Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Friday Slide Show: Doors Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

3 May 2019

When we put together our Favorite Windows slide show in 2017, we scrolled through our collection of 60,000 images to make the selections. Since 2018, though, Excire Search Pro has been doing the scrolling for our themed slide shows.

We enjoyed putting together our windows slide show because those windows were expressions of each owner's individuality. They were, in short, works of art all their own.

But we started to wonder if the same would hold true for doors.

Doors are more utilitarian. They make a statement but it's usually, "Keep Out." They don't invite light so much as block it.

To be fair, we asked Excire to show us our photos of doors. It did an admirable job, collecting a few hundred to scroll through.

It was an eye-opener.

The optical distortion on many of them was pronounced. Barrel distortion from wide angle lenses, specifically. Could we correct that, we wondered?

Despite these diminished prospects for success, we found ourselves enjoying these images too as we worked on them.

And keystoning was an issue too with the vertical lines converging at the top of the image, making the imposing barrier to entry even more menacing.

But Lightroom Classic CC has tools for both of those issues. And we employed them heavily to make corrections before we tried to optimize the image.

Which itself was an issue because many of these were just JPEGS, not Raw images.

Despite these diminished prospects for success, we found ourselves enjoying these images too as we worked on them.

There was the jail cell on Alcatraz, a relative's courtyard in Glendale, the Men's Room at Viansa, our great grandfather's matching doors at the flats he built, amusing businesses welcoming customers with formal signage that was contradicted by a "Closed" sign, imaginative decorations, offbeat paint schemes, a few favorite entrances of our own (like Benjamin Ide Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley), a door to an ink mixing room inside a press plant, the "Leave Problems at the Door" welcome of an Italian restaurant, the simpler apartment dwellings that were still homes, the elegant entrance to a club and, finally, the door to a blood lab through which we all must pass.

Missing in action, however, is any door with a sign that says, "Use Other Door."

We avoid those because we once had a professor (who was actually an Italian movie director and novelist invited to give a class in the Italian Dept. one quarter) who insisted America's vaunted freedom was, in practice, not quite so free. There were doors to everything but they all told you to use another one.

Italy, he said, had no such doors. Everything was prevented but possible if you just knew how to go about it. So it was, he argued, ultimately a freer society.

Doors being doors, they stand against freedom. You don't have to be a bureaucrat to appreciate that.

But there's no reason they can't be expressive, we're happy to report.

BackBack to Photo Corners