Photo of the Day
While in Marion, Illinois for the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls bout Saturday we had some time to kill. The local mall was within walking distance so we started that way looking for something to eat, and some entertainment. Maybe I watch too much of the Walking Dead, but even the walk to the mall seemed weird. After we got away from The Pavilion where the bout was we encountered no people. Even the parking lot seemed empty. The mall is the Illinois Star Centre Mall. From the first impression walking into the mall it appears as if it was built in the 80′s. It is still in pretty good shape except for the fact that most of the fountains were not working. The mall was actually built in 1991 by Eddie DeBartolo Sr. who also owned the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 80′s. The mall was built to be direct competition for the other mall in town. In fact when it opened several stores jumped ship to relocate to this mall. In the 1990′s malls may have been a cutthroat business, but now they fight just to stay alive. This mall was probably at about 50% capacity. That is not good for foot traffic or profits. I did not have to wait for people to clear out to take this photo. A photo taken by the main entrance should be hard to get with no people in the shot. This one was easy. That should tell you how many people were in here shopping on a Saturday afternoon. It really did have the feel of a deserted area. Thankfully zombies did not show up, and we were able to walk through the mall in peace. Another thing to be thankful for is that the Miami Vice theme was not playing the entire time we were in the mall. I felt as if I should have had a white suit with a t-shirt on underneath it while walking through it. This kind of decoration was supposed to take the shopper somewhere else. It appears as if it worked as nobody was there.
For this shot I had to do a couple of things. First off I took three photos at the time two stops apart from each other. That was done with the purpose of running this photo through Photomatix Pro to make an HDR picture. Once the 32 bit file was created in Photomatix I sent it back to Lightroom to use the sliders there. I have really enjoyed the way that I can make a realistic HDR there. For some reason though no matter what I tried I did not look good to me. I tried the process again editing the picture in Photomatix as I used to do. I used the painterly preset there to really give it the look that I was looking for from the start. I liked this version much better, and that result is the one that you see above. I did add some blacks and vibrance in Lightroom, but for the most part I loved the Photomatix result. For some pictures with a wide range of light all over I have trouble getting the result I like in Lightroom. I may have to start taking those back to the beginning.
This was also shot with my fisheye lens. I have really started to love what this lens can do. Shooting at the proper angle can give some dramatic results. I used it a bit during the bout to show the scope of the bout. You can literally see everything in front of you. Even after the bout I came up with a couple of other ideas of ways to use the lens in April when the Brawlin’ Dolls take the track again at home.