3880 – Kaleidoscopic?

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Jun 042017

One way out of the dilemma with crowded churches is always to point the camera up.

That’s what I did. You see, due to the many narrow, clear windows directly below the ceiling, the church is remarkably well lit. I’m pretty sure that the strong artificial sun in the apex woudn’t have been necessary at all.

Jun 032017

Saint Vitus Cathedral is not a particularly beautiful church. I mean, it’s big, it’s old, it’s impressive, but it is not all too different from other big gothic cathedrals.

Among the things that stand out are the beautiful windows.

Most of them seem to stem from the 19th and early 20th century, but nevertheless they are gorgeous. I’ve taken images of a few of them, and thanks to DxO I could even pull out some detail of the shadows, without cutting off any highlights and without drowning in noise.

3878 – No, You Can’t Have It Empty

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Jun 022017

So you’ve made it through the queue, huh? And now? What have you expected? A cathedral all for yourself? With all the other people patiently waiting outside, until you’ve managed to take your pictures?

Forget about it. Well, actually it reminded me more than a little of the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Hmm, last time I was there, it was before my photographer days. I have no idea if you can even take photos there.

Anyway. Parts of the cathedral are off limits. You can go there, and although it is as if you were in a much smaller church, you can have that part all for yourself – for a few seconds, until the next photographer in line asks for his share 🙂

3871 – Saint Rochus in Strahov Monastery

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May 262017

Saint Rochus is something like the “spare church” in Strachov Monastery. It’s a gallery today and when I was there, they had classic modern paintings on display. Chagall, Ernst, that kind.

Well, the paintings were interesting, but what really fascinated me was the church with its blank, white walls. Mesmerizing.

3854 – Straight In Saint Nicholas IV

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May 092017

Yeah, I know, don’t tell me: I’m milking Saint Nicholas. At least this will be the last wide-angle image of the church 🙂

But then: isn’t it beautiful? It took quite some preprocessing, I’ve played a little bit with the colors, but basically that’s what it feels like to stand up there and looking across this gorgeous hall.

3853 – Straight In Saint Nicholas III

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May 082017

Today’s the 8th of May, for some among my fellow citizen still a controversial date. It’s the day Nazi Germany surrendered in 1945.

Almost every city has a street named after the date, but for many it was always seen as a Day of Defeat rather than the day Austria got back its freedom. Every year we still see functionaries of the so-called Freedom Party (FPĂ–) gather that day to “remember the victims”, which is a mostly a euphemism for remembering the “Good Old Days”.

3852 – Straight In Saint Nicholas II

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May 072017

Rectilinear lenses are so much easier to use than fisheyes. They exaggerate the corners, while the view through a fisheye comresses everything near the edges. This makes it much harder to compose precisely. A good viewfinder helps (and the E-M1’s is very good), but when viewing a fisheye image on the monitor, you’re almost guaranteed to find flaws.

Mar 102017

Pretty nice, right? Of course this is not a really old church. In a way these late 19th century churches, with their architecture always mimicking some historic style, could well be dismissed as kitsch, but on the other hand I like to think that a church does have a purpose as well.

If a church of roughly similar looks fit that purpose 800 years ago, I see no reason why the style shouldn’t fit the purpose today. Or, look at it this way, if we accept that Yellowstone can be the subject of images after Ansel Adams, why shouldn’t we accept Neo-Romanesque or Neo-Gothic architecture?

Anyway, I like churches to be bright, and this one surprised me pleasantly.

Nov 292016

Lavender is a hard test for your judgement and your honesty. It forces you to lie.

Make a Google image search for lavender. You immediately see amazing (and sometimes atrocious) colors, but much of what you see is a blatant lie. Lavender does not look like on Flickr, it looks more or less like … here in my images. Yes, two weeks later it may be stronger in color, but it is not that intense violet, that you so often see, and it’s not an intense pink either.

Lavender’s color is more modest. It is tempting to present it as something garish that it isn’t, but even if you can resist, your troubles are only just beginning. The problem is, that it looks very different, depending on the light and your position relative to the sun.

It’s easy to make the test: On a sunny day, for instance at 10 am, when the sun is already high but still directional, hold your car at a lavender field, take a few steps into it (being careful to stay between the rows and not to trample the flowers), and then take images in different directions. All those images will have been taken at roughly the same time, the difference will only be the direction of light and the amount of backlight.

All images will look vastly different. Some will look more “correct” and some less so. If you process all of them in the same way, you will have some that look grossly wrong.

What I did was trying to “harmonize” the images. That’s a euphemism for lying, of course, but – believe me – I’ve tried the alternatives and they are worse.