You should definitely frame that. Great capture.
To a fellow Canon printer, I'm stead fast on Canon ink only. Like you, when I had an i9900 printer, I tried a third party ink, used it for about two months until clogged jets. Only solution was to purchase another holder/ink jet device. Why do that again? I don't, and my Pixma 9500 also uses 8 cartridges. How to save money? eBay. There is one eBay store that actually goes out to retail stores and buys their damaged boxes. Who wants to pay $35-45 for a single ink cartridge and get a damaged box? Retail stores want to dump them, and that eBay store sells sealed ink cartridges for about $15. Others are doing that now too. As long as they are still in their plastic sealed packaging and you can see the inner seal strips on the cartridge, I'm happy. But for me, never again will I use a third party company, knowing I put my print heads at risk.
I second Darkroom317's idea. While I moved from my own wet darkroom in my home to all digital, I'm sympathetic to anyone who wants to continue darkroom work. My own university, where I teach, proudly has a film/darkroom class. Check out what might be available near you, and don't overlook a community/junior college.
You are receiving some really good advice here. I'd like to add another. Stop with the manual, and definitely stop with the auto. Don't use auto ever again, you know enough to leave that behind you. I'd like to suggest you think of three modes, and only these three: P, A, and T. My preference for you would be A, aperture. If you are anticipating that big water thing (:)), set your aperture to its largest opening and let the camera pic the fastest shutter for you. I think you will be please with the results. Practice at home with that. You can also experiment with T and P, but you know too much to surrender your camera to auto mode.
Wesso, I rest my case. I'm not alone who will not update or upgrade my computer. Even though it is an iMac, I will will not do either. I subscribe to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
As a 'pocket camera', I have a Z80. It, too, is soft on the long end. Solution for me? I avoid using it at the end for 'telephoto'. If I want something that will be distant, I'll then crop it in my PS. The resolution is quite good, so cropping on 1/4 of the image still turns out sharp and not soft.
I second your complaint Jerry. I'd like to add one more caveat to the deception. And that is an "upgrade" to causes another piece of software, or worse yet, a piece of hardware (like printer or scanner) to become useless.
Iamontcranston, I printed all of the online, 300+ pages, for the TZ80. There was nothing there that told me that the Intelligent modes were bad. And if you and your wife are happy with them, then continue to go with it. Being a life long photographer (film in a Pentex) since teen years, I always wanted to be in total control of what I'm doing. I continue that philosophy now, and the reason why I don't use the Intelligent mode. I will never criticize anyone who does. Each should do what they like to do.
I'm glad that fcg1936 is going to switch to the eye-viewer, so he will see far better what he is capturing. And while he's at it, he can switch to A, S, or even P mode. Then in the viewfinder he will see what his settings are doing for him, even show him if he goes 'over' or 'under' exposed. Hey, I'm also a life-long teacher. I enjoy seeing people learn new things.
The Photomatix is an excellent stand alone HDR software.
I like using the aperture priority, especially in low light or low illumination as you'd expect in zoom mode. What I like is that I can see both the exposure combination and the resultant-view through the eye viewer. Don't depend on the LCD screen, use the eye viewer and you will see the anticipated effect. I think you will like it.
While I do most of my photography with my Canon 5DII, I'm still going to learn more of the details of the small (almost pocket size) Lumix camera so that I can be comfortable with both. There really IS an application for a small mirror-less camera, although I'm not sure yet just what that would be. I'm still learning.
For backup, I too have a Lumix, it is a TZ80 camera. I've read the manuals on the camera which convinced me to never use the "Intelligent" features. Stop using them. Select aperture priority or shutter priority, rotate the dial around the lens, and select your option from there. I have yet to capture a blurred image.
We have yet to travel to as many places and you have, but we do travel once a year, typically out of the country. On return, I'll pick one image and have a wrapped canvas made from it. The Spanish Steps in Rome now resides on a hallway wall, and the wrapped canvas is 6' wide and 4' tall. We pass it every day, and enjoy the memories every day. We've even begun to create names for the people standing on the steps. Michelangelo's David reside over the door to my den, a modest 2' wide, 3' tall wrapped canvas. Neptune's Fountain in Florence resides over our bed, and it is another 6' wide, 4' tall wrapped canvas. On the wall going up the stairs from the second to third floor are regular prints made here, on "frameless glass frames". There are 12 frames 8.5x11", each from a different summer vacation. What happens when I run out of walls? I have no idea, but I'll cross that 'wrapped canvas' when I get there.
I find your info encouraging. To which, I need to add...I'm using an iMac. So I'm wondering what upgrade problems iMac users have been experiencing.
Pete, I totally agree with your logic. And that copy from work -was- totally paid for, so I think your code of ethics is totally intact. The initial copy of PS was too expensive, in my humble opinion, $600+. But I wanted it, so that's that. I learned that you could update for about $200+, perhaps a bit too much also, but I was fine as long as the upgrades had significant value. For that reason, I skipped every other year. Adobe stated that you could not skip more than one of the upgrade, so they had me for every other upgrade....and the every-other-upgrade did have a good amount of enhancements.
On a very parallel note, let me ask you (and other members here) a concerning question. In general, I've found that "upgrades" mean that I lose a piece of software I've purchased, or I lose a piece of hardware, like a scanner or printer. And on here, I read nearly all new posts. I constantly read post by users who found that their PSCC stopped, or just partially worked because of a PSCC upgrade. How bad is that a problem here?
I doubt that anyone would want to hear this, but ... when I bought my Lumix TZ80 (to get into and out of Europe without our Homeland Security Secretary saying 'no DSLRs in the cabin') I learned that my Photoshop CS5 would not open the RAW files from the camera. BUT, since I had already purchased Affinity Photo (mostly out of curiosity), I learned that Affinity -could- open the Lumix RAW files. Then I could export the photo over to PS. Workaround? Yes, but I already had the Affinity. Just an FYI.