Going very oldskool


If you know me at all, you know that I have a thing for everything old. I drive a ’97 Volvo, play a huge Epiphone jazzbox, my cameras are not the newest latest and my Macs are both from 2011.

So when the last update for Lightroom and Photoshop hit, I felt like back in my videogame days. Back then I had to update my computer frequently to be able to play new games. More RAM, a more powerful graphics card, you name it. Needless to say, those games were absolutely necessary. But when Adobe’s updates appeared in the Creative Cloud app and the need to upgrade from High Sierra to at least Mojave to be able to install them, I asked myself whether I really need that (given that the update to Mojave included patching and flashing and changing the graphics card to one that night sacrifice the boot screen, but hopefully not brightness control, vital to display calibration).

Turns out, I don’t. With the D300 and D7100, Lightroom 5 was good enough and that I had sitting on the shelf ever since I subscribed to the photography plan. But what about Photoshop? When I looked at the books by Harold Davis, Jeff Schewe, Martin Evening and Vincent Versace (which are permanently on my desk), I realized that those books were written using Photoshop CS5 or even CS4 so everything I had learned form those could be done using an older version of Photoshop.

My very dear friend Jörg Wüstkamp gave me a copy of Photoshop CS5 for my birthday, so I was all set. I even had a version of Lightroom 3, so with LR3 released in June 2010 and PS CS5 released in April of the same year, my 2011 Macs were very happy and authentic and working with the D300 files felt like 11 years back. Which will keep getting better once I get my hands on a D700 which is the plan.

This doesn’t mean we all have to go back to old software and I didn’t have a problem with Adobe’s subscription model. I was just so happy to be freed of this need to have the latest version of everything Adobe, a pressure I put on myself. Which meant I was also able to take that pressure away by finding out what I really need. All I am left with now is what everybody back in 2010/2011 using Photoshop CS5 felt: When will CS6 come out?

2 thoughts on “Going very oldskool”

  1. As we all get older there comes a point in our lives when we begin to understand the reality of diminishing returns. However, there is also a yearning for easier and quicker results as opposed to the older methods of achieving the same, similar, or better results. This is sometimes referred to as progress. However, the issue is whether it’s good or bad progress because it can, in fact, be both depending upon at which point on life’s timeline each of us resides.

    I’m at the point on my timeline I dislike wasting time and money going back to the “old ways” after having experienced newer and more efficient methods to accomplish what I want — or, at least, accept what I believe is “damn close” to my expectations. As an artist, I know from experience everything I created in my past can be made just a little bit better today because my experience and skill set has improved over time with easier methods, and “tools.”

    I usually do NOT go back to re-do what I have already created; however, as a result of this Coronavirus Pandemic, I have begun experimenting, attempting to re-stylize, albeit re-invent, some of my very old chromes from around the world. I have a habit of never throwing out any chromes unless they were too over-exposed or blank. I have been converting many, too many, of these chromes into digital scans. I have no idea or clue if they will meet my expectations to be included in my new style, but, as an artist, I am more than willing and anxious to experiment. Nothing ventured – nothing gained. This all came about because new methods and combinations of the new mixed with the old suddenly inspired and tickled my brain. At this point in my life, I feel like a young boy again in my parent’s laundry room mixing chemicals to develop film and creating B&W prints in trays until three (3) o’clock in the morning every night into the morning including school days, too…..!!! Only now, everything I do is with “zeros & ones” (binary), and my darkroom is a computer, the chemicals are Photoshop & Lightroom, and my enlarger is an Epson printer with archival inks spitting onto museum-quality, acid-free, archival heavyweight matte 320gsm, 21 mil, 84lb. paper. I am prolific, efficient, productive, happy, and back to being somewhat
    “abi-normal,” again…..!!! For me, in my opinion, looking back, the “old ways” of creating images were interesting, and I learned a lot, but they were extremely inefficient, too time-consuming, energy and supplies wasted including ecologically bad.

    I wish I had another twenty-five (25) years to create, produce more images for a new body of work. Unfortunately, that scenario is NOT in my timeline or lifeline.

    Human’s plan and G-D laughs…..!!!

    All the BEST,
    Michael Newler (a.k.a. “Captain Explorer”)


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