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Friday, December 5, 2008

Market Square

I mentioned in yesterday's post that Market Square deserves a post of its own. There's a bit of mystery attached to Market Square. Here's a venue that appears to have everything going for it. It's all 19th century heritage brick that has been well-restored and it's located right on the edge of the heaviest tourist track. Yet it is largely deserted with many of its retail spaces empty and few long-time tenants. One tenant (now moved elsewhere) confided in me that the rent was so high it was difficult to make any money. But I suspect the problem has more to do with Victoria's weather. There is a local mind-set that refuses to recognize that Victoria is a cold place and persists in wondering why people don't throng to outdoor venues in mid-winter. The malls are full because they are warm and well-lighted. Put a transparent roof on this place and warm it up a bit and I'll bet it would begin to attract people. As it is....

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MKHansen asks in a comment on the above photo, "What did you do to this picture? - It looks almost like a painting." so I'll have to confess to doing a bit of post-processing with Photomatix HDR. While many people still don't like HDR processing, I become more enamored of it every day, though my use of it is still quite heavy-handed. To me, the HDR treated photo above looks more like what I was seeing when I took the photo than what traditional processing produces. In the (same) photo below, the left side is the normal digital output and while the right side has been processed with HDR. What I like about this is the way the HDR treatment rescues the blown-out highlights of the original and lightens the darker areas.

11 comments:

USelaine said...

I think you're on to something there, Benjamin. I wouldn't lower the rents, but it could bring out the people.

mkhansen said...

The very emptiness makes for an interesting photo.

What did you do to this picture? - It looks almost like a painting. (You can see I know nothing about photography.)

Janice and Gerald said...

I've just found your blog, and I am truly enjoying your photography as well as your commentary on Victoria.

Layrayski said...

Very interesting post! I would never have thought you used HDR postprocessing with this, which gives me an idea! Thanks Benjamin. =)

Babzy said...

thanks for the explanations !great shot ;)

mkhansen said...

Thanks, Benjamin, for the explanation and the illuminating 1/2 and 1/2 photo. It's interesting that the camera sees so differently from the human eye. (Also, we see with more than our eyes.) This is just sinking in for me.

Blossom said...

Yes, I see that the processing you did made quite a difference. Amazing. I love the warm tones of the brick buildings.

Thanks so much for stopping by and passing on some photography recommendations!

Amy

Chiara said...

That is very impressive!

Snapper said...

Mrs. Snapper and I love Market Square so it's disappointing to hear that businesses are struggling. Some of our fave shops and restaurants are located there.

paolo said...

outstanding work man ! very very nice.

Anonymous said...

Used to work in a magical African store there - was magical while it lasted - I was so busy managing the place that I forgot to take photos ... so thanks for this ... there is so much spirit and romance in those brick walls - hope it returns to its original purpose - a flower and veggie market ...