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Friday Slide Show: The Owasco Cottage Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

4 March 2022

We have fond memories of two cottages on the Fingerlakes. This is one of them. A niece and her husband bought this two-story waterfront property on Owasco Lake around 2011 and we visited on our way back to Rochester with a few other family members after a nearby wedding.

We were, at the time, testing the new Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42mm kit lens. But we hadn't quite made friends yet. In fact, these images were a disaster. We didn't realize we had set the ISO to 3200, about twice as sensitive as it can practically handle.

We've since limited Auto ISO to 1600 but, except for the last two images at ISO 200, they were all manually set to 3200. And, to make things worse, they were all JPEGs.

Stuff happens with new cameras.*

Still, there were things about the images that we liked and we have revisited them over the years with one or another tool to see what we could wring out of them.

It isn't so much the color noise that bothers us about the originals but the lack of detail in the shadows. There's no recovering that loss. And yet, we like the compositions. They return us to the carefree, timeless days of a summer vacation when you could get lost in a book or spend an afternoon on the water.

Then, too, the photos are free of the small annoyances like little flies on the grass that bite your ankles as you try to catch the cool breeze off the lake.

Or the zebra mussels, tiny things with very sharp edges to their shells that will slice right through calloused feet. You have to wear something on your feet to wade out into the water. Or you end up in the Emergency Room with stitches.

We first met our niece at another cottage, this one on Lake Canandaigua. She was just nine years old. And, as it turned out on this occasion, her daughter was herself turning nine in a month.

As we sat outside drinking her husband's home brewed porter, our thoughts snuck back to another Fingerlake and that other nine-year-old girl.

It almost felt like the last scene of a movie. The kind of movie that makes you cry at the end.

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