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Photography Larry Malvin

Chicago Image-Enhanced City Series

These Chicago image-enhanced photos are a mixture of HDR photography and specific software plug-ins that create a painted and gritty look to the photographs. High Dynamic Range is a process of shooting two or more images of the exact same scene (or double processing one image) and combining them to produce one high quality image with a full tonal range to fully capture much of the tonal variation in a contrasty scene, such as a bright sky with deep foreground shadows.

The process involves photographing a scene with a variety of exposures to fully capture the tonal range and the combining the images in Photoshop to eventually produce one correctly exposed image. Then a specific filter is applied to the image to produce a painterly effect, making sure that certain details are somewhat preserved, such as windows of buildings or lettered signs. A second filter is then applied to created a highly detailed, gritty look to bring out all the elements in the scene. Not all images receive the same filter enhancement; the scene dictates what kind of gritty effect is required, whether it be more detail, saturation, contrast or brightness. The process can take up to a few hours of refinement to get the exact effect that is required. In the end, the result is a familiar subject with a surreal flair.

Click on a photo to view the gallery

Buckingham Fountain at Dusk Navy Pier Lake Michigan Sunrise Rainy Evening at the Bean Red Sky and Bench from North Avenue Buckingham Fountain at Dusk Skyline and sidewalk along Chicago River Lincoln Park Lagoon and Skyline Buckingham Fountain Red Colors Balloon View from Navy Pier Skyline and red sunset from North Avenue Lagoon and walkway at Lincoln Park Zoo "Old" Wrigley Field - Cubs vs. Sox Chicago Theater at Night Riverside Dining along Chicago River Navy Pier Sunrise Chicago Skyline and joggers Lurie Garden and Chicago Skyline Chicago River and Downtown Buildings at Night Chicago Theater Auditorium Skyline and flowers from Shedd Aquarium Lake Point Tower from AeroBalloon Chicago River and Architectural Tour Boats Chicago Theater Stairway Chicago Theater Lobby Chicago Theater Auditorium Trump Tower and Riverside Walkway Kinzie Street Bridge