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Friday Slide Show: City Hall Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

12 December 2014

The ancient Athenians, after a storm had swept over them from the Aegean Sea, probably took some comfort in looking up to find their Parthenon still standing. Public buildings can do that. And we're blessed with some inspiring public buildings here, not the least of which is City Hall.

City Hall. Still Standing.

It was built after the great 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed its predecessor. Taller than the U.S. Capitol by 19 feet, the Beaux-Arts building is faced with Madera County granite on the outside. The interior is Indiana sandstone with finish marbles from Alabama, Colorado, Vermont and Italy.

We try to stay out of the place, frankly.

But in 2008 we brought our Rebel XTi along for a wedding and arriving a bit early, we shot a few JPEGs of the place at ISO 800 and, for the most part, using an 18mm focal length.

It's a photogenic building (and really should be on your list of places to see when you visit). At least 10 feature films have used the location including Dirty Harry, A View to a Kill and Milk.

It's also a solemn place as the site of the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Our old JPEGs needed a little help in Lightroom 5. The Upright tool once again came in handy in restoring some perspective to the more extreme shots. We even did a little color noise reduction to the window shot.

Otherwise we contented ourselves with increasing the Clarity and adjusting the Shadows for more detail. The shots with lamps in them did get a little Highlight help, too.

That makes a difference. You wouldn't be able to see, for example, any detail in the glass lamps if we hadn't pulled back the highlights.

But the building itself is the star. An ageless star. Inspiring in troubled times.

And always worth a visit.

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