The Revelation

The NPR station that I usually listen to (WNIJ) is having a very short story contest called “Flash Fiction”. Entries must be about 500 words long, and they must start with a sentence describing an “outrageous, inexplicable situation”. That’s my favorite kind, so I wrote a story called The Revelation. It’s based on an actual experience that I had many years ago.

Read the story.



DarkTable is a most excellent digital photo workflow program (and raw image processor). The difference between it and certain popular software from Adobe® is that it runs on Linux, and it’s open source. Please don’t let that scare you. It’s actively maintained, it’s amazingly powerful, yet easy to use, and easy to install from the package manager of popular Linux distributions. If you should wish to do so, you can download the source and build your own too.

A few months ago I purchased a Canon PowerShot G3 X (camera). It’s a relatively new model, and consequently, no DarkTable noise profile exists for it. That means the "denoise (profiled)" plugin (or filter) didn’t work. That’s a problem.

Darktable does lots of things extremely well, but the characteristics of the sensor are different for each camera model. The DarkTable developers can’t build noise profiles for every imaginable camera because, well, you have to buy the camera in order to have something to profile. Open source projects can’t do that. There’s no budget. Consequently, the DarkTable team needs us (the user community) to use our own cameras and create the profile if it doesn’t already exist. We can then load the profile in our local copy of DarkTable, and we can also send the profile to the DarkTable project team, so it will be available to everyone else that has a camera like ours.

The article associated with this post, explains how I built the DarkTable sensor noise profile for my G3 X, and hopefully, explains how you can do it for your shiny new camera too.

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Searching for Summer and the Everglades

The winter doldrums usually set in sometime in February. That’s when I typically get really tired of making images filled with snow and ice in Wisconsin, and start to hunger for some nice warmth and color. This year, I had the time to do something about it. I loaded up my little car with camping gear, and pointed it south and east through the USA. I hope you’ll travel along with me for a little while.

Searching for Summer
Searching for Summer
These are images from the trip south through the eastern and southern US states and the Florida Keys. The page got a little long, so I split the images into two pages. You can go to the Everglades page from the last image on Searching for Summer if you like. As always, you can click an image to see a larger version. Please let me know what you think of them.

Florida Everglades
Florida Everglades

This of course, will take you directly to the images from the Everglades, but I hope you’ll have time to look at both. If you have any comments, corrections, glowing compliments or you want to send me money, please let me know, and thanks for visiting.

Horicon Marsh

Horicon Marsh
Click the image to display the gallery

I recently (end of September, 2015) spent most of a day at the Horicon marsh. That’s a wetland in central Wisconsin (near the town of Horicon, imagine that.) I’ve lived near it for years, and driven by it countless times, but had never stopped. So, off I went in my little car, just like Mr. Bean.

Click the image if you’d like to come along.

A perfect Morning

Perfect Morning
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I took a walk recently along the Rock River, from the River Road bridge on the southern edge of Janesville, Wisconsin in the USA, toward the little town of Afton, Wisconsin. It was a beautiful warm summer morning in August, 2015. It was pleasant to be beside the river, and just generally nice to be alive. It was perfect.

I wanted to make some landscape images of the river and the trees that line its banks. Eventually, the sun had risen high enough that the nice soft golden hour light was replaced with the (seemingly) x-ray glare of mid-summer on a hot day. I headed back and along the way I chased some bee pictures, photographed some flowers, and just generally had a super time.

Using HDR to Capture a Sunset

HDR Image
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For any non-geeks that have stumbled across this, HDR refers to an image with a High Dynamic Range. That just means that there are more than 256 tones of a single color (Red, Green, Blue). Your eye can see in the light from a starry sky. It can also see on a sunny day. It’s sensitive to a lot more than 256 tones. The camera is capable of recording more than 256 tones too, and if you make multiple images of the same thing, you can change the exposure of each image, so that the camera will record any range of tones you like. Then all you need to do is figure out how to combine those images in order to to print them, or put them on a display screen.

Midsummer Gold

Midsummer Gold
Midsummer Gold
This image was made late in the afternoon on June 20th, 2015, the longest day of the year. It looked like some rain was coming in, but the sun was still peeking through in spots, producing some very interesting light and shadow contrasts. I won’t pretend I didn’t help that along a little. This image is part HDR, which gives the impressive contrast in the brush and grass. I really just wanted to leave it at that, but my favorite Luminance tonemap operator (Mantiuk ’06) produced some horrible banding in the feature-less upper right corner, so I used the LDR image to get rid of that and a mask to bring out the good stuff in the foreground. Click the image to see a larger version.

Top of the County

Top of the County Gallery
View the Top of the County Gallery
I wanted some breathtaking panoramas from the highest spot in Rock County, Wisconsin, USA. I didn’t exactly get that. There aren’t any mountains in Wisconsin, just glacial kettles and moraines, which are left over from the last ice age.

I did get some nice views of rural scenes that are pretty typical of Wisconsin in the summertime. These images are all from the same area, in Rock county, just south of the small town of Orfordville, in the south central part of the state.


View the Natureland Gallery

Natureland is a county park on Whitewater Lake in Walworth County, Wisconsin, USA. It has great hiking trails that take you through some very pretty country. I visited recently with my granddaughter, Natalia, who came along primarily to keep me out of trouble. We had a wonderful time walking in the forest and prairie ecosystems. I recorded these images. I hope you’ll enjoy them.