Palacio de Monserrate - Portugal





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Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 2Top 10 class
Image Of The Month Photo Contest Vol 2Top 10 class week 1


Behind The Lens

This is a photo of the central hallway of the Montserrate Palace in Sintra, Portugal. This palace is truly a photographer's paradise, not only because it's an architectural jewel but also due to its setting among wonderful gardens.
I took this photo around mid-afternoon of a sunny day. I remember having some difficulty with exposing the scene correctly as light was pouring in from the large window at the end of the hallway.
There was a superb play of light everywhere inside the palace, especially in this magnificent hallway. As you can see, the light defines perfectly the intricate details of the arches, walls and columns and contributes to confer a 3-D feel to the photo.
I used a Nikon D90 with a 18.0-270.0 mm f/3.5-6.3 Tamron lens set at 18 mm. I didn't use a flash nor a tripod. I was very lucky to get this picture without anyone around since there were a constant flow of visitors that day.
I love architectural photography and am attracted to what I call "old stones" like cathedrals, castles, antique ruins and the like. While the palace is not very old - it was built in 1858 - it was constructed in the Mozarabic style used several centuries ago. Obviously, I took many pictures of the palace, both inside and outside.
I took the picture in raw format and processed it with Photoshop to enhance the contrast, balance the light and saturate the colors. There were no HDR processing involved.
In my camera bag
I usually carry a very light bag since I prefer traveling light... and confess being a bit lazy when it comes to carrying equipment for an outing :) Apart from my old but faithful Nikon D90, I mainly use a 18.0-270.0 mm f/3.5-6.3 Tamron lens and a 10.0-20.0 mm f/3.5 Sigma lens. I also have a tripod that I seldom use and keep telling myself that I should use more...
Start looking at things with a photographer's eye. It took me a while, but when I look at anything now - landscape, building, street scene, whatever - I automatically try to see if the light, the balance between the various elements or the scene as a whole would make a good picture. Also, always be ready to shoot as you may never have another opportunity. In the photo above, my window of opportunity for shooting the hallway without anyone in the picture was less than 2 seconds!

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