170317 Glory - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

My limited experience of America is mostly confined to its three largest cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. And my time in each is also very limited, so by New York I really mean Manhattan, and mostly midtown. There it's hard to get away from the yellow taxis and pervasive patriotism best embodied by the LED flag wall of the military recruiting centre in Times Square.

This is the hardest I've worked on any single image. Not so much in taking it, which was just a matter of position and timing, but in post production. Colour balance was impossible. After letting the image sit for four years I solved it by doing different raw conversions for the taxi and the flag, then merged them in a pixel editor. Having completely lost count of the number of tweaks I've made to it, I've gone through four proof prints and still don't have it looking quite the way I want it to. Perhaps just one more iteration will do it. And I say that each time.

While I'm often glad that I'm not carrying the big Nikon when I'm out taking photos, sometimes I'm retroactively happy that I used it when I need to develop the photo. Even though this one was safely underexposed at two in the afternoon, it still benefits from the extra forgiveness of the bigger sensor and the print certainly appreciates the extra pixels. It doesn't usually matter, but like most things, sometimes it does.


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