Freshly Painted Office

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These are two HDR images of my office with the new paint. The wall with the Star Destroyer came out pretty well. I'm less happy with the window wall, but I figured I'd include it anyway. (I talked about HDR images from Photomatix Pro before.) I went ahead and ponied up the cash for Photomatix Pro, I like the effect enough to get the real version.

I'm also poking at the recent spate of new Core Image-based graphics editors - specifically Pixelmator and Acorn. So far I like Pixelmator a lot more - even something simple like a crop was a fight with Acorn. I'd try to resize the crop and the whole thing would jump somewhere else on the screen. Very odd. I'd like something with more power than iPhoto for some editing (although I can do a lot of quick tweaks in iPhoto). I have Photoshop Elements, but it's a PowerPC binary which is slightly annoying - and it takes forever to start up. Not sure if that's a Rosetta issue, or if PhotoShop Elements is just a pig. It takes forever on my G4 Powerbook as well, and in truth when I bought Elements the Powerbook was still a very serious computer.

Of course, if I get a new camera I'd probably start wanting to use RAW files, and that's likely to lead me to Aperture. Which is a stupid amount of overkill for my actual skill level but that sort of thing never stops me!

On the camera front I've just about decided that I want a Canon Rebel XTi. It seems like in the sort of space I'm looking for the front runners are very much the Rebel XTI or the Nikon D80, but the D80 costs significantly more. The single biggest complaint about the Rebel XTI seems to be the pro photographers feel the grip is too small and I'm not sure I'm sold on that problem. It seems comfortable to me. I'll probably get just the body and go for a separate 50mm prime lens to start, and see what I think of that for a while. Later I'd probably add a zoom lens, but the one point of the prime thing is to force yourself to use it for a while, long enough to force you to rethink the way you compose pictures. Blake made a valiant argument for getting another point-and-shoot (in the comments of my Monterey post), but I'm still leaning toward separating the body from the lens.

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