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The Stone Wall Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

4 April 2018

Little kids like to pile one thing on top of another. "What are you doing?" we ask. "Building," they reply seriously. The illusion persists until their pile collapses in a heap. They weren't really building anything after all. They were playing.

The Stone Wall. The strongest building materials are always near at hand.

You may know one or two adults like that. Big plans, lots of noise, no accomplishments.

Successful or not, the love of building never really goes away. But most of us get better at it. Stuff starts to stay up.

This happens when we realize our grandiose ambitions require some underpinnings. We go to school, we apprentice, we learn on the job, we keep at it until we know what we are doing.

We thought we'd exercise the new Lightroom/Photoshop updates with it.

Well, some of us.

We watched this retaining wall go up over several months a few years ago. Every time we passed by it, we thought we should take a photo of it. And one day earlier this week, we did.


We thought we'd exercise the new Lightroom/Photoshop updates with it. Since it was a single image, we planned to process it in Photoshop. But we wanted to use our Lightroom presets.

So we launched the new Lightroom. A message popped up to tell us, "All the custom develop presets were successfully converted to XMP." That's important because Photoshop can now import XMP presets.

Lightroom. Presets converted to XMP.

Then we returned to Photoshop, opened our Raw image in Camera Raw and imported the presets.

To edit the image of the stone wall, we first applied the Adobe Neutral profile to the Raw data. This may not seem terribly intelligent because it certainly doesn't flatter the image. It flattens it, in fact.

So we skipped all the pop and majesty of the spanking new profiles in favor of this dull profile. But it has one important advantage. It gives us the maximum headroom for editing.

Camera Raw. Presets panel with Lightroom presets.

And editing, as we've said on important occasions, is fun. So more headroom means more fun.

We felt as if we had 32-bit channels instead of 16-bit channels. We applied our starting-point preset And then we worked the image until our wall not only stood up but seemed to protrude from the screen in 3D.


Stone walls last a long time. The building materials don't travel much from where they are found. Masons move the stones into position and pile one on top of another. The best can do it without mortar. And those walls stand for centuries.

Those mason weren't playing around.

We find this particular wall beautiful. It doesn't keep anyone out. It's a retaining wall. On the other side is soil in which well-nourished plants are growing.

And one day we'll walk by again to take photos of those plants, too. It's how we pile one thing on top of another these days.

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