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Thread: Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

  1. #1
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    In terms of subject matter, these are probably some of my more predictable shots from Istanbul. Simple wide-angles of the Blue Mosque & Basilica Cistern. But as usual, if it's boring, apply HDR or flash gels. Advanced C&C welcome on all of these. I'm most interested in how I can improve the post-processing, since I think I'm working from pretty good raw materials.

    Blue Mosque ceiling. Tripod-stabilized HDR 7-shot composite to -3 and +3 stops with 11mm (17mm FF equivalent) lens.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Basilica Cistern. Right at the most touristy photo spot with the longest view down the columns. Re-took this about 5 times to avoid tourists whose P&S and cell phone flashes were going off everywhere. My tripod was confiscated at the door. Which is why there's always a large beanbag in my pack. Another 7-shot composite to -4.5 and +4.5 stops.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Corner of the Basilica Cistern. Enlisted my able assistant, sister, and fellow photographer Taylor to aim a remote flash, gelled solid blue (way darker than CTB) on manual, straight down onto the water.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    For anyone who might shoot at the Basilica Cistern, note that it's way dark and incredibly red in there. I was on manual white balance at 2500K (my camera's lowest temperature), and it still feels excessively warm. The dynamic range is crazy. My camera's DR is 11.5EV, and the HDR I took expanded that by 9EV to 20.5EV. The brightest photo still has underexposed areas, and the darkest still has overexposed areas. So the Cistern's full range is somewhere in excess of 20.5EV.

  2. #2

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    Re: Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    In terms of subject matter, these are probably some of my more predictable shots from Istanbul. Simple wide-angles of the Blue Mosque & Basilica Cistern. But as usual, if it's boring, apply HDR or flash gels. Advanced C&C welcome on all of these. I'm most interested in how I can improve the post-processing, since I think I'm working from pretty good raw materials.

    Blue Mosque ceiling. Tripod-stabilized HDR 7-shot composite to -3 and +3 stops with 11mm (17mm FF equivalent) lens.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Basilica Cistern. Right at the most touristy photo spot with the longest view down the columns. Re-took this about 5 times to avoid tourists whose P&S and cell phone flashes were going off everywhere. My tripod was confiscated at the door. Which is why there's always a large beanbag in my pack. Another 7-shot composite to -4.5 and +4.5 stops.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Corner of the Basilica Cistern. Enlisted my able assistant, sister, and fellow photographer Taylor to aim a remote flash, gelled solid blue (way darker than CTB) on manual, straight down onto the water.

    Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    For anyone who might shoot at the Basilica Cistern, note that it's way dark and incredibly red in there. I was on manual white balance at 2500K (my camera's lowest temperature), and it still feels excessively warm. The dynamic range is crazy. My camera's DR is 11.5EV, and the HDR I took expanded that by 9EV to 20.5EV. The brightest photo still has underexposed areas, and the darkest still has overexposed areas. So the Cistern's full range is somewhere in excess of 20.5EV.
    Awesome images.

    Your description of your technique is very informative, especially the HDR aspect ( 9EV to 20.5EV ).

    Thanks

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Very good captures under the circumstances Lex. I particularly like #2.

    Dave

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    Re: Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Very nice shots, especially the first two.

    I'm amazed that you were able to do HDR shots without moving the camera using a bean bag. I had planned to return to the Basilica Cistern a couple years ago with a flexible small tripod (can't think of the name of it) that will wrap around the wooden railing rather than sit on the floor. Unfortunately, my plans to return changed.

  5. #5
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: Istanbul: Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I'm amazed that you were able to do HDR shots without moving the camera using a bean bag. I had planned to return to the Basilica Cistern a couple years ago with a flexible small tripod (can't think of the name of it) that will wrap around the wooden railing rather than sit on the floor. Unfortunately, my plans to return changed.
    I believe you mean the Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom. I have one, and it's handy for remote cameras, but less stable than a beanbag. I aimed and stabilized my camera with the bag on the concrete floor, then sat down and planted my leg between it and any sources of vibration (tourists ). Triggered the camera with a wireless remote. I programmed Magic Lantern to take care of the bracketing. All that said, I did three sets, got nervous, returned ten minutes later, expanded the exposure range, and took two more sets. Total exposure time per set was north of five minutes, so you can see why I was nervous.

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