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Friday Slide Show: The O'Shaughnessy Overlook Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

28 July 2017

When the Nikon D300 was new in 2008, we took a review unit to the bluff overlooking Glen Canyon Park despite a forecast for rain. You do that with review units.

Straight down below us was O'Shaughnessy, a wonderfully winding road that clings to the side of the canyon. From the overlook, you can see south to San Bruno Mountain and east to the ridge of the canyon.

Overlook. X marks the spot.

We shot JPEGs that day so when we imported the set of images into Lightroom today to see if we could make a slide show of them, we were a little miffed. We just couldn't quite squeeze the image quality we wanted out of some of the images.

It was a color issue.

The reds and greens in the JPEGs were a bit too saturated, especially for that overcast day. And what blue there was in the sky seemed surreal. But the earth tones were strong. The color of the rocks and lichen were a real treat.

What to do, what to do. We decided on a mixed slide show of both color and black-and-white images. It may be a little jarring to watch but it shows off each image at its best.

In the rollovers below you can see what we mean about the color rendering and how the monochrome version in one case improves things and in another does not.

The reds in the first image aren't true and the highlights are blown. But the image works well in monochrome with the red slider making the reds lighter.

In the second image, its really the same subject but the reds stand out against the blue of the distant mountain while in monotone they are just lost.

We never sent that review unit back, buying it from Nikon instead. That's the same D300 we've been using for nearly 10 years now.

You'd think we might have upgraded by now. And, in a sense, we have. We no longer shoot JPEG with it, capturing Raw files instead so we could work with 14-bit channels instead of 8-bit channels. And we've kept our image editing applications up to date so we can do things like refine our black-and-white conversions with hue sliders.

The overlook took a beating this winter but we'll have to visit it again when it's finally stabilized. We'll bring the D300 but we'll shoot Raw.

And pray it doesn't rain.

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