A Nostalgic View of the Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado taken from the beach treated with a nostalgic black and whiteCanon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS USM at 50mm, f/8 for 1/125s at ISO 100


The Hotel del Coronado first opened in 1888 during a time when similar grand luxury hotels were being developed across the nation. The building itself is an all wood Victorian style structure and is one of the largest of its kind in California. From the 1920’s through the 1950’s it was a popular destination for dignitaries, celebrities and Hollywood movie stars. In addition, several movies were filmed here, the most famous being “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe. The Hotel has seen the roaring twenties, been through prohibition and has survived the Great Depression. This rich past during a bygone era is what inspired me to make the photo above.

How to get this type of shot

The photo was taken from the beach () facing the Hotel at high noon with a polarizer to both darken the sky and reduce reflections coming from the building itself and the sand on the beach. I used a f-stop of f/8 since this is where the lens is its sharpest, and I wanted to capture all the fine detail of the hotel. To finish the photo, I used a black and white treatment with an antique tint to give the entire scene a nostalgic feel.


Beach Near the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California (Coordinates: 32.679007,-117.179222)


10 thoughts on “A Nostalgic View of the Hotel del Coronado

  1. nicely done…your processing efforts have been rewarded! b & w is becoming a fave of mine…architecture such as this is always impressive to me!

    • Heather, thanks for kind words. I have been trying to do more B&W. My first B&W that I posted a couple of weeks ago was a conversion without the conversion in mind when I took the image. This image on the other hand was shot with this type of conversion in mind.

      • you have a great eye…I’ve not reached the stage where I know if a shot would look great b & w…it is simply experimentation of shots I’ve taken…some work, some don’t…

  2. An interesting and iconic building. I am not a big fan of b&w, but for this sort of shot it is very appropriate and almost timeless – I say almost as the presence of the couple on the beach are at once a scene setting reference point and a little bit of a distraction too. Maybe it is just me, but I prefer buildings without people in front of them. ;)
    Still a great shot and I like the way you vary your locations and subjects.

    • Thanks for the comment and for stopping by. I really think the couple on the beach adds to the image and helps balance the hotel. If I picture the image without the couple, it feels incomplete to me. Also, I like how they are sunbathing and it really gives the feel of summer.

  3. The processing is very befitting for the subject. The architecture looks amazing.
    I think the people on the beach do add to the image. Without them you would have a lot of blank foreground.

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