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Old Mar 14, 2009, 12:53 AM   #1
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My computer is in the shop and so I'm using my husband's iMac. It's nice, but no photoshop, and no lightroom! I had downloaded the trial version of Aperture the last time my computer was in the shop so I can't use it again. Instead, I downloaded the trial version of DXO Optics Pro. The program is really impressive.

It has profiles for a couple of Pentax lens/camera combinations that I have - both the 50-135 and the 12-24. It will automatically correct a certain amount of geometric distortion, CA, any lack of sharpness and noise. It acts as a raw converter, does a certain amount of exposure adjustment, can take out dust, has a crop tool and also is capable of resizing pictures. You can use it for pictures taken with other lenses, too - it just doesn't have specific profiles for that lens' characteristics (i.e., the 12-24 has a certain amount of CA - the program will automatically correct it without you having to do anything).

So I spent a lunch hour wandering around with the 12-24, looking for something different.

My first stop was an empty lot. It's abandoned, the gas station that used to be there is long gone. These roses don't seem to mind the fact that there's no one to water or take care of them:



The DA 55-300 isn't one of the lenses that has its own profile, but the program still seems to do all right with it. Both this and the previous picture were a little underexposed, and I think I got a bit carried away with adjusting the lighting. My Spider is sitting abandoned on my computer desk.



Pretty roses aren't the usual thing you see in that part of Los Angeles. You are more likely to see lots of glass and steel.



I wonder how useful this sign really is - it doesn't mention WHICH bus is coming. You could gather your stuff up and be all ready, only to discover that the bus that arrives is going to the airport and you want to go to the pier.

Looking up:



Even with the geometric corrections that DXO does automatically, you still get strange perspective when using 12mm:



I have a love/hate relationship with large urban areas. I feel claustrophobic so often in concrete jungles, but it's fun to take pictures of something beyond pretty flowers and sunsets once in a while.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 9:08 AM   #2
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The last one appeals to me the most--the reflection of buildings in the main subject really conveys the ambiance of urban life: good composition and contrast!

Not sure I like the roses--the fence is a bit distractingfor my taste.

I enjoy photographing city scapes--it's challenging to do since typically on a weekday there's so much hustle and bustle that it is tough to set up a tripod and really work on composition. I've done most of my urban photography on a Saturday--but then you miss the hustle and bustle that makes the city!
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 1:27 PM   #3
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Very nice Harriet, something I rarely see around here unless I drive to Minneapolis.

Tom
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 4:53 PM   #4
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I guess the roses weren't successful - I wasn't sure. I could have easily put the macro lens on and get close to the fence, taking it completely out of the frame. But I didn't want to take just another pretty flower picture since I take thousands of them. I was trying to show the empty lot/abandoned context and I didn't succeed at all, if you find the fence (which was more of the reason for the shot than the flowers) distracting, rather than the point. I tried a wide-angle showing the whole empty lot, but the background was way too distracting and the flowers got lost completely. So I tried it this way and thought it came close to what I was trying to show. But it must not convey well.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 2:04 AM   #5
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I get your point, and would suggest that you try with a tele instead of a WA. Not sure it works, but maybe worth a try.

On second thoughts – all it takes is that you rent a Skylift, get permission to block thestreet for your lunch hour and employ a small crew to handle everything. "It's all in a days work for a bicycle repairman."

Kjell
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 10:42 AM   #6
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I really like the composition on #4. Color is great on all of them.

Glenn
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 7:02 PM   #7
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Thanks, Glenn for the compliments.

Kjell - I sure would have liked help today - I went out looking for wildflowers and dragged along a tripod, two cameras and just about all lenses I have. I found the tripod helps quite a bit when using a reflector, though with all that much stuff, I didn't pull out the shutter release (I should have - it would have made things easier to manage). And actually your suggestion isn't that far off what happens occasionally not far from where I was standing. I was about a block away from where they often block off a street for filming commercials, movies etc.

No one has mentioned anything about the bus stop picture. I found it quite humorous, sort-of an interesting abstract. I guess that's another one that doesn't quite work, either?
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