#532. The Monday Post (28 November 2017)

By Paul Perton | Monday Post

Nov 28

The first of a (planned to be) regular Monday post, detailing the recent weekend’s photographic activities of one, or all of us. As it was my idea, I get to go first, so this is a solo effort and briefly discusses a couple of the new photo editors.


We’d like to get some feedback – knowing someone is interested enough to read these posts and (if possible) making a contribution – is always welcome.


I’m still gently playing with both Luminar and On1’s Photo 10, but have to admit, they are both feature incomplete. Luminar does seem to work slightly better and there is possibly a bit more logic in it’s workflow.


I’m wanting to try Luminar with Apple’s Photos, but it failed to install the necessary extention and I’ve posted a query with Macphun to find a solution. Approximately eight hours later, I’ve had no response. Update – an hour later, I had a solid and workable response from the Macphun support team.




This first shot was taken yesterday in the garden of the brilliant restaurant in Stanford – near Hermanus if you know the Cape’s geography. I used my M9 with 35mm f2 Summicron wide open, processed in standalone Luminar.


The second is an approximation of the first, edited via Apple’s Photos/On1 Photo 10 (their RAW app demo has yet to arrive). On checking, I’ve just noticed the wonky crop – apologies for that.




Can’t say I’m much impressed with either. I had to lighten the stem of the agapanthus in Luminar to be able to distinguish it from the background.


Number 3 is pure Lightroom and four, LR with SilverEFX. There’s a clear winner there.






I should admit some culpability for shooting such a busy scene in huge sunlight and hoping for better, but this is still not going to set anyone’s pulse(s) racing.


FYI (and to generate a bit of menu envy), lunch was:

Starter: small dolmades made with local vine leaves, locally made ricotta, tiny pickled and sliced cucumbers, fresh bread
Main: Gruyere souffle afloat in a sea of cream, flavoured with roasted red peppers and smoked paprika
Dessert: local hard and white rind soft cheeses, oat cakes


Oh yes, a fair amount of excellent local non-alcoholic grape juice and a bottle of excellent pinot noir rosé.


The meal was definitely more satisfying than the editing.


Notice I didn’t mention rugby? Would you? More next week.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    LOL – am I allowed to mention Wales, Paul?

    This is becoming more interesting, as more stuff appears.

    Like everyone else, I always shoot to get the “correct” result in cam, so this is all completely irrelevant [ho, jolly ho – and you guys all believe in the Easter Bunny, still, don’t you?]

    Actually it’s rather frustrating. “So near and yet so far” – there’s quite often something that I know I want to fix, but the “fix” eludes me. And in most of these cases, it seems it’s necessary to try a different program, to get the solution.

    Despite the claims of the programmers/promoters/whatever, none of their stuff gives an answer in ever case.

    With yours, Paul, I like the final one best – LR and SilverEFX.

    Pass on the meal – the souffle sounds interesting, but I’d have chosen something other than cheese for the rest of the meal – and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted non-alcoholic grape juice – whatever is it for? – I grew up in the household of a leading winemaker, I don’t recall ever seeing such a substance. 🙂

    • paulperton says:

      Wales? “They live in the sea, they eat fish for tea, oooh f*****g great fish are Wales” – that one?

      Seriously, yes SilverEFX was the best solution, which makes me wonder anew why Google has abandoned it. File management and browsing aside, the players; LR, PS, Photos, Luminar and On1’s new RAW processor are tools. I have lots of thin bladed electrician’s screwdrivers. Each has perfect functionality for a specific job. Ditto – this will appeal to you – wine glasses. Horses for courses.

      So too it seems, with photo software.

      BTW, the non-alcoholic grape juice was for me because I was driving. That way, I could pretend a bit and meant I restricted myself to a managed amount of the pinot noir rosé.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        Wales = rugby (sorry Paul – serves you right for thrashing our cricket team!)

        OIC – hmm – well I’d rather give up driving than give up wine. It’s unnatural. 🙂

        Reverting to topic. Yes, I am afraid I agree – all of these programs are “useful”, but none of them is a Swiss Army knife. Heaps have horrible catalogue systems or lousy ways to open files.

        I am beginning to see the pre-set based ones as only suitable for comparative amateurs – the outcome seems to be very hit or miss, and no scope for dodging between the bullets.

        But then we all live with that anyway, when we hit the shops to buy our gear & hope we’ve come home with the solution to all our problems!

        Perhaps the best idea is to use what we have, try to use it better, and hope that one day Harry Potter will take a keen interest, way that wooden stick, and sort it all out, for all of us. At the moment, I’m apply the mantra that “practice makes perfect” – and it works pretty damn well, most of the time – even though I have to admit I am using anywhere up to about half a dozen of these programs. I’ve never tried Silver EFX.

        I am still “interested” in One, but I must push myself to see what I can achieve with it while the 30 day free trial is running – I won’t be able to decide to spend $400 on it, if I don’t test it thoroughly during this period and see what use it is for my purposes.

  • David A. Mack says:

    Good Morning from the Pacific Northwest:

    I have really enjoyed your recent articles on software. Clearly, we all seek that magic program to render what our eye saw, hoping we captured it in camera. This most recent note illustrates that most programs are at least satisfactory, pending individual tastes. LR w or w/o plug-ins works fairly well for most of us. This particular shot is a real test, given the B/W rendering of a complex background where contrasts, lines and shapes are a challenge of separation. It has taken this ole’ country retired Doc, a while to really familiarize myself with LR and all of its goodies. I can’t imagine trying to ingest the potential of Phase One Capture without a real demonstrable better enhancement of photographs. Question: Would posting the initial rendering of the raw image from each program eliminate the bias of trying to enhance each image in the separate programs, given that both can change the image significantly, or, at least using a pre-determined mid set of the sliders of each? Just asking.

    • paulperton says:

      David, the Monday Post just happened. If you are a regular DS reader, you might have seen the coagulation (they’re bloody hard work) of some e-mail streams that develop between us. Software testing is a current hot topic – none of us much likes paying Adobe’s tithe, nor the iffy quality of its software, so the search for alternatives is a low key and constant theme.

      Having spent some time attempting to get that (admittedly) less-then-optimal image into some kind of shape, I e-mailed the results and added the Sunday lunch info for a little menu envy as I said. As this was really an on-line chat about how the different editing packages handled a single difficult image, so the notion of sending a 30mb RAW file along never occurred to me. If you would like a copy, please let me know.

      Monday Post burgeoned from that and was on the Web a couple of hours later. I’m hearing Pascal has grasped this new nettle and has plans for next week’s post. I look forward to it.

      • ARTUK says:

        I too have wrestled with the problems that some raw development software is not good for some types of photos, but in the end the answer was fairly obvious – keep and use several, and use them as required. Having lost my patience with Lightroom’s 4.4 output quality with Fuji X Trans files (and it’s painfully sluggish performance), and then fallen out of love with Phase One after a number of crashes and corruptions, I’ve ended up using Ichikawa software’s “SilkyPix” as my most frequent editor, and Sony Image Data Converter as second line defence. Sony IDC allows me to recreate the in-camera B&W jpeg look (which I quite like) but still tweak the exposure etc, and it also gives a look to sunsets and cityscapes that I cannot easily recreate in other software. SilkyPix needs time to learn to use to get the best out of it, but in the end I find it’s fairly simple and I like the results. Phase One is kept for legacy use of some older catalogue, though having compared it’s output to SilkyPix on some images, I found it’s results perhaps “natural” but rather flat and lifeless. It offers more choice for B&W and toned images, perhaps too much choice, which I tend to find bewildering.

  • NMc says:

    Re processors,- with this crop in monochrome, No# 3 Lightroom looks a bit more Agapanthus-ish in terms of it having a more true flesh texture, although I agree that No#4 is a bit more superficially attractive as a standalone image. I probably would have chosen that also if I was not familiar with the plant, however that is more about tonal balance preferences. The problem is that I could imagine any of these renderings working for different images/contexts.

    Re a post every Monday; As long as the team can maintain some level of quality that is fine, however please avoid posting for the sake of it. I like this site for being (mostly) refreshingly out of sync with some of the more gear-centric sites.

    • paulperton says:

      Thanks Noel. As far as the Monday Post and the quirky(?) nature of DS is concerned, like you we suffer blog boredom at the same same old churn. We all long for something refreshing and new. If we’re filling that gap for you (and others), that’s great.

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      LOL – while everyone else is having a “GAS” inspired frenzy, buying cameras before they are replaced by cellphones, we’re flag waving for traditional values? I love it. Bought a new printer last month, and all this post processing stuff is feeding the monster. And generating discussion at a pleasant level, free from some of the unpleasant comments some folk make about other people’s gear.

      I’m with Artuk, NMc – it seems there’s no “one size fits all”, and if we really want quality results, we have to be prepared to use several systems. At the moment I am running 3 and trialling 2 others – which I will now stretch to a 3rd “other”, taking Artuk’s hint and adding SilkyPix to the trial I’m running on Capture One & Luminar.

      With few exceptions, they all seem to be plagued with problems in relation to opening files, or dispatching the end product for printing. The actual post processing phase is generally OK – but not always. And the information available to help anyone use these products is sparse, to be warm-hearted and forgiving about their contribution – they generally seem to have no idea of the concept of manuals !!!

      If the Yellow Brick Road had been strewn with so many obstacles, Dorothy would never have made it to the Emerald City. We, unfortunately, have to clamber over them, to get the final finish that we want in our photographs.

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