Todays post is from the Salk Institute outside San Diego, California. Dr. Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies more than 40 years ago. His goal was to create an institute that would serve as a “crucible for creativity” to pursue questions about the basic principles of life. He wanted biologists and others to work together to explore the wider implications of their discoveries for the future of humanity. Salk engaged architect Louis Kahn to design the facility. Their vision and partnership resulted in one the most iconic and engaging works of modern architecture.
The plaza shot is one of the iconic views of the Institute. On the day I visited there was an overcast sky tht engaged the horizon just above the Pacific Ocean. The light was relatively flat and uninspiring. I did not have a tripod or my 20mm lens. Luckily I was able to get on a bench to get a little elevation over the water feature. I carefully centered myself and used the grids in my viewfinder to maintain perspective. Even so I had to do a little correction in Photoshop.
In order to capture the loneliness and stark duality between architecture, sea, and sky I used a neat blending technique in Photoshop. After RAW development I brought the image into Photoshop. From there I duplicated the background and set the blending mode to multiply. This introduced more contrast into the shot. I added a Black and White adjustment layer and used the sliders to to further accentuate some of the details. Final touches were achieved with a curves layer and a Mid Tone Contrast Layer set to Soft Light. This is a powerful work of architecture and to stand and look out into the infinity of ocean and sky was a special treat.