High-Key Post-Processing at the Guggenheim in New York City

Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite locations in New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. While we’re not shooting it on our upcoming NYC workshop, I strongly recommend you take the time to visit the museum, for both the architecture and the art.

The minimalist design by Frank Lloyd Wright is just stunning, especially inside. The building is organized around the round atrium and its spiraling gallery. I decided to focus on details, zooming in on the curves of the gallery.

Guggenheim Museum - New York, NY

Because the museum is almost completely white, I went with a high-key black-and-white look. To achieve this, shoot a little brighter than usual (use exposure compensation), without blowing out the highlights. Then, in post-processing, after converting to B&W, you can push the exposure and the shadows, while controlling the bright parts with the highlights slider. Add contrast and clarity to avoid washed out images.

Guggenheim Museum - New York, NY

The last time I was at the Guggenheim, I discovered an area I had not shot before: the museum store. There’s a part of the store where you can shoot looking up and get really interesting images.

Guggenheim Museum - New York, NY

I first went with a wide, symmetrical image, but then isolated one side of the spiral to make it more dramatic.

Guggenheim Museum - New York, NY

If you’re coming to our New York City workshop, we recommend you take at least an extra day or two to explore the rest of the city, including the Guggenheim. If you haven’t signed up for our workshop, we still have 2 spots open for Thursday/Friday, so hurry up!



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