Who Watches the Watchers

Who Watches the Watchers

It’s weird how, as I look through some of the pictures I’ve posted here on Weekly Fifty over the years, they seem to come in phases. Sometimes I’ll have a couple weeks of macro shots. Then insects or animals. And now this is the second week that I’ve posted a picture of a building with the sky behind it, and I promise you it’s entirely coincidental. I was riding my bike past Boone Pickens Stadium a few weeks ago on Friday at the end of the first week of the fall semester and when I looked up at Cordell Hall something about it kind of gave me pause. It’s an old building, and probably won’t even be here much longer with all the campus improvements going on right now, but it’s the kind of structure that has a bit of character to it.

It wasn’t until I got these images loaded into Lightroom that I noticed a little addition to the building: the crows sitting on the railing between the two chimneys. It made me think about what they were doing up there at 7:15am on a Friday morning: where they waiting fur the sun to poke over the stadium? (Which you can’t see, but is right behind me as I shot this picture.) Were they looking for food? Were they shooting the breeze before heading off to work? Perhaps they were pondering a journey to Mintaka III. Like last week’s picture I don’t think I will ever really know the answer, and I’m OK with that since I kind of like to think of my own even if I know it’s probably not accurate.

Also, just for fun I ran the RAW file through the Accent AI filter in a program called Luminar that I’ve been using lately.

In some ways I think the results here are superior to what I got when I massaged the RAW file in Lightroom, but in other ways…not so much. I like the rich blue in the sky but the building itself has developed a bit of a halo around it that I don’t find all that visually pleasing. Still, it’s a good example of how far you can take a RAW file if you have the right software. And if you’re not ready to shell out all the money for Photoshop, Luminar might be worth checking out. (Disclaimer: that’s not an ad or a paid promotion. I don’t do that sort of thing here on Weekly Fifty. It’s just me sharing my thoughts.)


  1. To be honest, my problem with the neon blue is that it confuses the purpose or focus of the image. In a situation where you put the horizon at the bottom third it would make more sense to my eyes. The color sort of makes the sky the priority but everything else about the image would say the pattern of the windows or the rusty details of the building or the birds are more interesting. Nice capture, enjoy your blog.

    • That’s a good point Bill, and something I had not considered before. You’re right though, the blue sky really does detract from the rest of the photo and it seems to take your eyes away from the building and the birds.

  2. I think I agree with Bill. It is a gorgeous sky, and so much more visually pleasing than a washed out grey sky. I wonder if it were toned down, would the emphasis go back to the building and would it eliminate the halo.

    Simon, I probably would have not seen the birds either. Like you, I often find things in images after I get home and see them on a 14″ screen. Editing can do a lot to enhance the details that we catch.

    • I’m always glad when I find out I’m not the only one to see some things, Rebecca! It’s amazing how much more detail you can notice on a much bigger screen that you often miss when checking the back of your camera. Or even while you are looking with your own eyes at the very scene you are photographing!

  3. Glenys Rumble says

    Actually I prefer the first image, it appears sharper and I don`t like the halo, otherwise I like the capture.

  4. I like the brick color better in the first image. the second image seems a touch over exposed. I love the character of the old buildings. They speak of a college environment. My first year at OSU was spent living in East Bennett Hall. It was the men’s dorm and West Bennett was the men’s athletic dorm. The best thing about living on the third or fourth floor was that you could watch the football practices on one side and baseball games on the other. Great memories.

    • I don’t think I’ve ever been inside Bennett Hall, but I’ve been past it many many times over the years and it must have been a really nice dorm to be in. The location is just about perfect, and I can see what you mean about watching football practice and baseball games. What a cool memory from college, man :)

  5. Janet Richardson says

    I prefer the first image. The intense sky does distract from the architecture of the building. I used the beta-version of Luminar and really tried to love it but I just didn’t find it better than my current photo editor. On another note, I would hate to see this building disappear in the name of progress. As always, thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for your comments Janet, and I’m still feeling my way around Luminar as well. It certainly has a lot of features that I like, but I don’t know if I’m quite ready to get rid of Lightroom and/or Photoshop just yet.

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