Tag Archives: architecture

Cloud Cover Over Hong Kong’s Chi Lin Nunnery

Singapore Skyline at Blue Hour

I just couldn’t escape the clouds during my time in Hong Kong, they were everywhere! And while it would have been nice to see some sunshine, they did at least provide a dramatic backdrop for some photography at the Chi Lin Nunnery.

I spent a good while in this spot waiting for the best moment to get a shot without many people in. Almost every time I was about to click the shutter another large group would enter through the front door! So I would just sigh and wait another few minutes for them to wander through.

Eventually it all came together, and I even managed to keep my camera straight whilst rushing for the shot! This was the most peaceful place I visited in the city of Hong Kong, the striking contrast to the cityscape behind impossible to ignore.

Walkways Over Hong Kong’s Central Business District

Central Business District, Hong Kong

After exploring the Central-Mid-Levels Escalators in Hong Kong I came across this fantastic overpass on the way back to my hotel. There are plenty of these throughout the network of raised walkways that connect many of the buildings in the central business district.

It’s a great place for night photography, and with the sun setting around 1740 in Hong Kong this time of year there’s no excuse not to give it a try! A scene that may look pretty dull during the day can be completely transformed with artificial lighting at night. From a photographer’s perspective it’s like exploring an entirely new location!

I was a little disappointed at first with the lack of symmetry here, but I think that it adds an element of intrigue to the image. At first glance you almost expect the walkway to be symmetrical, and the fact that it isn’t makes you look again. That’s how I see it anyway!

Inside Geneva’s St. Pierre Cathedral

St Pierre Cathedral, Geneva

In modern times Geneva is probably best known for its association with the United Nations and the Swiss banking industry. But back in the 1500’s it was considered the “Protestant Rome”, the unofficial capital of the Reformation.

St. Pierre’s Cathedral was the adopted church of John Calvin, a leader of the movement away from the Catholic church. Protestant exiles from all over Europe came to Geneva to take refuge, so while it’s not the most interesting church to look at it’s certainly historically significant.

I always enjoy exploring the geometry inside cathedrals like this. There are so many different ways to frame a shot, with crazy lines all over the place. I’ve found one of the most effective techniques is to try and use features of the interior to frame other elements in the shot. This normally provides some nice depth to the image from front to back.

Finding Peace In The Jerónimos Monastery

Cloister, Jeronimos Monastery

Just as impressive as the adjoining Church of Santa Maria, the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon was a sight to behold. With fantastic photo opportunities in every direction, the distinctive gothic style was as awe-inspiring as I had ever seen.

I felt a great sense of peace exploring the monastery. But looking back through my photos, the juxtaposition between its intimidating architectural style and the peaceful setting inspired by its environment is intriguing.

This shot was taken in the cloister, a beautiful courtyard surrounded by an ornate two-storey gallery. There were many great angles looking through the decorative arches towards the bell tower. This was the best I could find after walking around both floors of the gallery.

Open Doors Of Lisbon Cathedral

Open Doors, Lisbon Cathedral

Something about these doors of Lisbon Cathedral really grabbed my attention. The whole scene was rather ominous even in the bright light of day. I’ve visited many cathedrals throughout Europe but I’ve never seen an entrance quite like this one.

I had to wait a while to get this shot free of other tourists, but standing in the beautiful Lisbon weather was such a pleasure I didn’t mind at all. In May it offered the perfect combination of heat with a nice breeze, and I wouldn’t hesitate to return again at that time of year.

This shot has been sitting in my “To Publish” queue for a while so it’s processed exclusively in Lightroom. Having just started looking at Photomatix I might try and give it the HDR treatment too. I always think that effect works quite nicely with architecture shots!

With Gothic Style

Church of Santa Maria, Lisbon

Probably the most memorable tourist attraction we visited in Lisbon, this shot was taken in the Church of Santa Maria which adjoins the Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos). I really loved the ceiling in this place! I just couldn’t stop looking up, and had quite a sore neck by the time we left.

Since I didn’t have a tripod on this trip there was some substantial noise in the image. I tried to get rid of it as best I could using a combination of Lightroom and Topaz DeNoise. Actually I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let me in with a tripod anyway, as seems to be the case with just about every church I’ve ever visited!

In The Shadow Of A Palace

Grand Palace, Amsterdam

I really struggled to capture the presence of the Grand Palace in Amsterdam. Occupying one end of the popular Dam Square it must be almost impossible to get a shot during the day without a whole bunch of people in it. I quickly decided I’d have to try some different angles.

Generally I find it hard to photograph large, monumental buildings like this. It’s very difficult to translate that feeling of standing beneath them in an image. But I was pretty happy with the composition of this shot, and think it conveys a good sense of the looming inevitability of such grand architecture.

I did feel that it was lacking some impact in colour. Along with a boost to the clarity I used the “Antique” preset in Lightroom to bring out the details and provide a bit more contrast.