Old Lifeboat House and Branch at Moelfre, Anglesey

This is another shot of the old lifeboat house at Moelfre, Anglesey. It was taken as a three-exposure HDR RAW file set, at 2:25pm on the 15th September 2021, and developed with On1 Photo RAW 2021.

As you may have noticed, I like to revisit photographic subjects and reshoot them differently, be that from a different angle or whatever. This time, it’s from the right looking left from the ramp, with the branch as a foreground element.

I haven’t published any photos since early July, because I had terrible trouble with Luminar AI lagging and crashing after update 1.4.

Early August holiday

My last holiday, in early august, consisted of taking photos during the day, and then corresponding with Skylum about the issues I was having, in the evening – when I should have been developing and publishing my photos.

I’d already done all the uninstalling, deleting and renaming that had previously cured the last issues earlier in the year. This time, nothing worked. Skylum released a bug-fix update, and that meant I could then do five or ten minutes editing before it crashed. Skylum even wanted me to record the application crashing! I was now at the end of my short holiday – and patience.

Later, I heard that Skylum are now developing a new application – Luminar Neo. Neither Luminar 4 or Luminar AI were completed from concept from my perspective.

What software next?

I’ll keep this as short as possible. I may elaborate in a dedicated article later.

I looked, firstly, at On1 Photo RAW 2021. I got the impression that it ran more smoothly than the previous incarnation. But, the problem was I knew they were releasing Photo RAW 2022 in a few months. I contacted them, and they said their recommendation was to wait for the 2022 version. But that would leave me with no photo software in the meantime.

After looking at ACDSee Ultimate 2021 (HDR blend simply doesn’t work), Exposure X6-7 (doesn’t recover tones well, and has no HDR functionality) and Affinity Photo, I eventually went with the latter for a while, learning how to use the Photoshop-esque/ graphics approach.

Affinity is good. It’s really powerful and can do all sorts. But when you’ve originally come from lightroom, then to DxO PhotoLab, then On1 Photo RAW 2020, then Luminar 4, then luminar AI – I missed proper tools! Affinity, like Photoshop, relies on graphics editing routines, rather than having dedicated sliders that do edits coherently for you. Also, it’s a one direction route from one “Persona” to another. When you leave one Persona for the next, your edits are baked in. No going back. You’d have to start over.

After lots of patient learning about Affinity, I kept yearning for something more dedicated to the flexible, non-destructive, bi-directional RAW development I was used to.

I liked On1 Photo RAW, but I didn’t want to pay for the upgrade to 2021, then pay again for 2022 a month or two later.

When my September holiday was approaching, I suddenly remembered there was a subscription option! At last, I had a chance to have a go with Photo RAW properly! With Anthony Morganti’s discount code, it’s costing me £5 per month. As long as it continues to work reasonably stably on my laptop, with few crashes, I’m happy!

Strange how my software journey since Lightroom 6 has been in avoidance of committing to a subscription, but Adobe hasn’t ever been just £5/ month. I don’t regret any part of the journey. It’s taught me a lot about the various applications and approaches.

Comments welcome below, including spotting any mistakes. There’s no proof reader here.

Published by Peter Finch

I have been an electrical draughtsman, a retailer and, for 12 years, a photography tutor. In 2019, I took a job as an electrical technician and closed my tuition business. Am I now photography tutor emeritus ...?

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