I was going through my photo archives (and I have thousands of photos from shooting digital and film the last 9 years) and came across a folder marked "Topazed". This was when HDR photography was a newly discovered technique used to "jazz" up contrast and saturation of a shot. I had downloaded a trial version of the software from Topaz Labs and added it to the Lightroom to experiment with it. To achieve an HDR effect, one brackets the shot, +1, 0 and -1 or +2, 0 and -2 as intended, it is important that the camera is on a tripod, a good sturdy tripod, otherwise the results would not be very pleasing. Today HDR photography is a thing of the past, replaced by smart photo filters that can correct, alter, render more beautiful than real one's images in a thousand ways. I am exaggerating, but you get the point.
Both of these shots are HDR images. I like the fact that they were not taken to extreme, that the images closely represent what I saw and wanted to capture with my camera. The black and white landscape image below was of a park in Palo Alto late afternoon, shooting into the sun intentionally for the effect. Three bracketed shots taken in succession were then combined and converted into gray scale in Lightroom.
The picture below of the Baskin-Robbins joint in San Jose at the corner of The Alameda and Race Street was a HDR in color. This iconic Baskin-Robbins hang out was somewhat out of place because its diner looking neon lit facade did not quite fit this part of San Jose. a mile long at best, The Alameda had a little of everything, the new and the old, a church, a Chinese take out, a fancy Thai restaurant, New York Pizza, offices and Starbucks strategically located from Coffee Bean, yes, two nemesis, diagonally from each other, separated only by the only street. A little out of place to me, I remember wondering when it might give way to something more popular with the Gen Y, or the Gen X and the Millennials, perhaps a Pinkberry. Well, it did finally give way to a burger joint - a popular joint named Five Guys Burgers and Fries that serves up finger licking good burgers, grilled fresh, variety of ways one could order one's salad, beers and sodas. Its interior decor hints of a no frills college town eatery with a hint of a pub. On most nights, parking is hard to find with patrons trying for a spot on nearby residential streets. Looking at this picture of Baskin-Robbins basking in its old glory brings back a little nostalgia, a little sadness. I feel for an iconic eatery whose time has come to pass.