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1 February 2017

We'd just parked the car behind the REI store on Brannan St. Our mission was to investigate a pair of sturdy hiking shoes. We weren't worried about the ice pack in the Sierras or the rocky trails in Yosemite so much as the uneven asphalt and concrete of San Francisco.

Faraday. Social media perfected (but batteries still required).

Those are tough conditions. We've worn out even kind of composite sole and heel on them. Leather, too. Even rubber treads guaranteed for 50,000 miles.

We thought the outdoor outfitter REI would have just the thing. It pays, after all, to consult a specialist.

But as we walked toward the entrance (which is actually in the back of the building, facing the parking lot), we stopped dead in our tracks. There on the long wall of the neighboring building was a single window with a little script painted on it and a bike in it.

"Faraday. Electric. Perfected," was the script. The bike itself looked only a little strange (which, for this Bertone owner, is saying a lot for electric vehicles).

Now that is how to advertise, we thought. You've got a captive, upscale market, weary of the impossibly crowded and uncomfortable commute that you can distract for a moment by a single window in a long expanse of concrete. That is social media perfected.

Put the product in the window.

We don't know anything about Faraday ebikes. And while the concept appeals to us (driving around here has become uncivilized), we prefer our Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike for getting some exercise on the nearby peaks. Going up on battery power just seems to take the thrill out of the whole thing.

And, you know, we don't want to be associated with those numbskulls who use secretly electric-powered bikes in the Tour de France.

Capture One 10 Adjustments. Exposure, Range, Clarity.

But for a moment we were charmed, even tempted to take a test drive and forget about the shoes for an hour.

Naturally we took a photo. And when we got back to the bunker with our new shoes, we wrestled the Raw file off the memory card and into Capture One 10.

As Martin Evening has pointed out, Capture One 10 is pretty aggressive about the default adjustments it makes to the Raw data. The image just looks sharper, with a bit more contrast.

And, as Evening has pointed out, while you can set up presets in your favorite image editor to mimic that behavior, it's important to realize it's only a starting point. You still have work to do.

So we did. But we made very few changes. We cut the exposure a bit (the glare on the south-facing wall must have fooled the camera meter), bumped up the contrast and increased the saturation (under the mistaken notion the painted "Faraday" was neon).

We also had to bring back the highlights and we never finish an image without kicking up the Clarity. In Capture One 10, we also pushed the Structure up a bit because we liked the texture of the wall.

The only thing left was a little cropping and image straightening, which we could do in Capture One 10 before export. And the export, once again, was resized and sharpened for publication here in Photoshop CC.

Now if we only had a window overlooking a big parking lot crammed with wealthy photographers who were tired of capturing images they were not inspired to edit....

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