Recently, Adobe “tested” new pricing for the “Creative Cloud Photography” plan. The price – for those unfortunate enough to purchase during the test, was $19.99/month. That was a factor of 2 increase in the price. While Adobe ended the test, it motivated me to test the alternatives once again. And, the appropriate quote here is “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.”

Couple of things about this: One, I suspect Adobe was looking at price elasticity. I don’t even know someone who works at Adobe let alone what the company might do but that seems like a reasonable idea. My guess is that they will increase the price but perhaps by a smaller amount. Even so, time to look around. Later: As of November 3, 2019 the price is still $10/month. Nevertheless, he persisted.

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Obviously I haven’t been blogging lately. But, I have been busy doing various other things.

One, in spite of what I said in an early blog, I’ve pretty much become a CaptureOne user. “Pretty much” means I still have Lightroom/Photoshop but I’ve been using CaptureOne 12 as my primary DAM and raw developing tool. Version 12 seems to be stable and, it appears that at least some if not all of my crashing problems are unrelated to CaptureOne. Some of the things I like are the raw development – there’s no doubt it is better in CaptureOne than Lightroom for Fuji images; at least in my mind. YMMV. I find the layers and selection tools to be very good also. I did have a problem with prints – the colors were not accurate particularly reds. I contacted the CaptureOne folks and they took ownership of the problem. Meanwhile, I reinstalled the Epson print driver and the problem seemed to disappear. I alerted CaptureOne but they still maintained there was a bug. Now that’s a great response – they took ownership of the problem even when I found a solution.

For a Photoshop replacement I’m using Affinity Photo. While it’s not completely Photoshop, it’s close enough for me. The layers/selection tools in CaptureOne reduce the number of trips I make into Photos.

I’ll add some more about this trip – “the journey is the reward” later. Meanwhile, here’s a fall color image from the past.

San Bruno Mountain– a state and county park – usually has a lot of spring flowers. So, I went there thinking of hiking the Saddle Trail – great views, easy hike and probably some flowers. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t very good for hiking up the hill – it was blowing like crazy and cold. I opted for a trail lower and somewhat protected; the Bog trail. That wasn’t a bad choice and I managed to get a few shots. The weather forced me to use higher ISO than I wanted to – had to stop the bouncing flowers – but not all that high given the X-T3s capabilities. I converted some of the images to B/W – here’s one example. For post-processing, I used Lightroom and the new feature “Enhance Details…” Enhance Details, at least in theory, improves Fuji X-Tran files. More on that later. In this case, I did not use it for every image. In particular, not the B/W ones. The Cow Parsnip above was processed with Enhance details.

You can see more of the images from the day here.

For a test, just a test, I set my new Fuji X-T3 ISO to 12,800 the other night. I was surprised by the results – the pictures were usable. Yes, grainy and there is a loss of resolution but still, usable – more on that later. While working on the images, I discovered some differences in the noise reduction capability of the different raw convertors. So, I decided to research this area a little. And, away we go….
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