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Friday Slide Show: Cross City Walk Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

25 April 2014

It was February 2010 and we had a little business to conduct on the opposite side of town. We finished early and decided to walk back to the bunker. We had a Sony HX5V to review and thought the overcast city might make a charming model for us.

Present Company Excluded. The rest of you note the 'please,' please.

The HX5V packs a 10.2-megapixel CMOS sensor in a compact body with a 10x zoom that starts at a nice wide 25mm equivalent. It's exactly the species of digicam the high-end smartphones are devouring.

We brought these images into Lightroom 5, as we usually do with our slide shows and picked a few for this story. Because the HX5V has a GPS radio, we also had location information, so we mapped the selected images. Here's just a part of our journey that day:

Lightroom Map. Our selected shots on the map as little yellow squares.

Working with older images that have already been tweaked requires a little vigilance. The Lightroom processing engine has been rebuilt three times (in 2003, 2010 and, most recently, in 2012). You may not notice the difference in the image, but the adjustment panels in the Develop module will reflect the appropriate era.

We found that a little disconcerting. These images were early enough in 2010 to have the 2003 engine applied. Not that we realized what was going on. All we knew was that the sliders were weird. A strange order with a different scale.

Then we remembered to update the processing engine and it was like working on our new images.

Clicking around we somehow inadvertently disabled the Basic panel. Our Develop module tools started with the Tone Curve and nothing on the menu bar let us reenable the Basic panel.

Sometimes that happens. An inadvertent click (here it was actually a tap on a machine we don't usually edit on). A disabled application. The usual aides (like the menu bar or some contextual menu) oblivious.

This comes up a lot, apparently, because Googling it quickly revealed the trick: right click on Tone Curve and put a check next to Basic.

It wasn't obvious that the Tone Curve itself had a contextual menu so we missed it. We must have accidentally toggled Basic off.

Despite the wide-angle lens, we didn't do a lot of distortion correction, although once again we did find the Upright tool indispensible. You don't need a lot of distortion to appreciate the correction. Sometimes, as with the wooden staircase, just a little distortion is disturbing enough to profit from the Upright tool.

We walked for miles but we hardly realized it. We were too amused. And our reward was to turn around near the end to see the skyline as we climbed up Market St. to Portola.

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