A view from the Hotel Valencia
Sometimes everything falls into place — the sum of the parts being greater than the whole. This photograph, that I shot last week in San Jose, is an example. One that the Santana Row Tripod Police could not stop. I shot it off the 5th floor balcony of the Hotel Valencia, where I stayed.
I shoot enough HDRs that, usually, I have a good idea how they would turn out. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though. The orange color you see on the horizon is not the sunset. The sky was already quite dark but the long exposure brought out the details. I increased the saturation and tweaked the color temperature and got this wonderful deep blue with the orange, which I suspect is created by the glow of the city’s lights.
As usual, I shot 3 exposures two stops apart. The new Olympus E-PM2 now conveniently has a HDR bracket which helps you take the photographs. It does not, however, create the HDRs in camera — you still have to post process them on the computer. I used Photomatix Pro to create the HDR, did some manual layer blending and did the final adjustments using Apple’s Aperture 3.
More than any of my other photographs, this one gives the feeling of Santana Row. The place really does do a nice job to simulate a city, even though it really is a shopping mall. Austin has “The Domain” which is a similar kind of development. I hope someday, will fill out as nicely as this one.
Click on the photograph to see a larger image and hover over the photo to see the exposure detail.