Although Rhowan won't be six until the end of August, we held her sixth birthday party today so she could invite her friends along before school breaks up for the summer. This one was taken during a game of pass-the-parcel, just after the parcel had passed her by for about the fourth time in a row. She got her turn in the end, but she was getting increasingly frustrated until she did.

On another matter: if you've already read the EXIF data you'll note that this was taken with a 1Ds Mark II. I have a big job coming up next month so finally bit the bullet and bought the Mark II. I've only had it for a few days, and haven't had much free time to play around with it, but so far it's more than living up to my expectations.

You might also have noted that I used a different RAW processor for this one - RAW Developer from Iridient Digital. This is an OS X only RAW processor, and it's very cheap, but it produces excellent results. This one, for example, was processed almost entirely within RAW developer. All I did in CS3 was add a masked Curve to lift her eyes and a minor amount of cloning. What I especially like about RAW Developer is its Curves tool. You can adjust eight separate curves within a single dialog: RGB, Red, Green, Blue (as with a standard RGB image in Photoshop) and Lightness, Chroma (ab), 'a' and 'b' (as though you'd converted the image to LAB Color mode). Being able to use RGB and LAB Color Curves at the same time is wonderful.

I was also really impressed with the range of black and white conversion options. These include familiar tools such as Desaturate and Channel Mixer, but you also have the option of Luma (which I used for this shot, akin to using the lightness channel in LAB Color mode), CIELab Lightness (which, if I understand it correctly, is roughly equivalent to how we would perceive the scene in the absence of any colour data), Intensity and Custom Tone (neither of which I've had time to investigate).

So, two new toys, one cheap one and a ridiculously expensive one, but I'm really happy with both of them.

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
cropped?
4.33pm on 6/7/07
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM
200mm
f/2.8
1/60
manual
n/a
spot
100
580EX
RAW
RAW Developer
1x1
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nearly six / 6 July, 2007 [click for previous image: caught in the middle]
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