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14 February 2017

When we took our walk in the rain, we passed by this metal sign on a fence in front of a little cottage. We tried to get the shot but it was dark, we were in a rush and we took what we could get. An apt description of most romantic adventures, when you think of it.

In French. No soliciting. But I love you..

So we went back. Different camera. Different lens. Earlier in the day but the sun was already behind the sign. Not really a problem since the words are cut out of the metal sign.

But the plain image itself, in the shade, was not compelling. Sure, walking down the sidewalk, turning to see it, the sign makes you smile.

Here, though, you lose that context. You just see the boards of the wooden fence, some screws and the sign.

Our usual procedure would be to wring everything we could out of the Raw capture in something we're familiar with like Photoshop. But we knew we needed some kind of visual magic for this shot, which usually means we'd try all the tricks built into Exposure X2.

We'd never seen anything like that before. Simply put, it was betrayal.

But this time we thought we'd have a little fling with ON1 Photo Raw. Our first experiences with the new image editing software were, frankly, so disappointing that we put off our second experience until an update had been released. Stuff just did not work as advertised (simple stuff like resizing).

We did our basic global edits on the Raw data in ON1 Phot Raw and then went through the presets, much as we would have done with Exposure X2. The ON1 presets aren't subtle and we didn't much care for them but we did find one that fit the bill. Top Down Lens Flare.

Unfortunately when we exported the image, the preset realigned its effect to the center of the image. We'd never seen anything like that before. Simply put, it was betrayal.

So we used our forensic skills and took a screen shot in the ON1 editor of the effect we had expected to be exported. And that's what we opened in Photoshop, tweaked a bit and resized for publication.

Mission accomplished, as someone once said.

Reminds us, though, of our grammar school French teacher. She was tough. She didn't like us either. But after a few years of throwing daggers at each other, she came up with an idea.

"From now on when I call on you, if you do not know the answer, you will say 'I don't know' in French. Repeat after me: Je ne sais pas."

And so we did. It is the only French phrase we can speak with authority today. Je ne sais pas.

But how we wish she had been just a little bit cleverer and, without telling us what it meant, taught us to say Je t'aime instead.

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