My Start to Spring Cleaning

Yes, I know we're deep into spring already, but I'm finally back in the office after quite a bit of travel, looking around, and seeing a mess has built up.

A lot is involved with performing garbage collection spring cleaning. As a working photographer everything from logical to physical is involved, and tasks you probably don't have to perform for your photography, such as accounting, are also involved. 

This year I've started my spring cleaning with my computer systems. For the moment I haven't decided to upgrade anything, but that will probably come soon enough. Thus, one of the first things I looked at was what was on those computers. In other words, photographic software. 

I'm being ruthless this year. I found that I had a clutter of as many as a dozen raw converters taking up space, plus the inevitable plug-in and support software pileup that seems to happen regularly. Moreover, much of this requires constant tithing to keep up to date.

Therefore I've simplified my raw converters down to basically three. In order of preference/use: Adobe ACR (Photoshop), DxO PhotoLab, and Nikon NX Studio. (See my article on for more.) 

There was a time when CaptureOne would have been that second choice, but the reason to have a second or third converter around has to do with having a clear, alternative choice of demosaic and controls. While CaptureOne provides the former—different color modeling—it doesn't really provide me the latter any more, and is certainly not worth the more-than-Adobe pricing they've adopted to me. 

Similarly, I've simplified my noise reduction tools to basically Adobe's Enhanced DeNoise and the no-longer-sold Topaz DeNoise AI (plus I have DxO's Prime de-noising options in PhotoLab). No, Topaz I don't want to pre-process my images with your demosaic tools in Photo AI, particularly when they require me to make adjustments I'm not interested in (ditto with DxO's Pure Raw). It adds to workflow, takes time, and doesn't provide me the results I'm looking for. 

The Nik tools are potentially on my chopping block, too. I haven't upgraded to Nik 7 Collection. I don't use the U-point tool, I don't need yet another HSL tool, though maybe the speed improvements might be useful. However, I find that I'm using a Nik tool far less often than I used to now, so I think the handwriting is on next year's wall. 

I'm undecided at the moment about Ingest/Review. With Photo Mechanic also in the more-than-Adobe pricing mode, I'm finding that to be a real issue, particularly since the UI/UX is still geeky, clunky, and odd, new features aren't really being added, and I'm doing less sports work where the speed IPTC features of Photo Mechanic are unique and useful. FastRawViewer works fine for wildlife work, much less expensive, and has interesting evaluation tools that Photo Mechanic doesn't. 

All in all, I've lopped over US$500 off my yearly software costs. Yes, this will make me less capable of speaking to all the software options (unless, of course, the suppliers want to put me on the review copy lists). But it will also allow me to start considering demonstrating why the products I've chosen were chosen and how well they really work. 

Next up: going through the studio, the gear storage, the office, and all the spillover places (my home hall closet is simply full of bags), and figuring out which gear goes. I've already got a large pile, but that's going to turn into enormous soon. 

I should be through with this year's spring cleaning just about the time that next spring rolls around...

 Looking for gear-specific information? Check out our other Web sites:
DSLRS: | mirrorless: | Z System: | film SLR: all text and original images © 2024 Thom Hogan
portions Copyright 1999-2023 Thom Hogan
All Rights Reserved — the contents of this site, including but not limited to its text, illustrations, and concepts,
may not be utilized, directly or indirectly, to inform, train, or improve any artificial intelligence program or system.