Heartbreak Hotel by billyboy

Framed Prints

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Small 8.0" x 8.5"
Medium 12.0" x 12.7"
Large 16.0" x 16.9"
Note: Image size. Matboard and frame increase size of final product


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2358 views, 70 faves, 26 features, 8 challenge wins – June 2013

Featured in:

Artists Universe
European Everyday Life
Before and After Group
The X Factor
High Quality Images
Art Universe
The Best of RedBubble
Stairs and Staircases
The Virtual Museum
The group
Bubbling Challenge Group
Neon Heaven
Shadows and Reflections
Featured for a Challenge
The Silky Touch
Amateur Photographer`s Association
Inspired Art
Superbly Visual
Stairs Steps Staircases
Pixellations – The Art of Photoshop
Shapes & Patterns
Tell Your Photo Story

Don’t know how many times I stayed at the Achat Hotel near the airport in Frankfurt, Germany before I finally got a picture of their neon sign.

This a was actually about 20 years ago… stumbling back from a ‘good night out’, I’d said goodbye to everyone I was trying to impress with my cool, switched to super-geek mode, and went to my room and fished out the SLR and tripod (being a natural-born geek I never travel without that stuff natch)…

Not normal at all around that area to set up a tripod in front of a hotel at 2AM… but geeks don’t care about stuff like that. So I reeled off a couple of shots. And as this was taken on film, I wouldn’t know how crap these shots had turned out till I got the reel developed after I got back to Brussels, complete with 3,250 dust specks….

So now, 20 years down the road and with the aid of a neg scanner and a bit of digital pulling and stretching and tone adjustment and stuff, this is a cropped version which I think does this amazing facade justice. Finally.

Canon EOS-100
EF 24-80 USM lens
Fuji Reala 100 ISO
Canon FS2710 negative scanner


A Night Somewhere – Neon Signs
Light Up My Life – With Some Neon
Featured For A Challenge – Postcard Style 005
Diners, Drive-ins, and other Roadside Attractions – My My This Caught My Eye
Shapes and Patterns – Shapes and Patterns in Neon
Just Fun – Lights At Night
Snaptacular – Here’s Your Signs
Which Way – Winding Staircase Upward


Bubbling Challenges – Genetics – DNA
Cee’s Which Ways Group – Fire Escapes
Shadows and Reflections – Shadows and Staircases
Stairs Steps Staircases – Your Choice
Stairs Steps Staircases – Wrought Iron
5000 + Views – Less Than 5000 Views
Stairs, Steps, Staircases – Wrought Iron and Steps
Cover Shots – Stepping Up
Light Up My Life – Lighting at Night

Thanks for lookin’ :-)

Framed Prints

neon, spiral, stairs, hotel, sign, blue, yellow, facade

All Products

neon, spiral, stairs, hotel, sign, blue, yellow, facade


  • Redviolin
    Redviolinalmost 4 years ago

    Its FANTASTIC Billy…LOve everything about it…the shape of the repetative stairs and their shadows….the composition …so interesting and balanced. the lighting and colour…….there is something very special about this image….perhaps its the photographer.

  • Amazing how some of my best stuff is after I’ve been for a ‘good night out’ and got totally legless (hence the need for the tripod:-)
    So yeah, I guess there is something special about the photographer…
    Nothin that a strong pot of coffee and an Alka Seltzer won’t cure!!

    Thanks so much for coming by and pointing out the cool stuff and faving this Chrissie, cause I dig that even more than you makin’ stuff :-))

    – billyboy

  • Redviolin
    Redviolinalmost 4 years ago

    LOL…knew you wouldnt be able to take the compliment without making jest with yourself….how do I know you so well.????…lol…
    Well I’ll have to do it more often…and make stuff less…lol…..it would be my pleasure

  • No… PLEASE… don’t make less stuff !!
    Jeeze I should keep my yap shut…

    – billyboy

  • Pascale Baud
    Pascale Baudalmost 4 years ago

    wow !!! love your treatment !!

  • Cheers Pascale!
    I searched all over Belgium for a sign like this… gotta love them Germans:-)
    Gros bisous!

    – billyboy

  • linaji
    linajialmost 4 years ago

    goodness… you are creating a new finish to an old image (there is definte meanings to this heheh). What incredible things we can do in this day and age and you in particular!! I am amazed!

  • Yup, gonna keep on lookin through my negs till I come across a decent subject to shoot… maybe next vacation I’ll find a rocket launch at the cape or a tornado down in the pan handle or somethin’. I’m even stoopid enough not to run :-)
    Cheers for stopping by and for favin’ !!

    – billyboy

  • carol brandt
    carol brandtalmost 4 years ago

    well you certainly did the place justice 20 years after the shoot lol!! great image, brill resurrection billy … love that comp, the double stairs shadows, the glow of the lights, the 2am feel .. great done :))

  • Thanks Carol, and ya know what? I emailed the low rez version to the hotel… so they can pay me a shitload of dosh for putting it on their brochure and I can finally buy that 5DMKII with a whole set of L-series lenses after 20 years…
    Ooops, just dozed off there for a mo…
    Must be the 2AM feel coming back. Your comments are SUCH a catalyst :-)
    Cheers for the appreciation and the great done!!

    – billyboy

  • Yhun Suarez
    Yhun Suarezalmost 4 years ago

    brilliant comp Billy!!! i love the colours too and the processing!!!

  • Thanks Yhun!
    I always felt there was something in the original… I actually had it printed as a poster at the time ON REQUEST!
    Think I’m kinda obliged now to give her a copy of this version for free. Just feels like the right thing to do:-)
    Cheers for the fave mate!!

    – billyboy

  • mikepaulhamus
    mikepaulhamusalmost 4 years ago

    truly excellent….

  • Many thanks Paul, what’s the weather like Jersey today??
    Hope it’s not as sticky as here… 90° F in Brussels, and it’s only beginning of June!

    – billyboy

  • SandraRos
    SandraRosalmost 4 years ago

    Extremely interesting and beautiful capture !! The colors is magnificent

  • Hiya Sandra!
    It’s so cool to be able to re-work film images and bring back the color the way it actually was. Shots like this were always difficult with film cause when you used a filter to deal with neon and flourescent, areas lit with other kinds of light came out wrong.
    It’s been awesome going through the old negs!
    Thanks for the interest, and for the fave!!

    – billyboy

  • Virginia Shutters
    Virginia Shuttersalmost 4 years ago

    And my husband says I’m a packrat for keeping all these files on my computer for years! Seriously, this shows how much perseverance can pay off in the end. Excellent work, Billy!

  • Cheers Virginia, you know the road to hell is paved with unpacked rats…
    OK, don’t know where that came from…
    I actually wish I had all those original shots on my PC. Holding negatives up to the light and seeing 5 that look exactly the same… which one to choose…? And then you gotta scan them…
    Maybe I shoudl send all my negs and slides off to China and have them all done in one shot on a massive USB stick :-))
    Thanks for understanding the virtue of packratting, and for digging the pay off !

    – billyboy

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyalmost 4 years ago

    A marvellous work, Billy! Great composition and a lovely bit of tweaking that really pulls up the best. It’s amazing how many dust mites collect, no matter how carefully we store our negs and slides, isn’t it?

  • Hiya Mike, nice to see ya!
    Thanks for the appreciation… as regards the dust mites, it would probably only have taken me 5 mins to clone them out well enough to post here.
    But that’s not me. I zoom to 100 % and do all 3,250 of ‘em.
    Which is probably why I’m wrong to avoid seeing a shrink :-)
    And cheers for digging the comp & tweak !!

    – billyboy

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