Spring Cleaning 1

It is finally underway, my spring cleanup, that is. I promised myself months ago to do an overhaul of “my cloud”. Turns out there are many more little details that needed to be taken care of than I had thought.

My first effort was to define how “my cloud” should work and interconnect. That is, of course, a background task that’s invisible, at least at first. Then I started down the list. The many links to OneDrive albums and images are largely taken down. When Microsoft started with “SkyDrive” they happily tried to make it open and very much like a public gallery. Then, as time went on and it became “OneDrive”, it morphed into a “filing cabinet in the cloud”. It was reoriented for primarily business and private use. Many of the features ceased to work. Amazingly many of the links did remain operational.  I still have my photos and art up there, but the public items are now mostly on my personal websites.

The first visibly change is Ludwig.Gallery. It is not finished by any means, but do take a look. Notice the much simplified navigation.

Ludwig GalleryMany thanks to my friends and followers. Soon you will get a much better idea of what it is like to “fly in the cloud with Ludwig”.

.:. © 2020 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Flower Photography

Flower Photography

Photographing flowers is fun, and also a bit of work. There is preparation and careful work before the shutter is pressed, and the real work begins afterwards.

If you are interested in my take on the topic, watch this space for the full article.

Until then, enjoy my creations.

.:. © 2020 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Digital Photos, Photography | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

All the best wishes to all my friends around the world for the coming year!

May we see peace and friendship!


.:. © 2020 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Cafe Art, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Starting Apps

Some of the ways: Double-click and Drag-and-Drop

In another post I told how I make use of a variety of photo post-processing apps on my laptop.

I keep shortcut icons to the apps, some full-fledged photo editors, some old plugins, and some current incarnations of plugins. You can see some in the illustration here.

Before going into some of the details and some of the gotchas, come with me back into the dark ages. Long before Windows was developed conventions had been adopted on how to start programs, that’s what apps were called then, and how to have them work on files. Those details I remember only faintly and they don’t matter much, but much of those conventions survive to this day, deep “underneath” what you see nowadays.

Back then the only way was “command line” operation. You needed to write text instructions to make the computer do something. Actually that still can be done today. Just type cmd into your “Type here to search” box.

Click on Command Prompt and presto a window comes up that looks just like a computer monitor four decades ago. Type in the full path to the app you wish to start. Where can you get that? Right-click on the shortcut and click Properties. The path will already be highlighted and you can copy it. If you want the app to start working on a photo, get its path. That is bit more complicated. Right-click on the thumbnail, here in Photo Gallery, click Properties, the the General tab. The first part of the path is in the Location box, you need to append a back-slash and the file name that is shown toward the top of Properties. Surround the full path in quotes so the command processor will not be confused by any spaces in that text.

Now put all that into the Command Prompt window. You can paste it in, a small nod to modern ways. It will look like this:

Okay, okay, nobody does this nowadays, but it works and opens the app with the photo specified. In this case PaintShop Pro. It works just fine.

But it is so much easier to just click down and hold on the photo and drag it over to the shortcut icon for the app. Windows shows “Open with …” and the name of the app. Just release the mouse button and you are on your way.

This work for “well-behaved” apps that follow the old conventions. Most do, but care is required, there are gotchas!

Using plugins on the desktop

Conventional plugins designed to work from inside a host photo editor can be launched with the drag-and-drop procedure. The plugin runs just the way it does when launched from inside an editor. It starts with the photo dragged in. You can use it normally. When you click the accept or ok icon it will overwrite the photo with the changes. Yep, you read that right, overwrite!

When using this approach always make a copy of the photo first and work with the copy only. This method is fast and easy, but you must be careful and never use the original photo file!

Stand-alone apps

Most specialty editors work just like I described for plugins above, but they may or may not overwrite the photo dragged in. So use caution and find out how yours works!

Stand-alone apps can be launched by double-clicking the shortcut icon. They then typically ask for you to drag in a photo or to select it via the open file process.

Some will look different for the two opening methods. Like shown here.

The example here is Topaz DeNoise AI. On the left is how it looks when opened with drag-and-drop. Note the lower right shows an Apply button. It really does! The dragged in image will be overwritten with the effects you selected.

The right illustration shows the same app opened by double-clicking the shortcut icon. It ask for an image to be dragged in (or opened manually). The button on the lower right is Save As.

One final warning: Always make a copy or conversion of your photo that you imported from your camera. Never use the original.


.:. © 2019 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Photo Editing, Windows 10 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Icons on the Desktop

Photo Post-Processing Workflow

The desktop on my laptop looks pretty much like those on my other computers. There is a reason for that. My collection of photo post-processing tools has grown over the years, I have some favorites that do some things especially well or in a manner that makes them easier to use than the big photo editors. Many of these tools are plugins, some are stand-alone programs. I like to have handy access to make my post-processing smooth.  The shortcut icons are mostly along the right edge as shown in the illustration here.

When using a “host photo editor”, like PaintShop Pro, there is a menu to reach the various plugins. That makes using them quick and easy. But I don’t start out in that editor, rather my “goto” is Photo Gallery because it has the best import tool, allows file organization very much like File Explorer, but only shows image files, searching by text or tag is really easy, and it provides some nice basic enhancement tools. When I need another tool I just drag the file from Photo Gallery to the appropriate icon on my desktop. Quicker, easier, more powerful than working from inside one of the big editors.


Import images

Let’s go through my typical procedure for post-processing photos. When I have some new images I connect my camera with a USB cable to the laptop.

Open Photo Gallery (the bottom shortcut icon on the desktop).

Turn on the camera. It will show up in the folder pane.

We won’t go through the details of importing here, but it is a simple step by step process. One or more new folders are created in my New Photos folder and they are ready for post-processing in short order.

I do have another step that I take, I rename the new photo files, most people don’t do that. (Just for my most curious readers, that icon with the two gears next to the Photo Gallery shortcut is my tool for that. If you wish to know more, ask me.)

Making working copies

To me the RAW files from the camera are precious and I keep them as untouched as possible. I make working copies (using the resize tool in Photo Gallery with the size set to 9999. This makes 100% quality JPG  conversions). For much of what I use my photos for those JPGs are sufficient for most of the post-processing I do, much of that right inside Photo Gallery.

“Star treatment” post-processing

Every so often I come up with a photo that is really good. It might get the “star treatment” using PaintShop Pro to provide access to wide variety of tools, both within that powerful photo editor, as well as my quiver of plugins.

Getting the photo into PaintShop Pro is just a drag and drop with the mouse.

The finished image is saved from PaintShop Pro right back to the folder and will show up back in Photo Gallery. For my illustration here I made a sub-folder for the processed image. From here I can quickly drag the image into another app. I couldn’t be any easier.

Final touch – resize and sharpen

Oh, you want to see it? I resized it in Photo Gallery down to 1200 pixels wide, then dragged it over to Nik SharpenerPro – my usual finishing touch for images that go on the internet. Disclaimer: This image is a “star” not because it is exceptional – it isn’t, it got this designation because it “starred” in this article.


.:. © 2019 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Photo Editing, Photo Gallery, Photography, workflow | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Happiness is little treasures

During a chat with a neighbor her three-year old daughter came over and whispered to her mother. With a smile the mom nodded to grant permission. The charming little girl handed me a gift of a flower she had just picked. It was this dandelion, shown here in my aging hand.


It made my day! Not often do I receive a gift of flowers.

Getting ready my next post over at Monday Window I noticed the stats.

More than a hundred views this week!

What a wonderful accomplishment for this little blog. I am really proud that this idea is gathering traction and maybe taking of.

But wait, there is more!

Some of my photography and art is available for purchase on Pixels. I have added to that small collection over the past few years, but rarely engage in merchandising efforts. With all the sales efforts these day I decided to pitch in a little when Fine Art America started a campaign of offering discounts on various merchandise items.

It was a wonderful delight to see that my little advertising effort started to pay off.

You can see my efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

This is shaping up as a great week. Treasures galore! Let me see that dandelion again!



.:. © 2019 Ludwig Keck

Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized | Tagged | 5 Comments