Marin Center Dome

Marin Center Dome

Marin Center Dome, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

This dome in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin Center presented a nasty exposure problem. The bright California late afternoon sun lit the sky (and, by the way, made the dome impractically hot). But the depths of the dark courtyard garden were lost in shadow.

Even the magic of exposure range within a single RAW capture couldn’t bridge this gap.

So I exposed twice, once for the sky at 1/15 of a second, and once for the garden at 2/5 of a second. For the arithmetically challenged among us, this is a 6X difference, to which of course you can also add the internal RAW latitude within each exposure.

An interesting side effect of the two exposures at differing shutter speeds: the people on the left are shown blurred from the 2/5 of a second longer exposure, while the businessmen on the right are relatively crisp at a 1/15 of a second. It’s weird enough to see ordinary business people in this fantastic and impractical civic center (it’s used as county offices, jail, and so on) without adding a variety of motion effects. (You can see the people better in the larger version.)

Other Marin Center images: Wright Stair 2; Wright Stuff; Wright Stair.

[Nikon D300, 10.5mm digital fisheye, 1/15 of a second and 2/5 of a second; both exposures at f/22 and ISO 100, tripod mounted.]

This entry was posted in Photography, San Francisco Area.

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