I have continued ‘testing’ RAW convertors. Since Capture 1 Express doesn’t work for me and because Skylum introduced Luminar with Libraries I decided to compare Lightroom/Photoshop, On1-2109 and Luminar 3. I’m surprised by what I’ve found

Couple of things: I’m using version 8.1 of LR and PS 2019. I’ve found sharpening in PS far superior to just using LR. I have the latest version of ON1 Photo Raw and version 3.0.0 of Luminar. I own Luminar, ON1 and subscribe to Adobe. I have no connection with any of the companies.

While I really want to like Luminar, version 3 is not stable…at least for me. Using virtually any shortcut key crashes the program. [Update 12/29/18 Skylum says the bug will be fixed in version 3.1.No date as to when that will be released The bug was fixed in version 3.0,1. They are still working on 3.1 expected release end of January.]
Nevertheless, I managed to get some comparisons using Luminar but I can’t see using it in stand-alone mode yet.  It does work as a plug-in for LR – which bypasses the new Libraries module.  I think the bug is in the libraries module.
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In an attempt to evaluate RAW conversion apps, I converted and compared several images in three apps.  Lightroom(and Photoshop), Luminar 2018 and Capture One Express for Fuji.  Part of my motivation was to get around the ‘worms’ problem with Lightroom.  If you read my conclusions – see RAW Convertors –  you will see I thought Capture One was an excellent raw convertor for the Fuji X-Trans.

However, I must report that I will not be using Capture One at all. Why? Because, on my MacPro running Sierra Capture One crashes constantly. These are not “the application quit unexpectly” crashes but crashes that take out the Finder; the only way to recover is to force a Power Off, then Power on. I have no idea, and am not going to attempt to debug, why this happens. I’ll let someone else take that on. So, no matter how good it is at converting raw files, it’s not useful.

Because Capture One doesn’t work for me, I decided to try out the most recent version of ON1 Photo Raw 2019. The comparison has been added to the bottom of the page. Executive Summary – ON1 is very good. I’ll stick with Luminar, ON1 and the Adobe world. 

Finally! The rain cleaned up our air and it’s safer to go outside again. I was so happy to get out that the hard rain didn’t discourage me at all. In fact, I saw it as a chance to test the WR rating of my X-T1 and 18-135mm lens. I’m here to tell you both are apparently very WR. I kept it simple – head for Golden Gate Park and Stow Lake, one of my favorite places in the park. You can see more from the day – and there aren’t many, I’m not that crazy – here. Above is a detail of the shot where you can see the rain. First time I’ve captured rain. It’s easy, just go out in driving rain. As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

I returned to Devil’s Gulch last week.  See the California State Parks website for more info.  Note Devil’s Gulch is west of the main park entrance.  This has been a favorite place for me for quite a while.  I think my first trip was because a ranger said I might see migrating salmon.  I didn’t and still haven’t  but it’s a great place.   Easy hike with a small stream.  It is fall and there are some colors there.  This being California you can have any color you want so long as it’s yellow.

On my way back, I stopped at the Inkwells. The Inkwells are a popular swimming hole located across Sir Francis Drake Blvd from the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing area. Think parking. The link will take you to a page with more info about salmon viewing locations. This picture is from the Inkwells.

See more from the day here.

This comes under the heading, “better late than never.” I spent a week on the edge of Monterey Bay late in July. Always a great place. There were, of course, dramatic sunsets, fog shrouded mornings and plentiful wild life.

For a change of pace I decided to take the Elkhorn Slough Safari boat trip. That would give me a change to get a different perspective on the Slough. I’d recommend the trip. Yes it is touristy but they do get you views of the different creatures in the Slough. One thing to keep in mind is that they – that’s the Safari folks – are restricted in how close they can get to animals. I considered renting Fuji’s 100-400mm lens just for the trip but decided to pass on that…this time. The Safari folks were helpful and have a policy that might interest other photogs. If you reserve early and request the back seat in the boat (Best for photogs because you can get to either side of the boat for shots.) and if no one else requests it, it’s yours. You can assure yourself of that seat if you pay for two people. I took the chance I’d be the only one and it worked. YMMV.

One late afternoon thousands of birds converged just off shore. I assume a school of fish were there. This shot captures some of the scene.

There are three galleries from the trip. You can review some of the sunsets, the wild life, and, finally, some of the foggy morning shots.