Posted on Dec.02, 2010, under HDR
(Nikon D700, 16-35mm at 22mm, ISO 200, 9 exposure HDR @ f/11)
Anyone who grew up in Saginaw or spent any time living in the area, is probably familiar with the neon bunny on top of the Michigan Bean elevator. The lighted bunny can been seen for miles due to the flat terrain and has been a Saginaw fixture since it was first illuminated in 1947. From what I’ve read, the elevator is no longer in operation and the sign went dark in 1985. Fortunately a preservationist named Thomas Mudd, with support from Altrusa International obtained funding to get the sign lit once again in 1997.
The usage of a bunny for the Michigan Bean company has an interesting history. Apparently it all started with a show by Houdini at the Jeffers-Strand Theater in Saginaw during the 1920s. Houdini asked for a volunteer for a bunny magic trick and he promised the rabbit to whomever helped him with it. It turned out that the volunteer happened to be the daughter of the founder of the Michigan Bean Company. In 1937 the Michigan Bean Company was searching for a new corporate symbol and they were reminded of Houdini’s Bunny magic show and decided a dynamic jumping jack rabbit would be the logo for their company. My memory of the sign is that the bunny had 3 different positions which were lit in sequence to given the bunny the appearance of jumping. The current version of the sign just has a bunny in a static position. Either way it’s nice to see that the bunny sign has been preserved and still lights the night sky. More information on the history of the bunny and it’s restoration can be found here
The image was created from 9 exposures processed in Photomatix and I think it’s my favorite of the weekend shots. I completed processing with Silver Efex Pro and PhotoTools. I used Silver Efex Pro to bring out some additional texture by adding structure and using the Luminosity blend mode. In PhotoTools I used the Daily Multi Vitamin along with an antique texture. This was actually the first of my Saginaw images that I processed like this and I was pleasantly surprised with the effect that the antique texture had on the sky, it gave it some nice additional texture and a great glow.
Copyright © 2010 James W. Howe – All rights reserved.