Cellpic Sunday – The Red Route Bus

The Red Route bus on Tower Hill.

London, England.

Near the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge Piazza attracts many tourists. We were no exception, finding some dining options at the nearby St. Katharine’s Docks and Marina around the corner and down the way. On our walk back to our hotel, we were walking along Tower Hill when I heard the bus pulling up behind us. I turned around and saw the bus stop to pick up a passenger. That gave me just enough time to put my cell phone camera to the task.

About the photo: I downloaded the image from my Samsung S20U and loaded the image directly into Luminar Neo. I’m finding some reasons to not start with Adobe Lightroom Classic as Luminar Neo has been adding some tools that cannot be used on an image if it’s exported from another app like Lightroom. In this case, I wanted to use the new Upscale module. The original image wasn’t captured in the 108 Megapixel mode so it was only about 2K directly out of the camera. Truth is, it didn’t need the upscaling for display in 2K HD or in 1K as it is in the image above. I just wanted to see how Neo handled an upscale to higher resolutions. Consider this an experiment that worked. I upscaled the native 2K image to 8K just for fun. Never mind the fact that I don’t have any 8K monitors at my disposal.

To evaluate the output, I simply zoomed in on the image with my 1080P monitor. The 8K conversion provides a much smoother image when zoomed in. I could print the 8K image on a quality printer in a larger size and not worry about the “jaggies”. I posted all three versions of the image on my Flickr site here. If you want to download them to an 8K device, you are welcome to do so. What I did was simply zoomed in with my photo editor to check the quality of sharp-edged lines. I found two areas worth looking at for detail. That child being carried onto the bus has their left arm descending diagonally. Zoomed in, it’s quite “stair-stepped” in the 1K version, and better in the 2K version. The 8K version has no noticeable stair-stepping even at large zoom factors. Another area to check for detail is in the text of the RED ROUTE sign above the driver. The image is clearly sharpened from the original 2K.

On the negative side, this tool, and in fact, most of the other tools that depend upon high CPU loads to do their work, takes a while to process. Though I haven’t purchased them myself, I’ve watched several YouTube videos on the Topaz series of tools that are similar in function. I think Topaz does at least as good a job, if not better, and it is certainly faster at completing the high workload. The advantage that Neo had for me is that the modules from Topaz are more expensive and I bought the Neo add-in tools in a bundle that included several other modules.

One final note on the composition. This image is not the best composition that I could have created. I could have done a basic crop, for example, that removes the large gray wall of the bus shelter. I kept the format of the image basically uncropped to provide a standard 16×9 image factor.

I encourage fellow bloggers to create their own Cellpic Sunday posts. I never have a specific topic for this feature, and the only rules are that the photo must be captured with a cell phone, iPad, or another mobile device… If you have an image from a drone or even a dashcam, that’s acceptable as well. The second rule is to link your challenge response to this post or leave a comment here with a link to your post in the comment. Oh, and, you don’t have to post it on a Sunday.

John Steiner


  1. It’s a great photo John. So much information. Golly I just take a photo and have no idea of the settings if I make a change or ten. Makes me laugh when you say Samsung S20U. Mine is a Samsung Galaxy 9 😂

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