I shot both of these with my 18-135 mm lens, in RAW, manual mode, f/13; wb shady, ISO 200. Bottom photo is at ss: 1/40; 28 mm. The top photo was at 44 mm, ss: 1/160.
I needed to do very little in photoshop with these. I slightly increased the saturation, slightly, sharpened, and that was it. I might play with them a little more later, using an action to pop the colors in the top one a bit.
This is the Eternal Flame at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. It represents the eternal quest for knowledge.