Founded in 1853, Washington University is a private Research University located in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. Washington University or “Wash-U” was named after the first US President, George Washington. The University campus has the classic look and feel of an old world ivy league school. A perfect place to shoot some architectural HDR in Infrared.
My interest for this series was the buildings. I wanted to capture them in a way that there could be no time reference. The first thing I needed was an absence of people. The solution was simple, shoot on a Sunday.
Second, all my angles needed to avoid anything too modern around the structures. The open areas do have lamp posts, but they are of a style that fits the architecture. I was lucky and got a great clouds to fill in the sky and help give the images depth.
I wanted to capture the intense, cold feel of these old world buildings, yet wanted the lively color possible with Enhanced Color IR, so I worked to incorporate plants, grass and sky when possible. I also made use of the buildings archways to draw the viewer into the image. For this shoot I went light and simple; one camera body and an Ultra wide lens. All my images were shot hand held. I wanted as much depth to my images as possible, but since I was not using a tripod I was limited to nothing below 1/60 sec. I know from experience I can shoot at 1/60th without blur.
Everything was shot with AEB, auto exposure bracketing of 1 stop +/- giving me images at 1/60, 1/125, 1/250. The camera is an Enhanced Color Converted (665nm) Canon 50D and it was given a manual white balance using grass a reference.
Images were shot in RAW. The RAW images were given a second white balance, this time using the structures as a white reference. The RAW images were converted to Jpegs and Jpegs used to create HDR images. The images were created using PhotoShop CS5, NIK HDR Efex Pro2, NIK Color Efex Pro4, and NIK Dfine2. The saturation levels on the Yellow, Blue and Cyan tones were increased, while the Red tones were either decreased or removed completely.
If you would like to see the rest of this series, click here.