Tilting Rotunda


Tilting Rotunda (Click to view on Flickr)

I got the idea of shooting the Texas Capitol reverse rotunda in this manner after seeing Pete Talke’s awesome photo here.

I didn’t have a fisheye lens to get as wide as Pete did…but I did what I could with what I had.  Nothing fancy but I think it’s kind of a cool perspective and I had fun trying out various angles.  It was quite a challenge to get the tripod safely balanced and in a position to “reach” over the railing while remaining stable enough for the shot.  So, even though I was making somewhat of a copy-cat image I was able to learn quite a few things along the way.

3-exposure HDR, Photomatix, very slight bit of masking in CS4, final adjustment in Lightroom.

5 responses

  1. emzoler

    Very nice, hardly notice the HDR effect. IMHO it seems a bit too grey, maybe the light from the sky or weather. But it’s a very nice shot and captured my attention.

    February 6, 2010 at 3:29 am

  2. Martin,

    Thanks for the comment. You are correct about the weather — skies were gray and the light was very flat for most of my visit. My goal is generally (but certainly not always) to minimize the “HDR” effect. In this case I went with HDR because it brought out the texture in a nice way and really enhanced all the glass/reflections (noticeable when viewed larger).

    I did play with Topaz Adjust but wasn’t pleased with any of the results so I didn’t use it in this case.

    I enjoyed the pics on your site! Particularly the Paris images as I will be headed there soon.


    February 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

  3. emzoler

    I agree with you on the HDR. I try to avoid the painterly effect as well – heavily! But sometimes I push it a bit. If you’re coming to Paris then be prepared to take lots of pics and hopefully the family will be ok with you spending hours with your tripod!
    I saw the rest of the photography on your blog and it’s really great stuff. I am impressed that someone as newbie as me can turn out that good stuff in HDR and non-HDR! Keep them coming.

    February 6, 2010 at 9:05 am

  4. I like this angle, Michael! I’ve gotten a few shots of the outside rotunda, but I can never get my camera balanced out far enough to capture what I really want. But that simply means I’ll have to keep trying!

    February 6, 2010 at 10:09 pm

  5. Van — keep trying. I’d love to see what others do with this place. I can think of several ideas to improve this one.

    Martin, I will definitely have the tripod along in Paris but I’m going to limit my photography time since it’s meant to be a romantic getaway 🙂

    February 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

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