Friday, November 15, 2019

Ruby Sunset

It's often said that "the best camera is the one that you have on you."

Opinions differ somewhat as to the meaning of this.  For some, it means that any old camera that you have with you is better than none.  For others, myself included, it means that should a potentially good image present itself, you shouldn't be afraid to use what you have on you. Be it a phone or a point 'n shoot, don't pass up a great shot because you don't have your big fancy camera on you.

Wednesday evening was such an occasion.  I had just gotten out from an appointment, and I was struck by the most awesome sky.   "Red sky at night, sailor's delight."   What made this more delightful was the way that the setting sun illuminated a gap between two buildings -- Ruby Memorial Hospital and the WVU Health Sciences building.  The light reflected off of the windows on Ruby, creating an impressive arrangement of leading lines.

Could this shot have been better?  Certainly, if I'd had my Cannon 77D and one of my better lenses, I could have improved on the exposure.  But all I had was my iPhone Xs, and that's what I used.  And as for composition, I couldn't do anything about the white picket fence, which leads the eye away from the other lines.  It's a feature we'll all have to live with.

On a positive note, there was very little lens distortion in this shot, as you can see from the relatively straight vertical lines.  The electric lights are somewhat overexposed but not glaringly so (no pun intended).

Given the technical deficiencies of an iPhone picture, another school of thought would have me concentrate on the artistic nature of the shot.  Yes, I dare to say there is some of that.   So, not to leave well enough alone, I tried simplifying the photo using the BuzzSim filter from Topaz Studio. I saw this mainly as an attempt to smooth over the JPEG "noise" of the original.

Each shot has its merits.  I'll let you be the judge as to which you like better.