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25 March 2015

We escaped the bunker Saturday after writing about Martin Kirkland, riding the streetcar down to the Embarcadero. It was warm and sunny and the promenade was full of people.

We had a Nikon D200 with us, an 18-200mm on it and a circular polarizer on that when we stopped for a minute to take a photo of the city.

We shot it as f8.0 and 1/100 second but the interesting setting was ISO 100. We never go that low. But something Kirk Tuck said about improved dynamic range at low ISOs inspired us to spend Saturday at ISO 100.

Even with a polarizer on the lens.

This morning we imported the DNGs into Lightroom to have a peek. You really don't know, with a Raw capture, what you've got until you work on it a bit. And these images all needed individual attention. Which just makes it more fun.

We liked this shot for the open space, the imposing buildings crowding in and the stately Ferry Building reminding us of a more elegant era. The bow and arrow is a bit obscured by the composition but this shot isn't about that sculpture. It's about the cityscape.

The image we optimized in Lightroom is above. We ran it through Lens Corrections and the Upright Tool. We added Clarity, we increased both Highlights and Shadows and both Exposure and Contrast, too. A little extra Vibrance and a slightly cooler color temperature helped.

But it was just a proof of concept.

We remembered how much better Piccure+ had made our garden images and our feeling we ought to include it in our workflow. So we did.

It may be difficult to see how much better the image was rendered since we're only showing you a thumbnail here. But Piccure+ gave us a much sharper image to start with.

Yes, to start with. We didn't just use Piccure+. We applied a few modest corrections in Lightroom as well, notably to Clarity and Contrast with a little Vibrance added, too. But did use the Upright Tool but not Lens Corrections (which would have been applied by Piccure+).

We're not sure where this is leading us but we're packed and ready to go.

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