Church of St. Nicolas
As all photographers, I prefer to take my photos around sunset. But sometime, especially during winter months, the sunsets are quite boring. With a clear sky, they look mostly grey. So what I do, is I wait for the blue hour. Even with a clear sky, the blue is really stunning.
This is one of my older photos, still taken with the Canon 450D. You really can see the difference, when you look closely. The 5D mark II with the Canon lens makes much more sharper images.
What a place this is. When I first entered, I thought it was endless. The rows of pillars just repeat into the distance. It’s just stunning. And as I was there quite late (around 7 o’clock) it was completely empty. Just me and my camera. It was also a great place for HDR. If you look at the before/after comparison, you will see that the bottom part was quite dark, with the ceiling brightly lit. A perfect example for when to use HDR.
Returning to old places
I took a very similar photo about two years ago (this one - which one do you think is better?). But with the new camera I like to go back to my favorite places and try to take even better photos. And this is one of my favorite places for blue hour photos.
It’s not that close, as you have to walk across the bridge from the other side, continue a little further and then return back. And standing on the rocks near the water it’s also quite dangerous and cold. But I think it’s worth it.
The sunset was quite colorless, as the sky was very clear. So I knew I had to wait for the blue hour, to take a nice shot. I used 7 brackets here, trying to capture the Bratislava castle without it being blown out. For anyone interested in my Photomatix HDR tonemmaping settings, check out my Facebook Fan page. I posted a screenshot, taken right before clicking on process.
Looking up in the Almudena Cathedral
I think I spend at leas one hour in the Almudena Cathedral. If my friends weren’t waiting for me, it would be many more. It’s a really nice cathedral, with endless possibilities for HDR photos. It’s also a nice example of a very high dynamic range. I went with 6 shots here, from -2 to +3, taken in two series (one -2,0 and +2, the second at -1,+1,+3). But this was still not enough. As you can see in the windows, the light coming from outside is still too strong, so you can’t see any detail in the windows. If I had the Promote Control remote when I took this, I would go at least from -4 to +4.