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Florence Baptistry

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 31 August 2011 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Built between 1059 and 1158 the Battistero di San Giovanni is one of the oldest buildings in Florence.

To get this shot without the hordes of tourists I got up before 5am.

NIKON D700 1/15 second F/4.0 ISO 3600 16 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

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Andrew from Hartlepool, United Kingdom

Ian, great shot love the contrast. Getting a shot like this makes it worth while getting up early for.

31 Aug 2011 5:44am

@Andrew: Thanks Andrew!

DULCIE from Danville, CA, United States

It is a beautiful building and a superb image...without the people it looks timeless and hauntingly lovely.
I'm so glad you were willing to get up at that ungodly hour !! :-)

31 Aug 2011 6:05am

@DULCIE: Thanks Dulcie!

Hans ter Horst from Ruislip, United Kingdom

LOL, 5AM; that seems to be the photographers' hour in Italy, I remember getting up around that time to shoot in Venice in the rain. To comment on your photo, the building is beautifully lit, no blown out highlights and still shadow detail; I start to wonder if you brought a portable studio along :-)
You must have been able to frame the shot without tilting the camera so the building doesn't lean backwards; all in all, a perfect shot!

31 Aug 2011 6:09am

@Hans ter Horst: Thanks Hans. You're right about the framing - I was able to keep the camera level which helped enormously in keeping the sides of the building vertical. In post processing I then simply cropped out the bottom third of the frame which was all pavement. Any small residual distortion was resolved using a plug-in that I use all the time called PTLens.

The only thing I regret now is that I was lazy and didn't use my tripod as it would have allowed me to use the camera's base iso instead of the iso 3600 that this was shot at.

Ryan Hammond from Tucson, United States

Very nice! Very bold and strong image.

31 Aug 2011 6:10am

@Ryan Hammond: Thanks Ryan!

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

it's a superb building and a superb framing ! beautiful colors of night, I love the rendering of texture on the pavement, and all details. Do you apply HDR treatment ? it looks like a little HDR effect.

31 Aug 2011 7:13am

Ralf Kesper from Attendorn, Germany

Excellnt and well made. And very nice in the square-format.

31 Aug 2011 8:36am

Tinx from Kuressaare, Estonia

Great shot!

31 Aug 2011 9:10am

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Beautiful architecture and light.

31 Aug 2011 10:22am

Trina from Pennsylvania, United States

It was worth getting up early...excellent shot!

31 Aug 2011 12:22pm

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Excellent capture, and thank you for getting up so early to get it.

31 Aug 2011 2:03pm

JCJ from Troyes, France


31 Aug 2011 4:30pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

A great exposure Ian, a deep velvet black sky is the premium here to provide the superb contrast.

31 Aug 2011 5:03pm

Stefanie from Paris, France


31 Aug 2011 5:17pm

Oleg from Podolsk, Russian Federation

Yes, it is simply impressive! Unfortunately, I am not capable of such feats during his travels.

31 Aug 2011 6:58pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom


Much like the original construction, this is a masterpiece Ian!

31 Aug 2011 7:35pm

Betsy Barron from Philadelphia, PA, United States

absolutely gorgeous

31 Aug 2011 8:10pm

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

so totally worth getting up early to photograph - absolutely stunning!

1 Sep 2011 1:30am

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

excellent composition with good contrast that really brings out the textures and detail!

1 Sep 2011 3:44am

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

It really jumps out at you! Great photo Ian!
What if you put a 20 stop ND filter on during the day for an extra long exposure - would all the people turn to milk and give you an alternative 'uncrowded' scene? :-)

1 Sep 2011 12:37pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Your efforts proved more than worthwhile! This is phenomenal - I love the exposure and focal length here...this beautiful building looks like a ferry boat on the water...there is that dimension and "feel" to least to me. Just superb sir!!

1 Sep 2011 1:18pm

foto forte from Phoenix, United States

Fantastic image, Ian! So very worth getting up this early and how fun!! That is my favorite thing to do...get up super early before anyone else is around and capture and image that you just know is going to be great! Really wonderfully done!

1 Sep 2011 4:02pm

tom from Germany

Excellent architectural shot.

1 Sep 2011 7:03pm

Magda from Vancouver, Canada

Wow! Outstanding work!

18 Oct 2011 5:44am

Brandon from New York, United States

I am amazed at the clarity you can get in your images. How do you achieve this, as compared to mine? Thanks so much for your help!

2 Mar 2012 4:17am

1/15 second
ISO 3600
16 mm (35mm equiv.)