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An Asymmetrical City Panorama Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

24 May 2016

We were at an event held in the City View room of the Metreon downtown last week when we felt the need to take a little break. We walked out the automatic sliding doors onto the wide balcony for a look east at twilight.

SFMOMA Pano. Scroll left or right.

It was quite a view. The ancient St. Patrick's (moved from a block down after the 1906 earthquake) sits on the left. The Aronson Building of 1903 is the ochre building, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial can be found by its cascading reflecting pool. You can even make out a bit of Moscone Center to the right.

New to the view, of course, was the extension to SFMOMA, the asymmetrical white building behind the original brick building in the center of the image.

That asymmetrical note seemed to play out in the whole image.

A windowed awning on the floor below us provided an odd wrap to the bottom of the image. Unavoidably.

But we liked the iPhone shot enough to work on it in Photoshop using the Camera Raw filter.

We used the Upright tool to get the verticals to stand up straight. That's one thing you would do without hesitation in a still that you would never attempt in a movie.

And we added a little Clarity to sharpen things up. We made minor enhancements to the tonality, which the JPEG engine in the iPhone handles remarkably well. But we did bring out more sky and recover some shadow detail.

Original iPhone Crop. Just resized to fit.

We also cropped the image a bit. Using the Pano mode of the Camera app, you don't get to compose the image very carefully. But when you edit the image, you certainly can make up for that.

The Camera Raw filter made the image sharper with more detail. And it straightened up converging verticals. And Photoshop let us pay closer attention to the composition than the Camera app did. Four essential edits to this JPEG.

Our attention returned to the event we were attending but if we'd had a moment to put our feet up, we might have pulled the image up in Lightroom mobile to make the same adjustments.

Because, you know, the way to handle an asymmetrical image is with symmetry: shoot and edit.

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