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― Architecture CritiqueInside Barcelona Cathedral

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minniev
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Inside Barcelona Cathedral

Post by minniev » Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:18 pm

One of the hardest things to photograph for me is the interior of an old cathedral. You can't use flash (I don't think it would help anyway), tripods are forbidden so you're stuck with handholding, they are VERY dark, necessitating high ISO so there's a ton of noise and the windows get blown out. They are immensely tall, creating shooting challenges and all kinds of distortion. And, they're very popular destinations so there's always hundreds of people milling around every which way. You have to crop above their heads or somehow include them in the image. The lighting is always challenging. This one has very yellow lighting inside, perhaps to emphasize the many gilded art pieces.

Here's an effort. Please share any ideas.
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Post by davechinn » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:11 pm

Cathedrals/churches have always been somewhat difficult to photograph based on your description of no flash or tripod allowed. High ISO is a solution, if you can accept the noise. I love stained glass windows but don't always get an opportunity to capture them. Although, it appears you were able to walk away with a good photo, even with all the busybodies exposed.
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PietFrancke
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Post by PietFrancke » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:02 pm

very cool... no ideas to offer except perhaps very wide lens pointed up resting on a purse or beanbag.

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minniev
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Post by minniev » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:51 pm

davechinn wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:11 pm
Cathedrals/churches have always been somewhat difficult to photograph based on your description of no flash or tripod allowed. High ISO is a solution, if you can accept the noise. I love stained glass windows but don't always get an opportunity to capture them. Although, it appears you were able to walk away with a good photo, even with all the busybodies exposed.
I was into a high ISO here, so had quite a bit of noise removal adding to the troubles. It is always a devils bargain! Thanks for looking in.
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minniev
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Post by minniev » Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:55 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 11:02 pm
very cool... no ideas to offer except perhaps very wide lens pointed up resting on a purse or beanbag.
I did try some like that (no beanbag, just handheld), and didn’t take my extra wide angle. This particular cathedral was harder than most because right smack in the middle is a big raised section that you can’t get on top of, so it blocks the wide views I usually try to get. I took some of the wonderful flying buttresses but they are all segments. It was better to look at than take pictures of.
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Post by Duck » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:24 am

Depending on the church and the time of day, you may get permission to use a tripod. You just have to ask. The worst they can say is no. Typically the use of a tripod is restricted due to safety hazards when there are a lot pf people about. Smaller, less touristy locations don't mind tripods as long as you keep your activities respectful and unobtrusive. At the last resort, most places do allow the use of monopods as they don't pose the same trip hazards a tripod does. I own one that has mini retractable legs at the base that allows the monopod to stand unassisted. You just can't leave it alone.

As for lens choice; with the aid of a tripod or monopod, the choices are limitless and dependant on what your desired end results are. Wide to normal work best for grand sweeping vistas of the architecture but a telephoto lens is ideal for picking out the details normally not seen. In many of the churches and cathedrals I have been in I will also do both vertical and horizontal panoramas in order to get the full effect.

For areas with backlit stained glass windows. you may have to resort to bracketing your exposure and tone mapping the images later. Tone mapping is also a great way of pulling out a lot more detail from wood or stone textures found in the interiors of many of these beautiful locations.
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