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The Quire of St Paul's Cathedral in London

by Stewart Marsden 


Pentax K5 (Silver Edition)  .  SMC Pentax-DA 10-17mm  .  f3.5-4.5  .  Fish-Eye ED [IF]

St Paul’s Cathedral is perhaps my favourite building in London. It’s an awesome power house of architectural design and engineering. Its Dome can be seen for miles and is instantly recognisable, it’s truly an icon of London.

The Quire is a very large space with comparatively little light in it. What light there is comes from of an abundance of small lamps and a couple of chandeliers which create great ambience. A side effect of such lighting is the huge dynamic contrast between the brightest details and the darkest corners. Once I had settled on a composition with the camera mounted on a tripod I calibrated for a bracketed shot, having first spot metered the scene to work out my exposure.

The 5 images were opened up in Lightroom and had some minor adjustments made to them before opening them as layers in PSCS6. I did blend the exposures using luminosity masks to bring in the details of the highlights and details. It’s a simple yet very powerful tool for isolating various sections of an image, based on how bright or dark they are. Once a balanced image was created, some local contrast adjustments were made using Color FX Pro 4.