Category: Architecture


Posted under Architecture

This shot of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois was taken on a late sunny winter’s day. The sky was still a deep blue which created a nice background for the building. I took several shots, most in a ‘normal’ orientation, but then I decided to capture just a section of the building on an angle. I debated about whether to just work with the color version of the image, but after I experimented with black and white I decided that was the direction to go. Processing was mostly accomplished in Photoshop via Silver Efex Pro 2. The first thing I did was darken the sky by reducing the blue sensitivity. The building had a lot of blue in it as well, so I added several control points to bring back some exposure to some of the darker areas. The only thing I’m a little unhappy with is the loss of the distinctive ‘bands’ of windows that you can clearly see in the color version. I think the only way I could highlight the bands in a black and white version would be to make the building much brighter overall and keep the bands dark. I might experiment with that, but I also like the dark look of the building so I might just sacrifice the bands.

This image shows the Jay Pritzker Pavilion located in Chicago’s Millenium Park. The structure was designed by noted architect Frank Gehry. One interesting fact about this ‘building’ is that due to various building code regulations in the city of Chicago, this structure cannot be called a ‘building’, but must be referred to as a ‘work of art’. I find this structure fascinating. It is ever changing based on the lighting it is receiving. I also enjoy looking for various abstract patterns that I can photograph.

This image shows the interior of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1959, the museum is unique in its use of a spiral ramp to lead patrons through the exhibited items. To view an exhibit you take an elevator to the top and walk down the ramp. It’s an interesting museum and I highly recommend a visit if you are in New York City.

The image above shows the Apple Store located on 5th Avenue in New York City. The store is somewhat iconic in that the actual store is underground and only this glass cube projects above the surface to entice shoppers to enter. I was in the area just after sunset and decided to get my own shot of this piece of architecture. When I was reviewing this shot later, it didn’t really thrill me, just sort of looked like a snapshot and so I passed it by. However, as I often do, I made another pass over some of my images and decided the image was worth experimenting with.

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 was going through some images this morning looking for something to post on my Google+ account for the SacredSunday theme when I came across a picture I had taken of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I had previously done a black & white conversion that I previously posted to my blog. I recently added Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 to my toolkit and I was just curious as to what I might be able to do using that plugin.

This is a shot of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City that I took a couple of years ago. It’s actually a panorama created from three shots (the original pano is shown below). I’ve actually been working on variations of this image since I took it. I’ve played around with a variety of ideas. I recently purchased theTopaz Labs Detail plugin and I experimented with it on this image.

On a recent trip to northern Michigan, my wife and I visited Traverse City Commons. I’ve posted shots from this location before. The site is the location of the old Northern Michigan Asylum where they are converting the old buildings into retail, office and residential spaces. The weather the morning we arrived was cloudy, but breaks were beginning to appear in the clouds. As the sun peaked through it shone on the roof tops and really highlighted the towers/cupolas that are a key feature of the main building.


Posted under Architecture


My wife and I are spending some time in Northern Michigan, including Mackinac Island situated between Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas. The island has a great collection of summer ‘cottages’, most of which are really large homes. They were generally built by wealthy industrialists and needed to accommodate family and servants. A nice example of a typical Mackinac Island cottage is ‘Brigadoon’ shown above. This cottage has a wonderful view of Mackinac Island’s harbor.

This shot was taken in the old wing of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). I’ve always liked this gallery and I’ve been here a few times to take pictures of it. Each time is a little different, different people, different light, etc. I had a blog post back in 2010 with an image similar to the one you see here, but with a completely different method and style of processing. For that image I went with a grittier, almost HDR look. I liked the way the processing brought out the detail in the floor, but I’ve always felt that this shot was meant for black & white. I also wasn’t too thrilled with the number of people in the shot, so I went back at a later date and took the shot you see above. In this shot, there is only the one woman on the bench, which I like better. I also chose to convert the image to black & white. Initially I created an image to which I added a bit of film grain, however I ultimately decided that I wanted a smoother look. I edited the shot to hide the grain layer and used Lightroom noise reduction to help smooth the shot out even more.