The Improv theater is located just around the corner from the lively neon spot I posted yesterday. I knew something interesting was there before I turned the corner to shoot the Azucar Restaurant. The glow of colored lights was a marker in the night. Something I knew I needed to check out during my stroll through downtown San Jose.
A show just let out and a burst of people flooded the street. Between the bars a block away and this theater, my impression of San Jose was changing. There was a lot more happening there than I imagined, especially for a Wednesday night. I shot the Improv from a few different positions but settled on this vantage point. The trees blocked the upper part of the neon and I wanted the clearest possible view.
As usual, especially during my travels, I used my light-weight HDR setup. An Olympus E-PM2 with the Panasonic Lumix 14mm f2.5 plus the matching Panasonic wide-angle adapter. This combination gives me a 22mm equivalent view which works great. Wide enough to take in most scenes without getting wacky, exaggerated wide-angle distortion. I shot 3 photos and blended them in post-processing. As you can tell, I tend to go for a realistic look. I use HDR to increase my dynamic range and get saturated colors but I shy away from the heavily tone mapped and textured look.
I found the people surprisingly friendly — some more people came to talk while I was adjusting my tripod. Perhaps there are more photographers in downtown Austin because people just ignore me. There was a certain palpable curiosity in downtown San Jose.
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