The story behind the photo I think is amusing. I took the photo around 9 PM on a weekday. I snapped off 5 images bracketed (-2 to +2) before security came up to me saying that I was not allowed to take photos using a tripod. This sounded ridiculous since I was the only person in a 1-mile radius besides the security guard. But I agreed to leave since I already had my shot. Walking back to my car, I had a present waiting for me on my front window under the wiper blade. It just so happened to be a $90 ticket from the LA Parking Enforcement for parking at a meter during the wrong hours. I felt like LA was out to get me. My salvation came when this photo won the “ThatNikonGuy June 2013 Night” photography competition on Flickr. The judging video was posted on YouTube and is quite long but the finalists begin at the 2 hr 17 min mark.
As said earlier, this photo is a 5-bracket image using the Nikon D800 and a Tokina 11-16 mm lens at f/5.0. The bracket ranged from 1.6 sec to 25.0 sec. I combined all the photos in Photomatix to generate a 32-bit Tiff and then using Adobe Camera Raw I was able to make adjustments on the HDR image to bring out all the details.