Jerome Grand Hotel Balcony Room

Continuing my series of images from our recent visit to Jerome, Arizona:

As I’ve mentioned before, we elected to stay at the Jerome Grand Hotel on our last trip, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, the hotel is located at the top of the mountain-side town, so it has a great view of the town and the surrounding valley beyond.  But the hotel also has a lot of history and mystique about it, and we love a good story.

From their webpage:

This Spanish Mission style building, constructed in 1926, started out as the United Verde Hospital, opening January, 1927. In 1930, it was written up as the most modern and well equipped hospital in Arizona and possible the Western States. The Hospital was closed in 1950 as the mine operation was being phased out. The building stood unused for the next 44 years until the rehabilitation plans started in 1994.

The building is one of the highest public structures in the Verde Valley, (5240 Ft.). As the last major building constructed in Jerome, the building was not only to boost the pride of the town in its classic design, but was built fire proof and able to withstand the blasts of up to 260,000 pounds of dynamite set off by the mine and sometimes felt as far away as Camp Verde, a distance of 20 miles. How this 30,000 sq. ft., five level building of poured in place, reinforced concrete, was constructed on a 50 degree slope is an engineering marvel even by today’s standards!

Purchased by the Altherr Family in 1994, from the Phelps Dodge Mining Corp, the restoration and rehabilitation was started. Having been closed for 44 years, there had been no changes to the original building except for the enclosure of the roof top deck in 1929, The building has withstood the tests of blasting as well as the tests of time. This has to be one of the best preserved buildings in Arizona and extreme measures have been used to protect the interior and exterior integrity.

Our balcony room was beautifully decorated and very comfortable, with a few quaint touches like the old telephone with no dial (you just pick up the handset and you’re automatically connected to the front desk), the steam radiator, and the transoms over the doors to let the breeze blow through.  The bed was very comfortable, the bathroom facilities were modern and functioned perfectly, and the balcony was a delightful space to sit with a glass of wine and watch the sun go down (while shooting brackets, of course!).

Here’s a view of our guest room.  This is an HDR image from five bracketed photos shot without flash with only the light from the balcony doors. I used Photomatix to merge the images, and then Paintshop Photo Pro X3, with Topaz Adjust/DeNoise for post-processing:

Jerome Grand Hotel Balcony Room

The halls of the hotel are decorated with period antiques that make the Grand Hotel a unique place to visit. Here’s a slideshow of some of the hallway decor, as well as the lobby and gift shop area. All of these images were shot with the 14-24mm wide angle lens, tripod-mounted with no flash. I didn’t do any special processing on any of them, other than straightening some that were a little crooked:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We truly enjoyed our stay at the Grand Hotel, even though we didn’t get to meet any ghosts while we were there. The staff was friendly, the lodgings were comfortable, and the view was unbeatable.

On my next post, I’ll share some images of the exterior of the hotel…watch out for spiders!

Advertisements

Chapel of the Holy Dove – Interior Details in HDR

Tonight I’m wrapping up the series of HDR images from the Chapel of the Holy Dove near Flagstaff, Arizona.

This first image is a shot taken from the front of the Chapel looking back toward the door.  The big glass window was to my back, so there was a lot of natural light inside the building (be sure to click on the images to view them larger on black):

Chapel of the Holy Dove 008

The image shows how the interior of the building feels so much larger from the inside than it looks on the outside. The high peak of the A-frame building lends a feeling of openness to the space that mirrors the openness of the landscape outside the window.

These next images show some of the finer details of things found inside the Chapel:

Open Bible left on the pulpit
Chapel of the Holy Dove 009

Prayer box
Chapel of the Holy Dove 007

Prayers written on the walls
Chapel of the Holy Dove 010

As with the earlier images in the series, these are all HDR’s created in Photomatix V4.0 from three bracketed images (-2.0/0.0/+2.0). HDR’s were post-processed in Topaz Adjust and Paintshop Pro X3 to adjust contrast, curves, saturation, and anything else that caught my eye.

If you’re just now joining me for this series, I hope you’ll visit my Flickr site to see the entire set of ten images, and that you’ll check out the previous postings of the past few days for more information about the Chapel and the images that I’ve posted.

Chapel of the Holy Dove – Interior Lighting Challenges

Today I’m continuing my series of images from the Chapel of the Holy Dove located near Flagstaff, Arizona.  My two previous posts have shown the exterior of the chapel, but today’s post deals with the interior.

The entire front wall of the A-frame structure is a huge window that faces the San Francisco Peaks, so there is plenty of natural light inside the building.  But since there is no light source at all coming from the rear (if the door is closed), it creates a very challenging scenario for photography.  Even when using a bracketed series of images in HDR processing, I found that the lighting extremes were very hard to deal with, especially for a beginner like myself.  And it didn’t help matters that I seem to have had dust on my lens, because it showed up  in the more brightly lit shots, whereas I didn’t notice it at all in the normal exposures.

Chapel of the Holy Dove 005

Anyway, today I’m posting these shots of the front window of the chapel to give you an idea of the view from the parishioner’s perspective.  Once again, it was mostly overcast that day, so you can’t see the mountain top in the distance….too bad, because it’s such a beautiful background on a clear sunny day.

Chapel of the Holy Dove 006

Future posts will show more of the interior from different vantage points.  It’s such a rich environment for photography, especially HDR photography….but it definitely presents some challenges!

You can find the entire series of images from the Chapel of the Holy Dove on my Flickr site.