Spring Arrives on Campus

The last time you saw Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus, I was pronouncing Winter’s back was broken.  This time in following the quote of novelist Elizabeth Bowen, “Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.” I present Crouse College in Spring.

Springtime at Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus in Syracuse, New York.

Springtime at Crouse College on the Syracuse University campus in Syracuse, New York.

Like back in February, I used the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle lens and tried to match up the same view.  Unlike February, I wasn’t headed for a basketball game. Thus, I had more time and a tripod (not to mention much better weather) so I included a bit more of the stairway entrance which no longer had the gate across it.  Like the last post about the Lincoln statue, I used a set of bracketed photos to create an HDR image which brought texture to the sky and enhanced the overall colors in the scene. How do you like those startbursts?

UPDATE (Posted on 4/29/2010): I took the ideas of Carsten and Tracy (Milkayphoto) left in the comments below and used the new Curves tool in Aperture 3 to adjust the Green channel into a darker shade before applying some vignetting to darken the edges.  This created a more natural looking light and dark pattern.  I think it now does look a bit spooky and instead of the fairytale castle, Crouse College is a bit more sinister looking.

A sinister looking Crouse College after some additional adjustments made in Aperture 3.

A sinister looking Crouse College after some additional adjustments made in Aperture 3.

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36 Responses to Spring Arrives on Campus

  1. kanniduba says:

    The starbursts are very cool…
    This has a creepy air to it with the dark sky and the Tower of Terror-esque building. I like the angle.


  2. Carsten says:

    I like the starbursts from the lamps. I’m surprised to see 18 ‘rays’. Does your lens have 18 shutter leaves?
    And I like the composition very much. It seems a l o o o n g way up to the main gate.
    No doubt. It is a good image. So do not misunderstand my next comment.
    It comes to my mind, that many of the HDR images I see are fine and bright in nearly all details. I think there is a lack of dark areas. This image is probably shot in a low light level. But the HDR program lifts everything up and presents a lawn as it was on a overcast day. Maybe it bothers me that the light on the grass is the same close to and far from the lamps…


    • The Tokina is 9 bladed and at f/22 (which this photo was taken at) bursts any secular light sources. I found this information on the web about the number of streaks you see: If a lens has an odd number of aperture blades (as most actually do) you will end up with twice as many streaks as aperture blades since no overlap will occur. Source: Starburst Effects.


  3. milkayphoto says:

    WOW, Scott – really great shot! I do see what Carsten is getting at…perhaps a bit of shading in the lawn areas would make the stairs pop more and be a stronger line up to the building. I also might want to see that building on the right be less noticeable – perhaps a bit of moody vignette-ing would resolve that as well as that bit of foliage sticking out in the top foreground? For a campus, you’ve managed to create a real spooky, movie-like ambience! 🙂


  4. Deanna says:

    From the other side of the room, my 9 y.o. daughter says it doesn’t look real, like something out of a book. She reads a lot of fantasy, so I think that’s a good thing. Love those bursts and the angle and comp. Captivating photo. I also don’t think I took time to mention that the Lincolns turned out great.


  5. Carsten and Tracy,

    I do see what you are both saying. Post-processing is still my weakest skill. Aperture 3 now has Curves and the ability to adjust not only illumination but each primary color including green. Will try the vignetting idea, too.


    • Carsten says:

      You have improved your fine image Scott. The contrast range in the 2nd image underlines the light from the starbursting lamps and brings ‘dynamic’ in to the scene.


  6. Karma says:

    Those starbursts were what caught my eye first; I love them. For me they are actually the focus of the whole picture.


  7. You know I’m a sucker for snow pictures, but this is really nice, too. LOVE The starbursts!


  8. pearlz says:

    That’s awesome thanks for talking so much about the technique, so much to learn about photography!


  9. montucky says:

    I like the starbursts! This is a wonderful follow-up to the previous one with all of the snow! Seems like it was yesterday!


  10. Gerry says:

    I like the starbursts–I’m very fond of pretty, shiny things. I like unreality, too, although it’s not usually what I’m after. Sometimes the question is: What do you want to achieve with this particular image? Depending on the answer, I can tell you whether I think you got there.

    I think the higgledy-piggledy stairs are very interesting, and I fully intend to steal them somehow.


  11. giiid says:

    I am expecting to see a princess arriving any moment, ready for the long walk up the stairs to the castle,- and hopefully a charming prince.
    I like the starbursts too. Very nice.


  12. Nye says:

    I love the starbursts, they look so cool. And the second photos has a nice and warm touch, not spooky at all.


  13. Love the starbursts and I do like the second photo way better, it’s more dramatic. 🙂


  14. milkayphoto says:

    MUCH more drama in the second image! Those starbursts really POP now! The building is defintely saying, ‘Come, now, my pretty!’ 🙂 Well done!


  15. Anna Surface says:

    I really like how you processed this image and the starbursts…. very dramatic. I don’t have Aperture 3; however I do have three processing programs that I use and can adjust the curves and channels as in Aperture 3 in either of these in a variety of ways. I’m still experimenting with all that, of course. And one can spend a lot of time adjusting to see what the effect looks like… LOL Oh, flying monkeys with this image would work! 🙂


  16. davecandoit says:

    This is totally kickass, Scott. If made to choose I’d pick the second one, but both are great. I love these sorts of shots. I really need to dial up my HDR.


  17. Superb capture with those steps leading you right in to the image, and I have to agree that the starbursts really do add that extra element of goodness…


  18. Pingback: View 137: Summer Knowledge « Views Infinitum

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