Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Toward Heaven

To start things off, here is a photograph I took this past weekend at the annual Greek Festival in Greenville, South Carolina. This is the dome of the St. George Greek Orthodox Church that hosts the festival every year. It is one of their major fundraisers.

Photon Talk: This isn't the greatest photograph of a church ever, but I liked it. It was also one of those "happy accidents" that sometimes happens. The accident was in when I adjusted my circular polarizing filter. I framed the dome for a symmetrical composition and exposed off of the white cupola. I then adjusted my circular polarizer until the sky when dark and snapped the picture. I did this as we were walking across the street and herding my seven-year old son. What I didn't realize at the time was that I had locked the exposure before adjusting the polarizing filter. You usually adjust the filter first so that your exposure doesn't get borked (That is one of the many technical terms I love to use, btw.) Well, when I opened the picture I was surprised that the sky was black. Not dark blue like I thought I'd gotten, but black like night. The neat thing about it though, at least as far as I was concerned, was that the cupola and crusifix seemed to glow against the constrasting dark sky.

Pixel Talk: What I did to process this was to use Nikon Capture NX to place a few color control points to reduce the glare on the dome, and to brighten the sky a bit so there was more of a deep, royal blue tone to it. An unsharp mask for a touch of sharpening finished it off.

Photon Tip: So, the take away from this for me? Experiment with your filters and exposure sequence. You might bork the shot, or you migh get something unexpectedly neat.

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