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Definitely best viewed in its largest size. Click the magnifying glass.


This is a view of Nickels Arcade that I've been wanting to get for a while, and the light was especially perfect on this night.

This is a shot of Nickels Arcade located near the campus of The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The shot was taken in mid afternoon so the ceiling would be illuminated. I think an early evening shot might be better since the lights would be on.


This is a handheld HDR comprised of 3 exposures. I set the autobracketing feature of my E-500 to take exposures 1 EV apart. I then processed the images using Photomatix and a little Photoshop to do some minor curves and sharpening work. Overall I like it, although I think the image has too much noise. I think there is also a bit of lens distortion, some of which I corrected, but some distortion remains.


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Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, Michigan. All photos © Jim Shoemaker. All Rights Reserved.

The parking meters were brand new, but one sees no traffic lights! This is a reproduction of a color slide that sold in an eBay auction in March, 2008. The photographer is unknown.

Click on "All Sizes" to view the larger version -- but even that one is not wholly satisfactory. This was sent a few years ago, by a member of the 1955 graduating class of Ann Arbor High School, to classmates, as part of an invitation to their 50th anniversary reunion. The original photo appears to have been in rough shape, with several creases visible in this scan. Alas, the quality of the scan is not ideal, either. Would anyone out there like to contribute a better copy of this photo (or any photo related to the State Street area) to be posted here?

Not that the rest of the trip wasn't great, but this place was so unique it was worth the drive just to see it. Arcades are not something you see often in Michigan.

Nickels Arcade; built ca. 1915-18; A. R. Cole and Company, architects.

I feel this arcade design is like a pre-WWII enclosed mall. The glass roof provides protect from Michigan's nasty weather and also light to make the place energy efficient. Best of all it is in the center of a commercial block with no seperate parking lot built for this place. It runs the entire length between State Street & Maynard Street so it is not only a shopping area but a short cut for pedestrians.

Nickels Arcade

State Street Ann Arbor, Michigan

The original shows significant distortion because the camera was tilted upward. This was easily corrected (with some loss of canvas) using the new "guided" control in the "transform" section of the latest Lightroom (June 9, 2016) update.

So clearly, art is not my strong subject. I'm a science and math girl. But I'm bored, waiting for kids to come home, it's raining outside, and NPR is depressing me over home loan bailouts. So this is what you get. :) bummer for you!! But I've alwayslike this picture- it was just too much distraction with the cops and lady, who were too much in focus..... I kinda like it this way. makes me feel like they're walking into something bright. I don't know- maybe it looks like a selective color gone bad .... :) ah well; it entertained me for a half hour :)

I've been feeling somewhat uninspired with my photography recently so I decided to try something new. I rented a 16mm fisheye and spent some time walking around Ann Arbor trying it out.


This shot was taken in Nickels Arcade on the edge of the University of Michigan campus. I liked the twin curves of the doorway and the ceiling created by the lens. I finished the processing by taking the image into Silver Efex Pro to convert the image to black and white. I used a modification of the 'antique' filter which created the sepia tone and vignette. I thought it was appropriate since the store in the image is an antiques store.




Copyright © 2010 James W. Howe - All rights reserved.


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Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor, Michigan


from Shu-Hung Liu at

street photography

I spotted this interesting classic car lampshade (right down my alley) in a store window while passing through the Nickels Arcade on

the University of Michigan campus here in Ann Arbor. Somehow I knew I needed to get a photo.

A favorite place in Ann Arbor filled with shops, a java joint, antique store, etc.


A little Ian Muttoo tilt works perfectly here!

I was looking through some old images to find any that I might want to 're-interpret'. I ran across this image of Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My original processing was done using 3 images as an HDR as seen here. I was never completely happy with that image, however.


In reprocessing, I tried a couple of different things. Instead of using Photomatix to create an HDR, I took two images, one exposed for the interior, one exposed for the skylights, and had Photomatix 'fuse' the exposures. I then did some additional tweaking in Topaz Adjust to give a bit more microcontrast to the image. I did some perspective correction and finished off with a couple black & white adjustment layers, some toning and added a bit of film grain.


I'm curious as to which image you prefer .


Comments welcome!


Copyright © 2009 James W. Howe - All rights reserved.


on Twitter @JamesHowePhoto

sitting at the counter at comet coffee

U of M students Aimee Garcia and Katherine Wilson drink coffee outside Comet Coffee in Nickels Arcade


Photo by James M Rotz for Michigan Engineering Communications and Marketing


"Nickels Arcade is a 261-foot long gallery or arcade which links State Street on the east with Maynard Street on the west in Ann Arbor. The principal facade faces onto State St. and is set into a row of two-story late nineteenth century and early twentieth century commercial buildings. It faces the northwest corner of the University of Michigan Central Campus. The State St. facade is faced and detailed with architectural terra cotta of classical design and consists of giant three-story, three-bay open portico flanked by store/office blocks. On Maynard St. the arcade is flanked by twentieth century structures. This facade faces a modern apartment/shops/parking complex across the street to the west. The Maynard St. facade is similar to the State St. facade in design, though the primary material used here is yellow brick, with ornamental detailing of terra cotta. Also, the bays of the Maynard St. portico are filled in with glass panels and doors in aluminum frames, all of recent construction. The gallery itself is roofed with a gable skylight of metal-framed wire-glass panels.


The Nickels Arcade, constructed between 1915 and 1918, is unique to Ann Arbor as an example of the small commercial "arcade" or gallery. As such, and because of its excellent physical integrity, this classically detailed structure is an important part of Ann Arbor's architectural history. Nickels Arcade was also an important expansion of commercial development along State Street, adjacent to the University of Michigan Central Campus. The project was implemented by Tom E. Nickels. The Nickels family has long been associated with Ann Arbor's business history."


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