Yesterday was San Sebastián Cathedral, today we are in Bordeaux. If only…….
Bordeaux Cathedral really is a spectacular space to photograph.
The outside was difficult to photograph as there were buildings quite close by and it is a big building. A very big building indeed.
If only I had that Canon 11-24mm lens. Check out this link and dream like me….
I was restricted to 17mm.
17mm is pretty wide.
So to be honest the external shots were not great. But then I went inside. I went up the tower and had great views of the city of Bordeaux, which was nice.
But it was the inside that blew me away. A stunning, breath-taking internal space.
This picture was taken using my good old Canon 6D and Canon 17-40mm lens. I used an ISO of 1000, and captured three images using exposures of 1/80th, 1/20th and 1/320th of a second, all at F8’ handled, using the AV Mode.
The cathedral was packed, so I used the top tip known only to photographers, of pointing your camera up a little so there are no people. I still got the great space, even if there is no floor, so the shot still works really well.
I wanted to convey the scale of the space, the textures and details which would have taken years to craft by hand, and the light – both natural and artificial. This image is a combination of the two stop over and two stop under exposed images, merged using the fantastic HDR Merge feature in Adobe Lightroom. If you haven't tried this yet go and take some bracketed images and then have a go at merging them together in Lightroom – it is easy to do after a little practise. You can download Lightroom here http://www.adobe.com/uk/products/photoshop-lightroom.html and try it free for 30 days.
If you need any help in using this feature, then just get in touch and I will gladly help out – just head over to my home page at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
The HDR image was processed in Lightroom, and the image cleaned up in Photoshop.
This is the image that is in my colour portfolio. And this image I sent over to Nik Silver Efex Pro from Lightroom where I carried out the following to create the black and white image you can see in this post.
Firstly, the presets.
I chose the Fine Art Process preset. Why? Because I liked the effect. It gave me the starting point I wanted for the image, knowing what else the wonderful Nik software could do.
The Yellow filter worked the best, the red being too strong, and the blue making the image look a bit odd!
I always adjust the dynamic brightness. In this image I pushed it to 34%, which accentuated just the lighter elements on the stained glass windows and the lights themselves, without lightening the darker areas.
I like to follow an increase in the dynamic brightness with a good old fashioned vignette. And I mean old fashioned. It really is a trick from the days of darkrooms, a way of subtly darkening the edges to make the centre of the image brighter and as a result of more interest to the human eye. The human eye is a clever thing, and is automatically drawn to the brightest part of a picture. This is a very important thing to remember.
So for this image I added Vignette Lens Falloff 1 - didn't want too heavy a vignette as I would lose the details in the lower arches.
Finally, I save the image back into Lightroom.
I hope that this all makes sense to you reading this post but I am assuming a degree of understanding of digital processing using Adobe Lightroom.
I am currently writing a series of articles about Adobe Lightroom, starting at the very beginning with what Lightroom is, why you would need it, what you can do with it and how do you physically get started.
A beginners guide to Adobe Lightroom.
I have found lots of information on the Internet on both Photoshop and Lightroom that always assumes a level of understanding. I remember going to my first photography show and sitting in one of the Photoshop classes and not having a clue what anyone was on about. It was not a nice feeling so I am going to go back to the very beginning.
Lightroom is much easier to understand than Photoshop thankfully – I use most of the features in Lightroom as and when needed but probably use about 5% of the features in Photoshop (if that much) as there is so much in there, so much to learn, and too much to work out for my simple head.
I appear to have gone off topic slightly, I was meant to be talking about my picture of the Bordeaux Cathedral, but this is not a problem as it is all relevant.
As I said at the beginning, this is one of my favourite interior photography shots, and I can't pick between the black and white and colour versions to be honest. The colour version has a lovely, subtle, atmospheric feel to it. The black and white version has more mood and depth of shadows with the brighter lights – this is the point I was trying to make earlier. Using the dynamic brightness to brighten the lighter parts of the picture, then adding a vignette to the edges, these two things help to extend the dynamic range within the image, giving the image a greater depth and range of tonality.
This technique works really well for interior photography of older buildings such as churches and cathedrals, where I want to get a feeling of mood in the picture.
That is my grand cathedrals sequence out of the way, and I can't wait for the next image, which is a black and white take on an image where the colours were very significant, so this should be an interesting image.
Make sure you come back to my blog tomorrow to read about this image.
Rick McEvoy Photography Blog
Saturday 8th August 2016