Try, Try Again

comments 25
California / Inspiration / Photography / Seascapes


April 6, 2013 — Sonoma coast. November 21, 2019 — Silicon Valley

What struck me about this scene was the texture of the water below the creamy sky. It still strikes me.

What struck me about the Sony RX100 was the notion of getting exhibition-sized prints out of a pocket camera. That notion stopped striking me years ago. The sticker on the front of the camera quietly proclaims Zeiss Optics. Zeiss. That means quality. Not so much — at least not in this case. The lens exhibited glaring chromatic aberration toward the edges. It’s as if its advertising tagline was, “You can have anything you want as long as it’s magenta.”*

What I got with this shot was a file with beautiful subtle tones in the center and an ever-increasing magenta cast toward the edges. Not what I had in mind.

I’ve tried post-processing this image half a dozen times over the years with no success. The magenta refused to die without ruining the subtlety of the rest of the scene.

I just tried again with the newly released DxO PhotoLab 3.0. Success. Here’s the thing: Although it doesn’t look like it, this is a color picture. The color is subliminal, but it’s there. I could have finished this years ago if I’d wanted pure monochrome — just kill all the color — but I didn’t want monochrome. So no win. Until today.

At long last, here it is.

And now you know the rest of the story.

(Sony RX100. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 3.0; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

* The newer versions are reportedly much better. But I’ve long since switched to Canon for my pocket camera.

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Wow. I really have to look at the image for a long time and squint in order to convince myself that there is color there. It is a striking image that probably needs to be seen on a large, calibrated monitor or in print in order to the subtle tones of this image. As for the process, it is amazing how technology can come up with solutions that can be applied to solve the problems of the past. Medicine is like that sometimes too, but you have to live long enough to benefit from the solutions.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting article to go with this photo…that magenta cast can give me a spot of bother sometimes with me 10 years old camera…! But what..most viewers view on tablets, phones or uncalibrated laptops!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I go for monochrome there is a slight difference. As I said to Mike Powell, the tiny bit of color adds a richness that isn’t there otherwise.

      I have a brand new Canon G5X II. Interestingly, it has a Sony sensor. It’s not a Nikon D850, but it is pretty capable, with the added benefit of being able to fit into a jacket pocket. The best camera is the one you have with you. This one’s pretty easy to have with me most of the time.


  3. What an interesting post – love ““You can have anything you want as long as it’s magenta.”!!!! I’ve had thoughts about an RX100 myself, but have decided to keep far away from it. Also, like you, I’m not sure the name Zeiss always guarantees quality. Beautiful picture, I would never have guessed its colour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. The later ones apparently are better. But Canon gives me better results, it’s less money, and it has a far easier user interface. And yes, it is color – but extremely subtle.


      • Yes I read about Sony cameras in Amateur Photographer magazine, and price and the user interface continually come in for criticism – one of AP’s expert reviewers was driven to ask whether anyone at Sony has ever used one of their cameras!!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I find it amazing that a major company can have so little regard for ergonomics / user experience >>> when the Nikon Z 6 appeared, reviewers’ opinions were quite the opposite and the camera is wonderful and intuitive to use. I just can’t imagine Sony’s mindset.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Another one I didn’t get to see until I started cruising the Reader which I am not fond of. WP hasn’t offered me much hope.

    I can’t actually “see” the color, but I can see the added oomph it provides. I see that often in my waterfall and cascade images when I have very little color to work with yet converting to monochrome lessens the impact.

    I like the implied light source and the silvery effect it applies to the distant horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This doesn’t strike me as a black and white, and I respect your desire to maintain the color because it’s important. I actually hear a sharp sound when I saw this, a wiry kind of razor-sharp sound, electrical. And that’s an interesting story about the processing. I’m glad you finally got your way! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you see the difference. That electrical sound is interesting. You’ve probably noticed that I really like to see a braid scrape of light on an otherwise fairly dark horizon. I get how it would have that sound.

      Liked by 1 person

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