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Going Places Tweet This   Forward This

7 August 2013

As a lover of exotic automobiles, we're a regular rider of public transit. "Beautiful things," Auntie once explained it, "are impractical." She was referring to her antique collection but who's to say exotic automobiles are not antiques?

Card Reader. The array of bolts required to fasten a card reader to a post on a San Francisco streetcar.

Sometimes public transit seems to be verging on the antique. That gleaming, futuristic BART system of the 1960s is looking dingy these days (although still surprisingly futuristic). To its credit, San Francisco Muni's F line puts abandoned streetcars from all over the world back in service along the Embarcadero. As practical antiques.

But this shot was taken from one of Muni's ordinary, everyday streetcars. Designed, we have to add, by Pininfarina. You know, the firm famous for its exotic automobile design.

It's the light and the color that appealed to us. A muted palette of red and gray. And those bolts. Tamperproof? So far.

You're actually looking at the back of a Clipper card/fare ticket reader. You wave your prepaid card over the sensor on the other side of the reader and the box beeps at you.

We shot this sitting behind it at f7.1 for 1/20 second using ISO 1600 with +0.3 EV and a 30.0mm focal length on a 14-42mm zoom. Raw+JPEG, Adobe Camera Raw 8.1 with a serious white balance adjustment, sharpened with Nik Sharpener Pro.

It may not have the allure of a shot of an exotic automobile but it makes us feel like we're going places.

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