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The New York Experience

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Roving Rube

Sept. 22, 2003

Walkers in Times Square

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The Rube is not really comfortable photographing people the way he is photographing ... oh, say, air conditioners ... it only takes that one person who strongly objects to being photographed to ruin your day ... but you can't really have a site about NYC without including any people, now, can you? So until we can recruit some people photographers the Rube is just going to have to learn how to do it. And he does agree that any picture with a person in it is usually better than the same picture with no person.

For these pictures he tried to find a brightly light "set" which he stood along the edge of and pretty much shot every one who walked across it, since the people moved too quickly for him to try to predict what would be a good shot. He held the camera high over his head and looked at the LCD panel, in hopes that people wouldn't think he was taking pictures of them in particular, just the general scene.

Times Square feels entirely different at night, and the Rube would like to do more night photography. A particular issue with digital cameras in low light is "noise", however -- analogous to "grain" in film cameras, it produces irritating speckles all across the image. This problem was particularly bad in 3-jpg. But the Rube was very happy to discover that someone (David Marsit) had worked out an easy-to-use noise reduction action for PhotoShop, that he is giving away free out of the goodness of his heart. What the Rube likes best about it is all you do is click the button and it does about a million things and then your picture looks a lot better. Don't have to spend any time figuring out how to use it. Here is a before and after shot of 3-jpg -- note much less speckles on top image (the "speckles" are the pinkish and greenish blotches which can be especially noticed in sidewalk and white shirts in the bottom picture) -- with some of the things that get done to it in the Photoshop action listed on the left. How did Mr. Marsit ever figure out to do all that?

All content �2003 on behalf of its creators.

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