Posted on Apr.16, 2012, under Architecture

(Nikon D800, 28-300mm at 250mm, Exposure 1/1000 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 320)

One of the joys of visiting New York City is the wonderful architecture of its buildings, both old and new. One of my favorite buildings in New York is the Chrysler Building, and one of the main reasons I like it so much is all the wonderful Art Deco details used in its design. Nothing is more iconic that the metal top which adorns this building. I took this shot on the last day of a recent trip to New York. I wasn’t able to get a nice night shot, so I worked with what was available. I was using my 28-300 lens on a rented D800 and I took numerous shots of the building from various angles. What I really wanted was an extreme close-up, but by the time you get far enough away from the building to have a nice angle on the top, even 300mm doesn’t get you very close. What I ended up doing for this shot was to crop a section out of larger image to get the detail that I wanted. Fortunately I was shooting with a rented D800 which has 36 megapixels to work with. Even after a very tight crop the image is still quite large and detailed.

I tried a couple of different ideas for processing. My initial thought was to try and get a nice clean black and white but I just couldn’t come up with something I liked. As I usually do, I looked through some of the presets in Silver Efex Pro2 to see if I could find a base look that I liked. Turns out it was the last preset, the ‘Pinhole’, which I liked the best. It created a nice strong vignette which drew my eye to the triangular windows, and it created an almost smoky look to the sky. I played with the default preset settings to improve the image, the default was too bright in the center and washed out some of the detail. What I find humorous is the fact that I used a $3000 digital SLR with medium format resolution to create a final image that looks like it was taken with nothing more than a pinhole camera. Of course, a pinhole camera would never have been able to get this shot.

Love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Copyright ©2012 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.

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