Bill Peake  

Palace of the Fine Arts by Bill Peake

November 2021 - Palace of the Fine Arts

November 2021 - Bill Peake


About the Image(s)

Here is an image I took on the Palace of the Fine Arts in San Francisco on a trip there in August 2017. My wife and I have been fascinated by this structure and park after seeing it featured in the 1979 move, Time After Time. It was originally built for the 1915 Pan American Exhibition and was only intended to remain for the duration of that event. Built out of burlap, wood and plaster, by the early 1960’s it was a crumbling ruin. It was saved from demolition and rebuilt out of more durable steel and concrete from 1964 to 1972.

My wife and I spent the afternoon wandering around the park, taking pictures and admiring the scenery. This is one of the many images were captured.

The image was taken with the stock lens, a NIKKOR 18-140mm, at 18mm. The aperture was f/22 and the shutter speed was 1/100. The ISO was set to 400.

Post processing was done if Photoshop CC 2021. The image was divided into 2 zones, sky and ground.

For the ground, a Camera Raw filter was added in which a dehaze was done and the highlights, shadows, contrast and exposure were adjusted. Saturation and vibrance was increased slightly in this layer as well. A duck which was in front of the swan and somewhat obscured by foliage was removed. Finally sharpening selectively to bring out detail in the buildings, foliage and the swan.

For the sky, Camera Raw filter was added in which a dehaze was done and the highlights, shadows, contrast and exposure were adjusted to bring out more detail in the clouds. A number of water droplets were removed as well.

The image was then cropped to exclude negative spaces and to eliminate some rocks at the bottom and a clump of foliage on the right.

I am attaching the original image for reference.

6 comments posted

Richard White   Richard White
Bill, nice composition. I especially like the swan's location. Since it is the whitest part of the photo my eye when directly to it. You did a nice job of getting the sky and the water correct. Very good sharpness throughout the photo, nice work.   Posted: 11/01/2021 11:58:16

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
You have produced a most calming and serene scene. The swan is certainly a focal point and adds a great deal to the scene. I would suggest trying a bit of a lower angle as it would lift the swan in the scene and add a bit more drama.

To me this is one of those scenes that could do with a bit more dodging to bring so me life to the building and open the very dark shadows found on the right side. It would take a careful hand but if you look closely there are highlights striking the structures caused the the angle of the sun Adding a bit of warmth (yellow) and making these a bit brights would bring this fine image to another level. The camera captured all this and just averaged the scene---you could bring it to life.   Posted: 11/02/2021 10:34:19

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
This is well seen, and the swan adds interest to the image. I agree with Larry that I would consider dodging the building quite a bit since it is the main subject you want the viewer to focus on. I would also consider cropping in from the left, maybe between the two support structures, to move the building and swan out of the middle of the image to give it a little more energy.   Posted: 11/02/2021 13:38:56

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
This could have been a post card from this place. The swan creates a calmness into the image and the fairytale style structures make the whole scene a bit surrealistic.   Posted: 11/07/2021 03:40:19

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
Glad you had a chance to wander around on such a clear, beautiful day. The rotunda is beautiful and it's where my eye goes when I look at this image. The swan is a nice additive but my focus goes to the architecture. For me the image is a little dark and cool. I would love to see a warmer/brighter image, more of a golden glow, to help bring out the colors in the structure and the shadows. The sky and water looks great. Nice work.   Posted: 11/07/2021 12:51:17

Nan Jiang   Nan Jiang
A grand and elegant scenery. The color is proper. My suggestion is to brighten the trees a little to show the details, and it will be perfect if the swan appears at the lower right side.   Posted: 11/17/2021 07:00:09


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