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Friday Slide Show: Noe Valley Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

26 September 2014

It's not quite business as usual here today. We're putting up our slide show, as we've been doing on Friday for a while now. But this time it's with a little more concern than usual.

Noe Valley. With a Sony HX1.

As we pointed out earlier in the week, we're about to hit our bandwidth limit. We've tried a couple of technical things to slow things down just to make it through the month, but they don't seem to have quite done the job. The latest stats suggest we will likely hit the limit today.

To avoid extra bandwidth charges, we've enabled what our ISP calls "bandwidth protection." It turns the lights out.

If that actually happens, we'll grab a piece of cardboard from one of these boxes the review units came in, go down to the corner and try to get some donations for more bandwidth. "Will Write For Bandwidth," the sign will promise. Say hello if you're in the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, we persist in our mission here.

Today's slide show is a set of images from 2009 taken with a Sony HX1 on a lovely walk through the Noe Valley neighborhood. A few things caught our eye and the Sony with its 20x lens competently captured them for us.

The megazoom still prowls the camera scene unthreatened by the most sophisticated smartphone. And it's reign on the earth doesn't seem challenged by mirrorless cameras (which, with maybe one exception, mostly seem to look the other way) or dSLRs (whose optics at this range are ridiculously expensive).

These were all JPEGs but we processed them in Lightroom 5 as we usually do. We recovered the highlights, tossed in a little Clarity (a bit less than we usually do), then opened the shadows. Exposure and Contrast were left untouched.

But we did do a little lens correction. Some of these compositions rely on geometry for their appeal (the buildings, mainly). And being able to straighten things out helped subtly but immeasurably.

And we cropped a couple of them, too. Those 16:9s were originally 4:3s. Cropping is the number one tool in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, Adobe tells us. And we can see why. It's a lot of fun.

"Vita sin literis mors est," says the inscription on one building in our slide show. Life without learning is death.

Not a bad motto for a school -- or a Web site.

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