Posted on Jan.01, 2010, under Ann Arbor, Architecture, Michigan, University of Michigan

(Olympus E-3, 7-14mm at 7mm (2x crop factor), ISO 400, exposure 1/20 sec @ f/5.0)

This image comes from the old wing of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. I was visiting the museum to see the Lens of Impressionism exhibit and managed to take several interior shots of the museum while I was waiting for other people in my party to arrive. This image shows the main staircase in the old wing of the museum. I shot this from the bottom floor looking up toward the top of the building.

This was a difficult shot to take. The light in the museum is fairly dark, like most museums. The wood of the staircase is also dark. At the same time, there is a big window as well as lights to contend with, creating a large dynamic range. The museum doesn’t allow tripods so trying some sort of HDR would be difficult (but not impossible). To avoid seriously blown highlights, most of the image is dark.

In processing, I wanted to bring out a little more detail in the staircase. The raw image was primarily monochromatic so conversion to black & white wasn’t an big deal, and I had figured this would be a black & white image when I took it. Processing mostly consisted of applying some different curves to bring out some of the staircase while limiting the blown out look from the lights and window. I converted to black & white and applied a platinum toning curve at about 50% opacity to give the image a bit of color.

Comments and feedback welcome.

Image and text Copyright © 2009-2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved

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