Posted on Apr.30, 2012, under Architectural Details

(Nikon D800, 28-300mm at 300mm, Exposure 1/2000th @ f/8.0, ISO 320)

I personally cannot get enough of the Chrysler Building in New York City. I’ve always loved this building and thought that it was far more attractive than the Empire State Building. I’m currently reading a book called “Height – A Race to the Sky and the Making of a City” by Neal Bascomb and it details the history of the building of the Chrysler Building along with 40 Wall Street and the Empire State Building. At the time there was enormous pressure to build the tallest building in the world and its fascinating to read about what went in to making this buildings. I’ve learned several things about the Chrysler Building, one of the more interesting tidbits is that Walter Chrysler funding the building personally, it wasn’t funded by Chrysler Corporation. Clearly the man had plenty of money. I think the things that I love about the Chrysler Building are all the wonderful Art Deco details. The metal work of the Eagles and the replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps are quite unique and I really like how they architect created the metal crown on top. It’s just a fabulous building.

One of the problems with shooting tall buildings from the street is that certain elements are almost always in shadow. In this case when I was shooting up, the underside of the eagles were in shadow, and the building and sky were quite bright. The raw image managed to capture everything, there were no blown highlights or shadows, but the raw image was just a bit too bright and flat. In Lightroom 4, when I toned down the brightness of the sky and building, the shadows under the eagles blocked up and made it difficult to see the detail. I decided to create a virtual copy of the image and process it for the shadows and then blended the two layers in Photoshop. Once in Photoshop, I also made use of one of my ‘recipes’ to add some additional detail and style to the image. I used a combination of Detail Extractor, Reflector Efex and Levels and Curves to add detail and a bit of color to the image. In the Reflector Efex filter, I used the ‘Soft Gold’ option which is own reason the building is more gold than the silver color you normally associate with the building. In retrospect I probably should have tried the ‘Silver’ option, but I think the gold did a nice job on the sky and creates a unique look to the building itself. I finished things off by cropping out some of the sky, however, because I didn’t think the image needed that much sky.

If you have any comments or feedback, please leave them below. If you happen to be on, feel free to stop by there as well to vote on this image, and other images I’ve posted there.

Copyright ©2012 James W Howe – All rights reserved

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