San Jose City Hall Rotunda

San Jose City Hall Rotunda - San Jose, California

San Jose City Hall Rotunda – San Jose, California

With the official demise of mostlyfotos, which I talked about yesterday, I thought it might be interesting to showcase images from that blog. There’s always been some image sharing between this blog and mostlyfotos, but there was a different focus. I’ve always told stories here rather than just showing photos.

I shot this photo of San Jose City Hall, back in May of 2010. I was using the Canon 7D DSLR with my super wide Sigma 10-20mm lens. It’s a combination I used a lot, in the good old days (not really), before my mirrorless conversion. It’s a three image HDR, processed lightly, like I tended to do, especially compared to the HDR photographers of the day. As I recall, I went downtown with some friends to shoot architecture, which was my primary subject back then.

As downtowns go, I prefer vibrant Austin to the low-key and corporate looking San Jose. But I do admit, I prefer San Jose’s City Hall, designed by the famous architect, Richard Meier. Austin’s City Hall is rather oddly shaped and seriously messes with my compositional radar.

The original HDR looks rather subdued and flat, probably my reaction to the terribly gaudy and vibrant styles of the day. But my tastes have changed in the intervening seven years, as has the processing software. Just for fun, I dug out the original photos and reprocessed them to my current taste, which you can see below.

San Jose City Hall Rotunda - San Jose, California (reprocessed)

Brighter, more contrast and more color. I’ve also changed the white balance. I’ve also pushed the HDR blending a bit, with the risk of some halos, but I think I can get away with it here. Interestingly, with modern cameras and vastly improved dynamic range, a HDR may not be needed at all, for this image.

Neither photo is correct, of course. It’s all creativity and interpretation. I suppose in a bunch of years, may tastes will probably change again.


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