St. Augustine, FL – Lightner Museum (HDR)

From the lovely town of St. Augustine, Florida across the street from Flagler College is the Lightner Museum.    While walking around downtown, I noticed this building.  I wanted to check it out.  As soon as you walk in there is a sign posted…”Photographers must make an appointment for portrait shots”.  Interesting I thought!  Possible a nice place inside?  You walk in from the arch straight ahead in the photo.  They have this lovely pond and garden in the middle of the building.  I can now see why the sign was posted.  I am certain brides and family portraits would be great here!  That cute little bridge in the middle of the pond is perfect!

As I was not shooting portraits, I snapped away a few HDR’s.  For this shot, I was on the ground getting my knees dirty.  I wanted the foreground to be the flowers leading into the water.  From above it was just ok…but ground level was nice!  I had to wait for a family taking photos on the bridge….I can imagine this spot is busy during the summer!!

Here is some info from the web:  The Lightner Museum is a museum of antiquities, mostly American Victorian, housed within a historic hotel building in downtown St. Augustine, Florida, USA. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The museum occupies three floors of the former Hotel Alcazar, commissioned by Henry M. Flagler to appeal to wealthy tourists who traveled there on his railroad, and built in 1887 in the Spanish Renaissance style. It was designed by architects Carrère and Hastings, who also designed the Ponce de León Hotel across the street (now part of Flagler College). Both buildings are notable as being among the earliest examples of poured concrete buildings in the world. These architects later designed the New York Public Library and the U.S. Senate office building.

The building is an attraction in itself, centering on an open palm courtyard with an arched stone bridge spanning a fishpond. The Museum is housed in the former health facilities of the hotel, i.e, the spa and Turkish bath, as well as its three-story ballroom.  The museum’s first floor houses a Victorian village, with shop fronts representing emporia selling period wares; a Victorian Science and Industry Room displays shells, rocks, minerals, and Native American artifacts in beautiful turn-of-the-20th-century cases, as well as stuffed birds, a small Egyptian mummy, model steam engines, elaborate examples of Victorian glassblowing, golden elephant bearing the world on its back, and a shrunken head; and a Music Room, filled with mechanized musical instruments—including player pianos, reproducing pianos, orchestrions, and others—dating from the 1870s through the 1920s.  The second floor contains examples of cut glass, Victorian art glass and stained glass work of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio. The third floor, in the ballroom’s upper balcony, exhibits paintings, sculpture, and furniture, include agrande escritoire created for Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, in the period 1806-1810.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 12.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22.0
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable Release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza