Hugo Rodriguez / Digital Imaging Expert & Landscape Photographer
The short answer is: yes, it can. But only under certain conditions...
It is true that the night has its magic and tends to show everything in the most attractive way. But, no, do not think that all things, even the ugliest ones can become attractive at night, just like that. In Spain we have a saying that says: “la mona, aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda” (translated will go like this: "the monkey, even dressed with silk, monkey remains”) which means that things are as they are, no matter how much you adorn themselves, even with silk, which was considered the most exquisite cloth many, many years ago.
I was in Montevideo, Uruguay, teaching a course of color management and a free morning I took a walk around the city and took some photos. I arrived at the famous Independence Square, a gigantic plaza presided over by a large statue and surrounded by a group of very different buildings, going from the modern to the most classic, passing by some very normal buildings. And there, among all of them, was this one that very much caught my attention without knowing very well why. The building is, I'll say it with a phrase we usually use around here: "ugly until to say enough." But at the same time it has something that pushed me to keep on looking at it constantly. I still do not know what it is, but I recognize that it has something that attracts me under its tremendous ugliness.
After taking several photos, I simply continued my walk around the city. When the sunset arrived, I was able to get some time to go out again and I thought to return to the square to take some panoramas. My surprise was big when I saw the appearance of that building in the twilight. Suddenly, as if by magic, it became very attractive and I did not stop looking for a way to take a good photo. The palm trees in front of me did not let me take the photo I was looking for, so I settled for this:
Once corrected the perspective, a little increase the contrast in the blacks and finished a couple of small touches here and there, the end result was this: