Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.1 is out!

Today when starting Adobe Photoshop Lightroom was told that Lightroom 1.1 was available for download (at the Lightroom website). Being the technofile that I am I downloaded and installed instantly. Install is painless. By reading the release notes I was wondering if there was going to be much different because they make it sound like the improvements aren’t that much, BUT I’m happy to say that after an initial look I’m very impressed.

I’m quite fussy when it comes to UI and I thought the initial release’s UI could have been better. It seems they also thought so; the look and feel in 1.1, particularly of the Library module, is just so much better. The metadata browser (a tool I love using) now is more powerful because it includes more fields. They’ve also made improvements in the histogram and setting keywords and metadata.

Still in the library module; an awesome new feature is the painter tool. Although this sounds like something graphic it is in fact a very useful tagging tool. Instead of selected your photos first and then applying keywords to them you can now do it the other way around as well by setting a keyword and then applying it to individual photos; very useful.

There are some UI improvements/additions to the Develop modules as well like the Clarity slider – according to Adobe it “adds depth to an image by increasing local contrast”. I’m still playing with it but I’ll update this post when I have more info.

The whole app is nicer to use, but the biggest improvement in my opinion is performance. For instance: thumbnails now render much quicker and searching or setting metadata is pretty much instant – the whole app just feels much more responsive. In a previous post I complained that performance was the one thing that did put me off so now I’m a happy camper. I urge users to get this free update; you’ll thank me afterwards. 🙂

Well done Adobe!! And great expectation management!

More thoughts/tutorials about the update from:

Huis Heunis (Riversbend)

Ek en Lené het so ‘n paar maande terug besluit om huis te bou. Ons is gatvol gehuur – ons moet in en uit oor Desember en ons betaal net ‘n ander ou se huislening af.

Die erf waarop ons gaan bou het ek kontant gekoop vir ‘n appel en ‘n ui terwyl ons in Londen was. Dis ‘n lekker groot erf (1209m2), hy kyk Noord-Oos (perfek vir die son) en hy’s relatief plat. Ons het die erf skoon gemaak (maar die meeste bome gelos) en ons was in ons noppies om vir FD Theron as argitek aan te stel. FD Theron het ‘n baie goeie reputasie in die omgewing en daar is ‘n bietjie van ‘n status aan ‘n FD Theron huis – vir Lenê se onthalwe 🙂

Ons kyk na so ±200m2 huis met 3 slaapkamers, 2 badkamers, ‘n dubbel-garage en al die ander mod cons. Ons wil die huis agter op die erf hê sodat ons die grasperk voor kan maksimeer en ons wil probeer om nie dubbel verdieping te gaan nie.

Sovêr het Jaap Stricker (van FD Theron) vir ons baie goeie werk gedoen, maar ons spook en spartel nog net om die huis agter in te pas. Die erf is ‘n bietjie nou agter so dit maak dinge moeilik, maar ek is baie gretig om dit reg te kry want ek is oortuig daarvan dat dit die erf se volle potensiaal sal uitbring. Dit sal dit ‘n great huis maak om in te lewe en in my opinie sal dit ons belegging verder konsolideer.

Ek moet myself keer om nie te opgewinde te raak oor die huis nie – as jy te veel in die lug is oor die goed vergeet ‘n mens partykeer goed!

The Pink Lady

Elke Heunis at Tamjazi

Yesterday my sister, her husband, Lené and I took the kids to Tamjazi, a petting zoo/coffee shop outside of Alexandria for some R&R.

Here Elke is just about 9 months old. I’m proud to say that the frown on her face was inhereted from me!

SA bank fees The Most Expensive in the World!

An international study by consultation firm CapGemini and its research partners, including the European financial management and marketing association, assessed South Africa’s banking costs for the first time and they found that South Africans pay more to own a cheque account than anyone else in the rest of the world.


This is infuriating but not surprising. We opened our business, The Red Apple, in December last year and we were absolutely shocked by the exhorbatant bank charges. For instance we pay R1.20 extra to pay a beneficiary (payee in the UK) instead of an ad hoc payment because – and listen to this – it costs money to save the payee details on the bank’s database. Have you ever heard something so insane!

Also you pay a flat fee plus a percentage for every cash deposit you make. Then you pay for every payment/transfer/balance enquiry/statement whether its on the internet or not!!

Deeply concerning is that all the major banks are in on this deal. This seriously suggests price fixing to me. I know the banks are now being investigated again, but they are so far up Mbeki’s arse I don’t know if anything is going to happen. Now everytime I see these gushy TV ads from Standard Bank (my bank) and the others it just makes me sick. I’m surprised that some of the oversees banks haven’t seen this as an oppurtunity.

Read the actual World Retail Banking Report for 2007.

Digital cameras to benefit from new colour-filter

Kodak has anounced a new colour filter that is supposed to be twice as sensitive to light. This means is that you will be able to take great photos in even darker conditions than you can presently. You can go pretty dark as itáis, butátypically you need to either keep the shutter open for longer (forcing you to use a tripod) or you need to up the ISO making photo grainy.

It is set to start appearing in some camerasáas soon asá2008. I’m not sure how it will be incorporated into other brands like Nikon (which I use).

Read more at CNN’s New filter promises crisper photos.

Boesmansrivier Mond

Die is ‘n foto van die Boesmansrivier (die tweede langste gety rivier in Suid-Afrika) se mond tydens laagwater. Dit is ongelooflik hoe veel anders die rivier lyk as dit hoogwater is.

Racist ANC to destroy Springbok legacy

Springbok Rugby
Racist ANC targets the Springbok

It has emerged that the ANC, through its influence, aims to take over Springbok Rugby after this year’s world cup. Rumours are that the Springbok team will be coached by a sub-standard coloured coach (Pieter de Villiers) and will have 10 black/coloured players on the field at all times. Luke Watson is set to be the captain. To put things in perspective there are presently 2 black players (Bryan Habana and Guthro Steenkamp) in the side on merit and Luke Watson (the son of anti-Apartheid activist Cheeky Watson) isn’t even in the top 6 loose-forwards in the country.

I don’t care what your background is or what your political views are, but surely this must raise a red flag to anyone that supports democracy and deplores racism. The rhetoric of these rugby officials is comparable to Hitler in Nazi Germany. I just hope that the senior ANC members see how dangerous these precedents are and stops it. I’m just not sure they know how fundamentally wrong this is. This would be a good way to head for that Banana Republic that Mbeki hates to hear about so much.

The only positive outcome if this disturbing vision would ever realise would be if we saw a breakaway group formed of merit-based (black, white, coloured etc) players/administrators. I’m certain this group would have support from the businesses that matter (Supersport, Vodacom, Fox/Newscorp) and most importantly the viewing/paying public. To my mind this is probably the only thing that can save rugby from a meddling racist government.

Canada shows Winnie the door

Today Canada denied Winnie Mandela a tourist visa. I say kudos to Canada. Winnie is a horrible person who was found guilty of kidnapping and murder. She is also a convicted fraudster.

Despite this Winnie is still seen as a hero by many black institutions & organistions across the globe.

Jonathan Kay agrees.

Amnesty International fights the fight

Amnesty International has warned that the internet “could change beyond all recognition” unless action is taken against the erosion of online freedoms.

According to Amnesty International the “virus of internet repression” has spread from a handful of countries to dozens of governments, said the group.

Readers of this blog will know that I am passionate about protecting free speech so I endorse Amnesty International in this case.

People will very easily say a website should be shut down for saying something they disagree with or that angers them, but that is such a dangerous precedent. It is never just about shutting down a site/page. Because the principle is if you shut down one you can shut anyone down. Then the question is who decides if a site should be shut down and then basically its a slippery slope into full censorship.

Today a friend emailed me about cityboy, another anonymous blogger. His writing is brilliant and it is now getting some recognition, but it would never have been as crisp if the author wasn’t anonymous.

Remember the old rule always applies, if you don’t like it, turn it off.

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