Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Tech Info: Nikon D300s | Tokina 12-24 @24mm | ISO 200 | f/9 | 10 s
Palace of Fine Arts in blue hour.

… Ok, I’ll admit – I’m a sucker for blue hour shots. I can’t seem to get enough of it and neither do I get tired of seeing them :). This place was fenced off due to some construction/renovation work and now its open. The inside of dome is gorgeous. I was waiting to get a shot of this magnificent structure in blue hour and the timing of RadiantScape’s Beginner’s workshop was just perfect.
Here is a little bit of history of this place:

The Palace of Fine Arts was one of ten palaces at the heart of the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, which also included the exhibit palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Agriculture, Food Products, Transportation, Mines and Metallurgy and the Palace of Machinery. The Palace of Fine Arts was designed by Bernard Maybeck, who took his inspiration from Roman and Greek architecture in designing what was essentially a fictional ruin from another time.

While most of the Exposition was demolished when the Exposition ended, the Palace was so beloved that a Palace Preservation League, founded by Phoebe Apperson Hearst, was founded while the fair was still in progress.

You can get more info on it on Wikipedia.

  1. Used Lightroom 3 to convert the raw image to tiff with adjustments to white balance and exposure settings.
  2. Converted a lesser exposed image for the highlight areas.
  3. Used both the images in Photoshop as layers and masked in the highlight areas.
  4. Added a spiral blur to the sky to give a slight streaking effect.
  5. Resized the image for web.
  6. Applied selective sharpening for the structures using smart-sharpen.
  7. Saved as 8 bit jpeg and added metadata, keywords through Bridge.

Hover your mouse over the image to see the Before version.


2 thoughts on “Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

  1. For once I seem to like the before version more…which brings me to my question…how do you know when you are done with the ‘processing’….how to decide when to stop…

    1. A very valid point. When I first started to process, it used to be like “till I get tired” – more of an experimentation to understand certain basic things. Although now I can’t claim to know the basics, but have a slight understanding of messing around the controls. So the final image is kinda already there in my head. With each pic, its getting easier to steer myself in that direction. The pic in my head is formed by seeing work of various other photographers and off late, I’ve managed to understand little bit of my feeling towards it. So its getting there 🙂

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