This is the National Aquarium located in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. I am assuming this is some sort of greenhouse type exhibit as I have never been in the place myself. It’s usually packed with people when I go and I tend to avoid crowds. They don’t understand that a photographic genius is at work and walk into my shots!
I took this as the sky was starting to go to black or as near as possible in a major city. No tripod so it was handheld but with spot metering I aimed at the brightest spot and hoped for the best. There are lots of different layers going on here with opacity and flow changes to get the look I wanted. I used Nik Color Efex Pro and the Contrast Pro filter along with Vibrance and Saturation. Then I brought it back in and used Intensify Pro to bring out details. Played with the flow until I got it where I wanted it. Then I used my cheap and tawdry layer to put the finishing touches on it.
I’ll come clean now.
The cheap and tawdry layer thing is nothing but a luminosity mask. In simple terms I create a black and white version of the image, knowing the colors of the image, mess with the opposite color so I bring out the luminous side of it then change the mask to luminosity and it then play with opacity and flow if you are in the mood till you are happy. It gives your colors vibrancy. It’s totally cheap and tawdry but works really well! You can watch the video on how to do it here. He uses Nik Silver Efex same as me but you can easily do it in Photoshop by duplicating the layer then switching it to black and white. Same principle.