Atlanta

Room with a View

Room with a View

I haven’t posted in this blog for a long time. Actually, I haven’t been taking many pictures for a long time. Between work and buying a new house and moving and other stuff, I just haven’t been motivated.

I am out-of-town for a conference in Atlanta Georgia this week however, and I brought along my little Fuji X100 traveling camera to amuse myself with when the presentations start to get deadly. I have a laptop with me (of course) and some basic editing software (PSCS-5) but I don’t have my full processing kit available, so I am going to redo these when I get home. In any event, I thought that I would get a couple out here just for the hell-of-it.

I am staying at the conference site in the Atlanta Westin Peachtree hotel – that big cylindrical landmark building that you always see in “Atlanta” portraits. The first shot is a view from my hotel room on the 35th floor about half-way up. This was processed a fair amount in PS, but unless you are a professional photojournalist there is nothing wrong with a little artistic license. You may be able to see me waving from my window in the reflection of the hotel in that dark building on the left.

I suppose that the X100 may be considered “old” at this point, but I like it a lot. Most people would just use their cell-phone camera for things like this, but I prefer to do “real” photography with a “real” camera with full manual controls and RAW output. Not only is the X100 small and light and convenient as a travel-camera with an APC-C sensor and good low-light performance and decent glass, it also has an optical range-finder-like viewfinder. Sometimes I use the back LCD screen to compose my shots, but I really don’t like eye-level LCD viewfinders and I almost never use it in this camera. Of course, there are limitations to an optical VF. The primary issue here is the fixed single-focal-length lens. There are times when I wish that my framing could be tighter or wider, but working with “What’s There” and the limitations of your equipment is part of the art of photography. I just don’t think that I could give up the optical VF for the sake of interchangeable lenses in a compact travel camera – that’s what my big mirrored SLR is for.

 

Westin Peachtree; Atlanta Georgia

Westin Peachtree; Atlanta Georgia

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The Steam-Plant

Fujifilm X-100; ISO-400(A); f5.6; 1/60-sec

Fujifilm X-100; ISO-400(A); f5.6; 1/60-sec
click to enlarge

It’s not clear to me why NIK (recently acquired by Google) is suddenly giving away their entire product line for free (at least to former purchasers like me) – but as long as they are I figured that I’d take advantage of it. After having the full-suite of NIK Lightroom plugins for years, I have been thinking for a while of springing for the PhotoShop versions, but free sounds better than paying money. I suspect that Google is about to change the business-model and maybe make this a subscription-based structure. I hate that subscription shit, and I may never sign up for it, but at least I now have the full current versions of everything including the PS plugins.

This was processed first through Lightroom and then using the PS-plugins through Vivesa, Dfine, and Color Efex. I hope that Google doesn’t screw this up – those NIK modules are great.

I now work at a small liberal-arts college in SE-Pennsylvania as a network engineer running the campus computer and wifi network. One of my current projects is to track down all the campus fiber-optic cable because some of it is very old and there is no documentation for what’s-what or where it goes. This job is getting me into some of the mechanical rooms and other dark-and-dingy corners of the campus that few people ever see except my fellow on-staff Morlocks. I have taken to carrying my Fuji X-100 around to grab any images that strike me as I work on this (I love that little camera). This is in the building that is known as the Steam-Plant which used to provide heat to all the other campus buildings. My high-tech fiber-optic cable is in this room mounted on the wall behind me.