Glendale Historic Buildings and Other Cool Stuff

The closer it gets to Christmas, the less time I have to work on my photography projects.  But tonight I let everything else go, and went back to the digital darkroom to continue working on some of the shots that I took in downtown Glendale several weekends ago.  For this batch, I concentrated on a couple of the historical buildings in the downtown area.

This first shot is the First National Bank of Glendale building, which has been converted into law offices.  Banks…lawyers….kind of typical, don’t you think?  This is a three-image HDR (handheld brackets), processed in Photomatix, then post-processed in Topaz Adjust/DeNoise and Paintshop Pro X3.  I also corrected the perspective in the image since the original shots had the building “leaning backwards”, and I wanted more of a straight-forward shot:

First National Bank

This next shot is the old Sine Brothers Hardware building which is now a city municipal office building. Same sort of processing as before:

Sine Brothers Hardware 02

If you would like to see the entire series of shots from my afternoon in Glendale, check out the set Glendale AZ 12-4-2010 on my Flickr site.

And if you’re interested in finding out more about these and other historic structures in downtown Glendale, check on the website for more information.

Since my last post, I haven’t been totally away from the digital darkroom….I did work on a few older photos in Topaz, just continuing to familiarize myself with the software’s capabilities.  Here are a couple of shots that I thought came out pretty well:

Catalina Island
Catalina Island

From Mom’s Garden
From Mom's Garden

Downtown Phoenix Architecture Old and New

Tonight I have three more HDR images from my photo walk in downtown Phoenix, Arizona this past weekend.

This first image is the bell tower at the historic First Baptist Church on Monroe Street.  The church was built in 1929, and it was gutted by fire in 1992.  The interior of the church is gone, but the shell still stands, including this bell tower.  It’s on the National Register of Historic Places, and the owners of the property are trying to pitch it to investors as a future art space of some kind.  Fortunately, there is a parking garage right across the street from the tower, and by climbing up about five or six floors, I was able to get almost eye-level with the top of the tower, avoiding any perspective issues with shooting the tall tower from ground level:

Downtown Phoenix 004

This next image is the the back of the Orpheum Theatre (on the right) where it intersects with the side of Phoenix City Hall (on the left).  I know that there’s a perspective issue on this shot–since it was taken from ground level with the camera pointed up, the buildings look like they’re leaning into each other.  I thought about trying to correct it, but decided that I kind of like the compositional aspects of the way the buildings appear to be huddling together.  I think there’s a lot of geometrical interest that would be lost if I corrected the perspective on the shot:

Downtown Phoenix 005

And finally, here’s a shot of the newly expanded downtown Phoenix Convention Center.  I really love the multi-color stone facing on the building, as well as the angles of the walls.  I also like the way the glass of the overhead pedestrian walk reflects a nearby sign–I didn’t notice that detail when I was taking the shot:

Downtown Phoenix 006

Each of these images was created from a bracketed series of three photos (-2.0/0.0/+2.0) taken with my Nikon D5000 and the kit lens (18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6) at F/13.  I used Photomatix Pro v3 to produce the HDR image, and then post-processed in Paintshop Pro X3 to tweak the brightness and contrast, and I used the Curves tool to modify the color balance slightly.

Hope you enjoy these images from a very warm October day in downtown.  I’ll be sharing more as the days pass.