Thursday, May 7, 2009

New Lenses - Relativity, Corel Painter 11

My two latest Squidoo lenses are completely unrelated to one another. A few days ago I decided to reorganize my Celtic Music: Lenses lens. Previously I'd organized the blurbs about each lens simply by listing the newest lenses first except for the Celtic Music: What Is It? lens and the two Christmas lenses. Since I didn't create them in any sort of order, it seemed a good idea to organize them by categories. So I came up with the following categories:

RelativityIt works pretty well, except the only entry under Irish/Scottish Performers was Boys of the Lough. They needed company, and Relativity fit the category. That short-lived group, which recorded in the mid-1980s, consisted of Scottish brothers Johnny and Phil Cunningham along with Irish sister and brother Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Micheál Ó Domhnaill. (The spelling difference in the Irish surnames is related to gender). They recorded two albums, Relativity in 1985 and Gathering Pace in 1987, both on the Green Linnet label.

Silly_wizardThe Cunningham brothers had performed during the '70s and '80s in the Scottish group Silly Wizard. Younger brother Phil had joined the group while he was still in high school. Johnny was a master fiddler, while Phil became a whiz on the piano accordion and whistle.

Tríona and Micheál, meanwhile, had performed and recorded in the groups Skara Brae and The Bothy Band. Both later moved to the United States at different times, where Micheál formed the group Nightnoise in Portland, Oregon with Billy Oskay. (The CD Pure Nightnoise is a good retrospective look at that group.) When Tríona came to the States later, she first settled in North Carolina where she was part of the group Touchstone which recorded two albums in the early 1980s on Green Linnet, The New Land
and Jealousy.

The second lens, completed yesterday, is about Corel's latest version of its high-end graphics program Painter. The new version, Corel Painter 11 was released at the end of February 2009 and represents an evolutionary change from its predecessor.

Painter in any version has never been for the dabbler. It has always aimed at graphics professionals and serious amateurs. No dabbler would want to pay so much for a program used occasionally, but for the serious, it's a good investment.

The new version offers brushes for dry media like pencils and chalk. It offers greater support for files imported from and exported to Adobe Photoshop.

Corel offers a 30-day trial version, so I downloaded it to take a look. Painter 11 has features for photographers that even an amateur like me can appreciate, so I played around with those a little bit. The photo at right (Pacific Northwest fiddler and singer/songwriter Alexander James Adams) is a before-and-after comparison. The right half shows how it looks after applying a paper texture, the Classical underpainting palette and an edge effect. The underpainting palette really brought out the colors with greater intensity. This photo only hints at the powerful things that can be done with photos in Painter 11. I've got 29 days left on the trial, so perhaps I'll play around with it a bit more.

No comments: