Posted on Dec.07, 2010, under Michigan

(Nikon D700, 16-35mm at 18mm, ISO 200, Exposure 1/1000 sec @ f/8.0)

Here’s another shot to show you that not everything in Saginaw is in a decaying state. This building is known as ‘The Castle’ and currently houses the Saginaw Castle Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of Saginaw County. The building was built originally as a U.S. Post Office. According to some information I found on the web, the post office was built in 1897 as part of a government program to make government buildings reflect the history of the town where they were built. In this case, the post office was created to look like a French chateau to reflect the fact that the city of Saginaw was established by French Voyageurs. Apparently this government program was too expensive (gee, you think) and was scrapped after the first building was completed. This building sits right behind the Hoyt Library.

I’m not entirely happy with the way the image came out. I decided to post it mostly because I think its a cool building and it shows that Saginaw still have some interesting architecture. As you can probably tell, the sun was behind and off to the right of the building, which cast the front in shadow. I took 9 exposures handheld to produce an HDR, but I didn’t like the end result. Part of the problem was that I didn’t have my tripod handy and the sharpness was off due to some minor camera movement. Instead of using the 9 exposures, I decided to try to process just a single image. In Lighroom I created three virtual copies and made one 2 stops darker and one 2 stops lighter. I then ran it through Photomatix Pro. Still didn’t really like the result, but I persevered. I used Silver Efex Pro to add some structure to the sky and used the Antique Paper setting in Photo Tools to give the sky an interesting treatment. Still didn’t really like it so I went back into Silver Efex Pro and did a simple Holga-esque look with a sepia tone. Used a Curves layer to darken some brightness in the front and ended up with the image you see above. As you can see in the original image below, the front was rather shaded.


Copyright © 2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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