a9 April 2013

Royal Palace in Madrid or 1 in a 1000

Royal Palace in Madrid
Click on the photo to view it in large size on black background.
Today a photo of Royal Palace in Madrid. Unfortunately it's not allowed to take photos inside it (and really it would make for some amazing images as the palace is absolutely beautiful!). I shared this photo in a few places already but I didn't post any story with it so far. And I would like to give an example of something via this photo.

When I approached Royal Palace during early sunset I knew it will make for a perfect location to take some blue hour photos (ok I knew it earlier but during sunset I finally came up with good composition). Lamps in front of it produce some orange light, Palace itself is lit using almost white lamps. Given that the sky during blue hour has deep blue colour I ended up having three layers of different colours of which two are complementary colours (orange and blue).

When taking such a photo there are two problems, however:
  1. Light during late sunset and blue hour changes very quickly so it's easy to miss the best light (and regret that afterwards).
  2. There were thousands of people walking in front of the palace what makes the photo less interesting, too crowded and generally not good.
Normally to solve 2. I should try taking this photo during sunrise. The problem was mornings were rather rainy during my stay. What's more I really liked the idea of having remains of sunlight (manifested as brighter areas in the sky) in the frame. So instead I used slow aperture (f/16.0) and rather long exposure (0 EV photo had exposure of 3.2 seconds). This way I could blur motion easily what looks quite nice.

The first issue wasn't a real problem but to get the best light it required capturing a lot of images. The best light I could get was when the lamps on the palace weren't fully warmed up. So to get this very shot I captured something around 1000 photos (after around 200 my girlfriend seemed to be bored and around 500 a bit annoyed :) ). Quite a lot. Well, there are a few others I really like but this one is the best in my opinion.

People wondering in front of the palace seemed to be quite intrigued by the fact that I stay almost in the same place for more than half an hour and take photos. It's also funny how people actually react to photographers using tripods. A lot of them looked directly into the lens with expression of something like interest on their faces.

EXIF data:
Camera: Canon 5D MK II
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/16.0
Exposure time: 3.2 s ("middle" exposure)
ISO: 100
Number of exposures: 7
E.V. Step: 1
Flash used: no
Tripod: yes
Filters: no
Software: Magic Lantern 2.3, Photomatix Pro 4.2.6 (Details Enhancer), Lightroom 4.2, Photoshop CS6

Where was this photo taken:

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