White House? How about a dinner date with Madonna?

The truth is that the majority of us would set aside our petty politics, and climb off our moral superiority high chair in order to accept the aforementioned invitations. We might have some inward insecurities and doubt, but most people would gladly accept an open invitation to meet someone great or famous amongst us.

Yet, there remains a very special invitation open to all of us. That invitation has been open to all of humanity for over two thousand years. Some 3.5 billion people on the planet have responded to that invitation. The question is will you?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 Berean Study Bible

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Finally…a Little Wisdom for Millennials



This letter was originally published on the  James Maddison Program in American Ideals and Institutions web site of Princeton University.

Some Thoughts and Advice for Our Students and All Students

August 29, 2017

We are scholars and teachers at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale who have some thoughts to share and advice to offer students who are headed off to colleges around the country. Our advice can be distilled to three words:

Think for yourself.

Now, that might sound easy. But you will find—as you may have discovered already in high school—that thinking for yourself can be a challenge. It always demands self-discipline and these days can require courage.

In today’s climate, it’s all-too-easy to allow your views and outlook to be shaped by dominant opinion on your campus or in the broader academic culture. The danger any student—or faculty member—faces today is falling into the vice of conformism, yielding to groupthink.

At many colleges and universities what John Stuart Mill called “the tyranny of public opinion” does more than merely discourage students from dissenting from prevailing views on moral, political, and other types of questions. It leads them to suppose that dominant views are so obviously correct that only a bigot or a crank could question them.

Since no one wants to be, or be thought of as, a bigot or a crank, the easy, lazy way to proceed is simply by falling into line with campus orthodoxies.

Don’t do that. Think for yourself.

Thinking for yourself means questioning dominant ideas even when others insist on their being treated as unquestionable. It means deciding what one believes not by conforming to fashionable opinions, but by taking the trouble to learn and honestly consider the strongest arguments to be advanced on both or all sides of questions—including arguments for positions that others revile and want to stigmatize and against positions others seek to immunize from critical scrutiny.

The love of truth and the desire to attain it should motivate you to think for yourself. The central point of a college education is to seek truth and to learn the skills and acquire the virtues necessary to be a lifelong truth-seeker. Open-mindedness, critical thinking, and debate are essential to discovering the truth. Moreover, they are our best antidotes to bigotry.

Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word “bigot” is a person “who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices.”

The only people who need fear open-minded inquiry and robust debate are the actual bigots, including those on campuses or in the broader society who seek to protect the hegemony of their opinions by claiming that to question those opinions is itself bigotry.

So don’t be tyrannized by public opinion. Don’t get trapped in an echo chamber. Whether you in the end reject or embrace a view, make sure you decide where you stand by critically assessing the arguments for the competing positions.

Think for yourself.

Good luck to you in college!

Paul Bloom
Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology
Yale University

Nicholas Christakis
Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science
Yale University

Carlos Eire
T. Lawrason Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies
Yale University

Maria E. Garlock
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Co-Director of the Program in Architecture and Engineering
Princeton University

David Gelernter
Professor of Computer Science
Yale University

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions
Princeton University

Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law
Harvard University

Joshua Katz
Cotsen Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Classics
Princeton University

Thomas P. Kelly
Professor of Philosophy
Princeton University

Jon Levenson
Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies
Harvard University

John B. Londregan
Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Princeton University

Michael A. Reynolds
Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies
Princeton University

Jacqueline C. Rivers
Lecturer in Sociology and African and African-American Studies
Harvard University

Noël Valis
Professor of Spanish
Yale University

Tyler VanderWeele
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Director of the Program on Integrative Knowledge and Human Flourishing
Harvard University

Adrian Vermeule
Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law
Harvard University

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