2021 Off to a Horrible Start – Books Discounted, Books Promoted – Luminar Software Review

Where have my days in 2021 gone?!

I swear I already wrote a blog or two this year.

Nope.

Nothing.

The end of 2020 changed nothing.

Every day I wake up late and do fucking nothing. Every night I tell myself “tomorrow you are going to wake up early, workout, prepare some breakfast, and do work.” And suddenly it’s almost sunset and I haven’t done shit.

Today was no different, except I did set up an alarm and I woke up just a bit earlier. Then I turned on the news.

The fucking news…

The United States looks like a country that the United States would interfere with for having stolen elections. Something like that. The video of the woman getting shot is fucking gruesome.

2021, here we go!!!


I do want to do shit.

“You gotta spend money to make money. It’s a pay to play market.” That’s what the bald dude on YouTube said regarding advice for selling more books. Amazon ads. Bezos gives me money, I give it back.

I bought some Amazon advertisements. It works like this. If you have the Kindle open, it will block the screen with the offer of my book. If you like the ad and click on it, Amazon takes 10 cents away from me. I could have opted for more. But bald dude said to start small with something like 10 cents.

No ads have been clicked on.

I also made both my books drop on price with the Amazon countdown deal thingys!

I honestly didn’t think it through. It was just an option and I was like ok, YES, I need to sell more books. Let’s do it.

And it gave them both a temporary boost (the TJ adventure one thanks to a Reddit post).

Both books are discounted temporarily:

Buy them NOW!!!

My rating is dropping quickly. I enjoyed momentarily top 10 status for less than 24 hours and now they both plummet back to darkness. The empty void of millions of Amazon books.

I completely overestimated the public’s interest to read about my paparazzi times. I feel like it still has some interest, but maybe it’s the wrong approach.

Or who knows.

People like it so far even though it has barely sold.

I think about printing around 50 author copies and just sitting somewhere popular in Tijuana and sell them by hand. Or across the border before people cross to Tijuana. Or where people sell books. And do a book tour.

But I can’t yet.

2020 is still pretty much alive during 2021. Everything is shutting down again.


Yet, I need to be productive.

I downloaded Luminar, the editing software with some interesting AI.

I fucked around with it for a few hours and came up with this image.

It’s like Photoshop and Lightroom meshed together made for dummies and very slow. An average pic (just jpg not raw) takes 27 seconds to open, then I can start fucking around with it and it is fairly quick. Exporting 10 images took over two minutes.

The moon is ridiculously big. Sunset is to the west not to the east (or I can say is a sunrise). And I fucked around with the colors for quite a bit.

My blog continues to be limited in space, so to check out the before pictures, see this Instagram post:

Like I suspected… people fucking loved it (despite being super fake). Everyone except my friend Joey (@Housewrecker) who is an insanely good photographer… he criticized it.

I’m not good at Photoshop (I’m actually awful), I’m alright with Lightroom… but Luminar… Luminar is super easy dumb to use.

First of all, pictures were taken with a DJI Mavic Mini 2. There are 5 images stitched together in Lightroom for the vertical 5:4 crop. A trick my drone master taught me @leontiff

Then I took the image over to Luminar to fucked around for the first time. For a long time, I was playing with a giant giraffe on the horizon and thought it looked hilarious and dumb at the same time. Then I played with a rocket launch and it also looked stupid yet good. I moved the sky a bit to include a massive volcano in the background and added the Milky Way. Looked so good yet so dumb at the same time. I started to fuck around in a more real way… In a way that people would like it though it was obviously fake. My first option was adding Jupiter and bullshitting about how the planets are aligning and some bullshit. But nah.

The moon.

The moon looks extra nice.

It was even bigger when I originally added it. Click. Click. Click. I moved it around and made it smaller in just three simple clicks. It’s still ridiculously big.

The sky still looked like shit.

Luminar provided me with a handful of sunsets. Click. Click. Click. Found the right one. Didn’t even have to position it. And my first Luminar experience was completed.

After that, I fucked around with pictures I took of my cousin, here’s the post:

Holy fuck.

Portrait AI is also really good. It’s fake. But really good. It just looks like good Photoshop, but Luminar does it quicker and way easier.

Again though, I suck at Photoshop so I am sure people that are great at it can destroy my editing skills. But again, I am not that good at editing. It’s something that no matter how many tutorials I watch, I am still sucky.

I rather take a good picture that is technically well done. Sharp and on focus. Nice depth of field. No noise. All settings correct. Good framing. Nothing else.

That’s what I was trained for.

Editing is for the editors.

That’s how it was done in the office.

But now… well… now I have to edit myself.

I also edited photos I took of my friend Denisse and I think I’ll be using them to retouch a dozen or less of the usual hundreds of pictures I take.

And if I want clients… clients want good edits. They don’t give a shit if the sky is fake or if that AI smoothed out their skin and slimmed their faces. They want results. Luminar provides the results.

Oh… by the way… I got Luminar discounted over at Humble Bundle thanks to a tip my cousin Joe provided. I paid a total of $47 for it instead of whatever the real price is. It’s the cheapest I’ve seen it but if you look around, you can get Luminar at a discount.

Is it worth it?!

Probably!

I’m not sure yet… I think it does. But I’ve also downloaded other editing software that at the moment I thought it was great and I ended up just using it a few times as the marvel faded away.

Will it destroy photography?!

Nah.

I know it seems that way but photography and technology will always be evolving. Yes. It will make a lot of images look exactly the same. The moon and sunset combo I used can be used for any other picture and it can look pretty much the same. I expect a lot of that. Though Luminar keeps adding more images, AI, add-ons, and more.


2021 at least has some good news.

The story I wrote months ago (and got paid for it already) is finally getting published. I really love that story and I am happy it’s finally getting published (almost by the end of the month). I always feel stuck when I send stories and they take forever to publish. It feels like I can’t work until that is out. But I should work.

The magazine I work for seems like it will stay alive for 2021. It depends on how this fucking year continues.


Before posting… I’m going to fuck around with Luminar some more just to show you what I mean by how stupid it can be to edit in this fucking software.

I woke up this morning and a giant giraffe was invading Tijuana!!!

But it started raining a lot so the giraffe said “fuck it, might as well go back to bed.”

After the rain, Jupiter was extremely close to the earth which caused the stars to not be aligned properly.

It caused a volcano to erupt behind the city of Tijuana as the stars try to re-align to the city.

The following morning, Hank and his family departed from the Tijuana airport in a secret space shuttle destined to Mars.

And that’s the story of Luminar.

Same pic, clicked a bunch of thingys, it created those thingys. The end.

Get Luminar if you want to create easy shit like that!

And again, it also helps with portraits. And it has many more options.

If you are an expert in Photoshop or Capture One, don’t bother. If you suck like me and just want some internet likes and to make clients happy with easy clicks, then get it.


Oh yeah. I did a new and NYE drinking beer with Matingas. Perhaps the last one. But probably not.

… I should activate my Patreon…

 

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