Overkill @ RockHard Festival 2015

Overkill @ RockHard Festival 2015

I finally managed to upload the photos I took of Overkill performing at the RockHard Festival last year. You can find them on my own website and on my Flickr.

I have been a fan of that band for ages and was very happy to get the chance to shoot them live. Great band, great guys. Why not have a look?

 

 

My customToolsUI.txt for AfterShot Pro

One thing I love about AfterShot Pro is that you can configure the UI elements with a small textfile called “customToolsUI.txt” placed in its configuration folder (~/.AfterShotPro on Linux, whatever else on other OSes). Just for reference, here is my current file:

# the standard tab -----
Standard, Std, Histogram.ui
Standard, Std, BasicTools.ui
Standard, Std, com.roland65.AutoLevels
Standard, Std, au.com.mindsocket.GradFilter
Standard, Std, Presets.ui

# the color tab -----
Color, Color, Advanced/Curves.ui
Color, Color, Advanced/Exposure.ui
Color, Color, SelectiveColor/SelectiveColorWidget.ui
Color, Color, ColorBalance.ui
Color, Color, Advanced/WhiteBalance.ui
Color, Color, Advanced/ColorManagement.ui
Color, Color, com.roland65.LabCurves
Color, Color, com.roland65.LabTools

# the tone tab -----
Tone, Tone, Advanced/Exposure.ui
Tone, Tone, tin.tin.zchannelmixer
Tone, Tone, com.ferdinand-paris.bez
Tone, Tone, MB_Asp_Lightroom
Tone, Tone, com.ferdinand-paris.mix3
Tone, Tone, com.SMP.Nuance
#----

# a second tone tab -----
# all comprised of plugins -----
Tone_2, Tone_2, com.corel.BlackAndWhite
Tone_2, Tone_2, com.SMP.Nostalgia
Tone_2, Tone_2, com.kbarni.equalizer
Tone_2, Tone_2, sph.FatToni
Tone_2, Tone_2, net.sadman.aftershot.splittoni
Tone_2, Tone_2, sph.SiliconBonk 
Tone_2, Tone_2, com.corel.equalizer

# my detail tab -----
Detail, Dtl, Advanced/Sharpen.ui
Detail, Dtl, sph.waveletsharpen
Detail, Dtl, com.roland65.USM
Detail, Dtl, com.roland65.SContrast
Detail, Dtl, Advanced/RAWNoise.ui
Detail, Dtl, Advanced/NoiseNinjaRegistered.ui
Detail, Dtl, NoiseNinjaStandard.ui
Detail, Dtl, PerfectlyClearNoise.ui
Detail, Dtl, sph.waveletdenoise
Detail, Dtl, Advanced/LensCorrection.ui
Detail, Dtl, CAQuest
Detail, Dtl, name.deindl.mdRedEyes
Detail, Dtl, MirrorInvert.ui

# the effects tab -----
Effects, Eff., sph.grain 
Effects, Eff., com.kbarni.vigne 
Effects, Eff., com.corel.vigne
Effects, Eff., net.sadman.aftershot.typewriter
Effects, Eff., tin.tin.zFrame 
Effects, Eff., tin.tin.zText
Effects, Eff., tin.tin.zPerspector 
Effects, Eff., tin.tin.zShadow
Effects, Eff., tin.tin.zSoften
Effects, Eff., com.kbarni.grid 
Effects, Eff., com.kbarni.zone
Effects, Eff., Grid-64
Effects, Eff., Zone-64

# the metadata tab -----
Metadata, Meta, Metadata.ui
Metadata, Meta, Keywords.ui
Metadata, Meta, Keywords/KeywordSets.ui

Now, if only all of the plugins were available for the 64bit version…

RAW conversion on Linux

Having been a keen user of Linux since the day I got a Laptop with Windows Me (yes, that was what made me turn my back on Microsoft forever) and being an amateur photographer can be demanding. Especially when it comes to RAW developers.

Luckily, there are more options now than ten years ago. Here is what I have installed on my system.

Darktable

Darktable
Every once in a while, mostly after updating my distribution, I give Darktable a try. Usually not for very long, because I simply can’t come to terms with the UI. Sorry, Darktable.

Rawtherapee

Rawtherapee

I know what you are going to say: “This program has the most cluttered UI of all time.” You are probably right. Still I think everything is rather nicely organized into various tabs and if you can actually find the tools, you can create pleasing results rather quickly. It also features some kind of batch engine, which is nice.

LightZone

Lightzone

This one is very different. First, it began it’s life as a commercial program which was later abandoned by its creator. After years, the developer could be contacted and convinced to open the source of this beautiful photographer’s tool written in Java.
And here lies its only flaw: compared to other applications it is a tad bit slow, but it makes up in easy of use especially if you have a strong background in photography and Ansel Adams’ zone system. I like to use it for my black & white conversions mostly.

AfterShot Pro

AfterShot Pro

Originally created as Bibble 5 by a company called Bibble Labs, AfterShot Pro 2 is now owned by Corel. It is the only software in this list which is not opensource.
This is the tool I’m using most, probably because I’m so used to it having used its predecessors Bibble 5 and Bibble 4. I like its workflow and do most of my post-processing work in it. Only rarely I finetune the images in Gimp or LightZone.

Monster Hunter Orchestra Concerts

Browsing some Nintendo news sites lately, I came around to see the news of Capcom considering Monster Hunter Concerts. Well, considering?

I hastily ran to my CD pile and fished out 3 Monster Hunter Orchestra Concert CDs. So these concerts are already happening, albeit not in the west.

Here are these Japanese CDs that feature recordings of the concerts:

Monster Hunter In Concert 5th AnniversaryThis is the CD of the 2009 5th anniversary concert. Someone actually put a video of the event on Youtube, in case you can’t imagine what it sounds like:

Then there is the 2012 orchestra concert which is superb as well:

Monster Hunter In Concert 2012Last but not least, there is the 2015 concert which features songs from the latest (at least in the west) release: Monster Hunter 4 ultimate:

Monster Hunter In Concert 2015This one is great as well, but not as good as the two former ones. It starts with the Seregios theme, which I don’t really like that much. Again, someone has uploaded tracks to Youtube, so you can get some feels for the music:

These are the orchestra concert CDs I own. There are at least 2 more, one from 2011 and the 10th anniversary concert from 2014. Those will find their ways into my collection eventually, but importing stuff from Japan to Europe being as pricey as it currently is, it will take some more time.

The hype is unbearable now – Bravely Second: End Layer

Bravely Second: End Layer Guidebook

Sometimes it can be great when games are released in other regions different from your own first. It’s rather easy to get the respective guidebooks then. Like in this case: the wonderfully illustrated and very detailed guidebook to Bravely Second: End Layer. The game itself will be released on 26/02/2016 in the EU, so it is just a matter of three weeks before I can play it.

On the other hand, I now have three more weeks to wait till I get the game and have to keep myself from browsing through the book before. Good for me that I don’t know any Japanese and can’t spoil the game at all.

Great Detective Pikachu

Every once in a while, you come around a trailer for a video game that leaves you flabbergasted. Like this one for Great Detective Pikachu for example:

Pikachu as a Sherlock Holmes like great detective aided by the player jumping in as “Dr Watson”. Elementary, that I’d really like to give this game a go. I’m not really sure, however, if this franchise will make it to the west. I’m crossing my thumbs, though!

The Manga Guide To Databases

As I’m currently teaching databases in my computer science class, I thought it would be a good idea to freshen up my memory on the topic before making a fool of myself in front of said class.

Normal textbooks on the matter unfortunately seem to be rather boring with lots of lists and tables. (Ok, being books on relational databases this can’t be helped, but still…) Luckily the comic book industry has embraced the textbook market at least in Japan (and thanks to No Starch Press the English speaking world, too.) Let’s have a look at:

The Manga Guide To DatabasesKeep in mind that this is not an in depth book, but rather a small introduction into relational databases that touches the Why’s, Do’s and Don’ts as well as the most often used SELECT statements.
All of this is presented in the comic story of a princess who learns to run her kingdom’s fruit export business with the help of a database fairy.

It is certainly funny and immensly useful as an introduction or refresher.