150202 Roll-Up Door - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

This is the sort of photo that I really enjoy. The subject, a roll-up garage door, is rather mundane as a thing itself, but I like utilitarian objects that show the passage of time. The rain has sloped in under its sheltering overhang and bounced up from the ground to create a patina of rust, and looking closer reveals all manner of accumulated scratches, dents, and scrapes. It may even have been painted once or twice as well. I can spend a considerable amount of time examining all of its little details and quirks.

But this photo sat forgotten in my archives because I stood just very slightly askew when I took it, and getting the geometry right in post-processing required power and subtlety that I didn't have back in the summer of 2012. I couldn't make it into what I wanted at the time, so I set it aside and moved on.

Although the actual post-production is fairly minor, this photo was not possible until I moved to my new computer. Merging five Lightroom catalogs brought it back into the creative queue, and DxO Optics, backed by six processor cores and a good monitor, made it into what I wanted it to be all along.

It seems like a silly thing, but I had given up on trying to take this kind of photo because it's nearly impossible with the small LCD-based cameras that I now use most of the time. Knowing that I no longer need to have 100% precision with my framing – that a mere 98% will do – means that I can try to take these more often. Maybe I'll even find a few more favourite images in the future because of it.


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