Posted on Sep.19, 2012, under Chicago
(Nikon D800, 28-300mm at 70mm, Exposure 1/200th sec @ f/9, ISO 250)
This summer I participated in the Google+ 1 year anniversary photo walk in Chicago, Illinois. I hadn’t been to Chicago in quite a while and it was a good chance to see the city and meet some talented Chicago area photographers. At the end of the day, while walking back to my car, I spotted this shot of Miller’s Pub on Wabash St. I liked the way the sun was shining on the taller buildings in the background combined with the ground level details such as the fire escapes and the supports for the ‘L’ train. I fired off a few shots along Wabash St. and this was my favorite.
Of course, it took a little bit of work to get the final shot you see above. If you look at the raw shot below, you will notice that the image isn’t that attractive. The light on the buildings that I found attractive was all blown out, and the street area was too dark. However, I shot this with a Nikon D800 which has incredible dynamic range. It didn’t take much work in Lightroom to bring the sky back down and to bring a little more light to the darker parts. After getting the basic balance right, I worked on a bit of stylizing. I discovered with some shots that I took in New York with the D800 that you can get a really nice look in these high resolution images by bumping the clarity slider in Lightroom quite high. Lightroom 4 has a much improved algorithm for the clarity slider for any image, but it really shines when you use a high resolution file. I like the hyper-realistic look it gives to certain images. I also bumped the Luminance noise reduction slider quite a bit to smooth things a bit, which I think also contributes to the painterly look of the final image. As a final bit of editing, I decided to crop out the lower portion of the image to focus more on the Miller’s Pub sign. I like the full length version as well because it works as more of a ‘street’ photograph, but I think I prefer this version.
Questions and feedback are always welcome, please leave them below!
Copyright ©2012 James W. Howe – All rights reserved