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Golden Gate Recreation Center by Shah Kawasaki Architects

Posted on: Mar 01, 2016

Golden Gate Recreation Center by Shah Kawasaki Architects.

Golden Gate Recreation Center by Shah Kawasaki Architects.

If you watch the evening news or read the S.F. Chronicle, the public image of Oakland is nothing but gun violence and corruption.  The reality of the place is actually quite different.  While not quite its shining cousin across the Bay, Oakland has a growing tech presence, a vibrant art and culinary scene and a downtown slowly coming back to life.  Oakland’s story is changing for the better.

Charles Porter Golden Gate Rec Center

Golden Gate Recreation Center by Shah Kawasaki Architects.

We were commissioned by Shah Kawasaki Architects to photograph their recently completed Golden Gate Recreation Center.  Tucked away in a nondescript corner of the city, SKA created a sparkling but simple community centered building that serves its highly diverse community. This building replaced a sixty year old one that no longer met code. The building was designed to house a variety of activities, from after school homework areas, to a large gym for kids’ and adults’ sports programs, to a dance studio for evening ballet and yoga classes.  This neighborhood in North Oakland has long been a blue-collar African-American one, but like the rest of the city, it is slowly becoming more multi-ethnic as whites, Asians and Latinos move in.  Kudos to the city of Oakland in their effort to make its neighborhoods a better place and kudos to SKA for helping the process along.


Photomerge Gets Better

Photomerge

The Photo-merge tool in Photoshop has been around for at least ten years. Simply put, the Photomerge tool was developed as a way of stitching individual images into a wide angle shot or a panorama.  It was originally put in P.S. so that photographers using digital cameras with a narrow field of view could create panoramic images.  There are a handful of optical hoops that one needs to jump through to get the Photo-merge tool to work. More often than not, Photo-merge just does some very strange things, rendering a building into a pretzel or worse.  But Photo-merge is improving with each P.S. iteration and the Adobe folks have added another tool to the kit to counter the balloon-like effect most often rendered by Photo-merge. The new tool gives the user the option of straightening all those curvy lines rendered by PM.   On the assignment above we used P.M for one shot.  Because of site constraints creating a P.M. panorama was the best solution to working in a very tight space.  You can see from the illustrations below, that Photomerge combined with some smart post-processing gave us an exceptional result. Notice how all the curvy perspective lines get magically straightened in the final image.

Photomerge, before. The balloon look.

Photomerge, before. The balloon look.

Photomerge with Adaptive wide angle straightening.

Photomerge with Adaptive wide angle straightening.


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