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Friday Slide Show: Christmas In The City Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

26 December 2014

Christmas Day must be the longest day of the year. Not for sunlight but waking hours. We're always up early and stay up late, unwilling for the day to end even after it's tomorrow.

Take the Bus. And 'Be Good!'.

And we spend it, for the most part, in someone's home. But in the bustle and hustle of the season, a trip or two downtown is always a joy.

Store windows are miniature theaters of the imagination. Parking meters are decked out in ribbons and holly. People dress in Santa hats and scarves as wild as the wind.

And sometimes there's something a little extra going on, like a popup ice skating rink or a street paved with artificial grass while the crew building the subway to North Beach takes a few days off.

You just never know until you go.

And when you go, you have to bring a camera or you'll regret it. Everything begs to be photographed.

Our last trip downtown before Christmas, we only had room for an iPhone 6 Plus. We've found quite a bit of headroom in its JPEGs, so we weren't shy about pointing it to some high contrast scenes.

For the most part, we stuck to a 1:1 aspect ratio (that would be "Square" in Camera) but sometimes we had to get rectangular. Still, we like 1:1 a lot.

We've been shooting with the iPhone for about a month. The big trick for us has been figuring out how to hold the thing. We're still working on that.

It is frustrating to have no more control than picking a focus point and adjusting overall exposure. But we do like working with the images both on the phone (Lightroom mobile does a fabulous job but so do many of the other image editors we've tried, although Photos leaves us a little cold).

One thing that's clear to us, though, is that smartphones with their built-in editing capability are beyond the mere snapshot. You no longer have to apologize for them, which even Kodak seems to appreciate these days.

That doesn't mean you can dispense with post processing. Which, for us, is good news because that's half the fun of taking photos.

So we imported the set into Lightroom 5, kicked up the Clarity, ratcheted back the Shadows (which is so automatic now we should really create preset for it) and played with the Highlights a bit. Some images got a little help from the Upright tool, too.

We didn't work too hard, just a quick pass through the set before we exported them.

It might be instructive to compare our Shreve window shots from Lightroom to the OpticsPro shot of Santa. Same image, difference image editors.

Or you might just take the day off and enjoy the pictures!

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