Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Was Looking at the Black and White World


At the Metreon shopping/theater/entertainment complex, San Francisco.


ahab said...

Interesting shot!

What do the other ends of those beams do? Are they just decorative -- a steel pergola? I don't think I've ever seen I-beams cut into rafter tails like that. Pretty cool.

Not to keep mixing up tech questions with photo comments, but my chintzy photo software won't entirely desaturate an image. If you look at "Upskirt," for example, you'll see some green remaining in the needles on the left periphery. What software do you guys use? Or what do you recommend? What's the best? Photoshop?

Donna said...

Nice! Puts "Metropolis" in my head.

I've always used Photoshop but fully converting any image can be tricky even at that -- thinking of print output though not on screen viewing though. I usually just shoot in B&W to start with.

Generik said...


Donna is probably right about your situation, ahab. If you have the option to shoot in b&w (which most digital cameras let you do), you might be better off doing it that way.

I use a very simple program called Preview that comes with the Mac. I can change the saturation from full on b&w to lurid, way over the top color. I can also adjust the exposure, the contrast, the brightness and a few other things. Photoshop is probably better, as it allows you to do much more, but I find that I don't usually need all those bells and whistles.

As for the beams, I believe they are mainly just decorative. They're at the bottom of an escalator and staircase and next to a Starbucks at the Metreon. For another view, look here.

Tom Hilton said...

Very nice, and I can see the Metropolis resemblance.

I use the crappy software that came with my cheap digital camera. I haven't done a lot of conversion to black & white, so I don't really know how well it works overall, but it seems to desaturate pretty thoroughly.

ahab said...

So, Donna, you are a shutterbug too, huh? Do you have a Flickr account yet?

And you're a Mac guy, Generik. I'm not so surprised. Tom, are you Mac too?

Thanks for the feedback, everyone, on software. Probably like most people, I'm lazy and only learn what I need to learn. But to do good digital photography, I need to know more than I currently know. So thanks for the pointers.

Tom Hilton said...

Not part of the Mac cult, Ahab.

Donna said...

Hey Ahab

not really a shutterbug, no. Mostly I just shoot images to use in painting. Yeah, I work from photos -- how impure of me!
I used to shoot a lot in my travels but got tired of lugging my 500 pound cameras around in my backpack. Now I have a tiny adorable digital camera so will tote that along on my next trip.

ahab said...

Donna, my wife (Mary) sometimes works in pastels from my photos. Actually, for a while her whole pastel class was working off various photos of mine. So I don't have a problem with that.

But you make a good point about dragging photo equipment around. That's probably the primary reason I got away from photography -- I got tired of looking like a cheesy American tourist everywhere I went, with a ten-pound camera slung around my neck. Even reducing to a single, small lens on a smallish SLR didn't help.

If you're keeping up with comments here, though, you know I'm thinking of taking the plunge again. What a dummy. I need to slow down and think.

But I want an ultrawide lens. Must have an ultrawide lens!

Donna said...

ultra wide lens! mmmmm.
if you get one of those you should go hiking in the scottish highlands! I wish I'd had one with me then.