Over the Thanksgiving holiday our family was able to spend a couple of nights at the Broadmoor. Amy has always wanted to go there so it was a special event for us. And while the girls were shopping in the hotel, I was able to wander around with my camera.
My intention was to process all of the images as black and white but, as I started reviewing the photos picking out my favorites, I was captivated by the rich colors, especially with the glowing fireplaces and Christmas decorations.I did process a few black and white photos and may share them in a separate post, but I really fell in love with these color images.
As primarily a landscape photographer, I was absolutely astonished and captivated by the truly stunning collection of American Western artworks, especially the landscape paintings, on display throughout the hotel. The Anschutz Collection includes more than 300 originals and replicas installed by the current owner of the resort and include large-scale works by Albert Bierstadt, William S. Jennings, Thomas Moran, Maxfield Parrish, and many others.
Everything was shot on the Sony a6500 paired with the Sony Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 lens, an excellent combination that makes for a small package with excellent performance (if set up correctly-keep reading). Unfortunately, I made some mistakes when taking these photos. I applied perspective corrections to most of the images which inevitably forced me to crop out more of the photo than I wanted, so I should have taken a step or two back from most of my compositions or else tried to hold the camera perpendicular to the subject. More critically, I over-exposed the highlights in most of the images. This is not too noticeable in most of the photos featured here, but a couple of them are ruined by the blown highlights and if you are a photographer you will notice them immediately. I was so focused on keeping my shutter speed fast enough to get sharp images that I forgot to check if the exposure was too long. Even worse, for some reason I bumped the ISO up to 1600 on several images when I could have easily shot at 400-I guess I was in too much of a hurry and too much out of practice with my camera. Although the hotel is not dimly lit, I was shooting indoors at night with bright light sources in the scenes, and higher ISO severely impacts the camera’s ability to capture highlight detail. The worst part is that the blown highlights in several of my photos occur on the paintings that each have an art light above them. Next time I need to keep the ISO down and use bracketing to make sure I come away with a usable image to process. This kind of mistake is really infuriating to me because I do know better!
All of these images were processed in Lightroom on my iPad Pro. The new masking features that were added in the Fall 2021 Lightroom update have finally made it possible to fully process my photos on the iPad. I absolutely love being able to draw directly on a photo on the screen using the Apple Pencil but I was frustrated prior to this release because some of missing features (like luminance masking) are indispensable for my workflow.
I tried to apply a consistent style to all of these photos as I processed them. I wanted these images to convey the warmth and richness of the spaces inside this grand hotel and also capture the sense of nostalgia imbued by the historic paintings and old black and white photos of the resort from the early 20th century that are found in every hallway of the hotel. I used one of the Modern artistic profiles in Lightroom as the baseline for most of the photos and built on that through heavy use of local adjustments to emphasize key elements in each photo. And I tried to push each image just over the top without going too far-hopefully I pulled it off.
I hope you enjoyed this tour around the Broadmoor, and if you have a chance to go there, the visit is worth it just to see the incredible artwork in person.