12.31.2019

Happy New Year to Everyone!!! Thanks for reading and sharing this year. More next year.



It's certainly been an interesting year. I'm glad we all survived it. 

Here's my list of goals for 2020:

Give more to charities.

Give more time to charities.

Become a better portrait photographer.

Spend less time spending. 

Spend more time doing.

Always consider: "What if the other guys is right?"

Get some mileage on all the cool cameras I bought in the last last year. 

Celebrate each victory and milestone with appropriate gusto!

Learn what's most meaningful to me in life right now.

Help young people learn the ropes in the creative life. 

Print more beautiful photographs and hang them in more places.

Write more positive stuff here on the blog and worry less about pillorying the idiots that dot the landscape.

Read more novels. Read fewer "how to" books. Read even fewer websites.

Think more about "why" and "what" and a lot less about "how." 

Become a more empathetic portrait photographer.

Love my dog as much as she seems to love me. 

Eat something scary every once in a while. 

Go hear live music that I didn't know I'd like. 

See a Rosini opera in some great opera house somewhere in the world.

Figure out how to migrate the files on my old Mac to my new Mac in less that a week.....

Keep cash in my pocket since the homeless don't accept credit cards.

Learn to tolerate the opinions of others instead of vilifying them and rejecting them.

Speak up when I know what's right. 

Try not to ever have to shoot at 12500 ISO. 

Mat whatever I decide to frame. 

Never tell a young person: This is how we used to do it!

Photograph more ideas and fewer proofs of concept, or proofs of mastery.

Spend more time with Belinda and less time with Tony Northrup, Jared Polin, Ken Rockwell, and that whole crew of lightweights over at DP Review. 

Forget that there are camera specs and remember that you only really need to know six menu settings in order to do fine work.

Remind myself often that the more we pack into our camera bags the fewer good images we'll come back home with.

Finally, it's more important to be a good person than it is to be a good photographer. I think Eugene Richards taught me that this year.

I hope I get to meet more and more VSL readers in person this year. 

Happy New Year! Don't wait, get busy and have more fun. Warmest regards, Kirk

Preparing for a high performance 2020 with a computer upgrade for the New Year. It's about time.

VSL Laboratory's newest image and video processing workhorse. 

My CFO and I had a long talk about workflow efficiency and how it relates to profit and optimized workplace happiness. We looked at how long it was taking for my existing (circa late 2013) computer to dig through a folder of 1500+ files from the new Panasonic S1 and S1R cameras and convert them from raw to Jpeg in Adobe Lightroom and realized that we were losing out on gobs of productivity benefits. Plus... I wanted a cool, new computer for my desk...

I've been intrigued with the iMac Pro since it was announced and decided to stretch a bit from my usual frugal way of doing things and just bite the bullet and get what was for me a somewhat aspirational upgrade. I also wanted to kick the old, internal spinning disk HD technology to the curbside and take advantage of a much faster SSD drive.

I bought the Apple iMac Pro machine online and arranged for same day (same hour!!!) pick-up from my local Apple store. I buzzed into the mall with all the info in my Apple Wallet and was heading back out of the store about seven minutes later. With a massive box in hand. Now I'm trying hard to clean up everything on my actual (real, physical) desktop before I fire up the new machine and use the "migration" tool to transfer files and applications to the new Space Gray w√ľndermakina. 

I calculate that this machine is about 4X faster than my old machine in file conversions and about 8X - 12X faster than the old machine in terms of video editing and rendering. That should save me some time. 

We'll put the old machine in the boy's recently vacated room which I am converting to a second home office and hopefully a guest bedroom. I figure guests should have some internet access and a screen that's big enough to watch movies on.

Studio Dog is totally indifferent to the purchase but then I didn't expect her to get too excited about it....after all, she can't eat it.

Now that I've got the main part of the computer equation settled for this next year I'm researching some large SSDs for short term and intermediate file storage, and intermittent access. That might be the one situation in which big, spinning hard drives still make sense. Someone geekier than me will have to step in and explain the pros and cons.

Going quiet now. I have some migration to accomplish. I'll let you know how it goes. One more post till the new year.