Suffice to say I've been away for some time. Writers would call it writers block, students would call it eternal spring break and I would call it a combination of the two.
Think I'm back. Made some improvements on the hardware side. Move to 64 bit platform - added some memory. Moved to Lightroom 5 and On One for post processing - away from Adobe Elements and Topaz.
I'm really PO'd at Adobe Elements because their lack of customer appreciation. To upgrade is to buy a new version for full price. I'm on 4th upgrade - having to pay full each time. Enough of that stuff. Topaz was collateral damage there as well, but my On One package was roughly half the cost of the Topaz package.
I've upgraded to Photomatix 5. I'm still a big fan of HDR but there are now better ways to get the effect without the halo. The HDR soft folks are really good - great upgrade plans and are not trying to pry you from your last cent. I've found their upgrade policies very friendly.
It's good to be back.....