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Friday Slide Show: The Transamerica Pyramid Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

5 July 2019

We never really made a point of shooting the Transamerica Pyramid. But when we were testing cameras, we would be obliged to shoot dozens of test shots and inevitably the Pyramid would appear in them.

That's not much of an endorsement, we realize. But we've never felt any fondness for this peculiar use of land space with its two unsightly wings. We do give it credit for being different, though, the salt shaker to the Bank of America's pepper mill.

But fondness? No.

Still, there's no avoiding it, like the younger cousin at a family gathering who still thinks farts are funny. And as we wandered the city with a Powershot or a Coolpix of a Cyber-shot or a FinePix or some other wonder of the digicam era, we'd inevitably find ourselves photographing it.

We were amused to find it photobombing all these city scenes.

Looking back at a few of these shots taken between 2006 and 2011, we were amused to find it photobombing all these city scenes. So we thought we'd share the (uh, curated) selection.

As digicam images (with a few exceptions), they're JPEGs. There's one RAF and one NEF but the XTi shot is a JPEG.

We did, nevertheless, edit heavily in Lightroom, straightening them and correcting perspective, sharpening them and enhancing whatever color space the camera went traipsing off into.

Some of them remained, admittedly, dreadful.

So we ran through them again, applying Color, Creative and B&W presets to them. And we liked the changes enough to feature them here.

The original JPEG color was strained (to put it mildly) but the problem of shooting something from miles away with a long telephoto through atmospheric haze didn't help either. Many of these were shot from Twin Peaks.

Our favorite one was taken in November at 5:32 in the afternoon, the sun setting, the buildings took on a warm hue. We were testing a Nikon 1 V1, a camera that was a lot of fun to shoot with despite too small a sensor to survive.

But that can be said of nearly all of the mumified cameras used to shoot these. And yet, they stopped time.

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