Cultural Center Part 2

After the visit of Bonnie, Gary and Julie the other week, I was determined to head back to the Cultural Center and have a bit more of a plan this time.  Following on from my wanderings along the river to watch the bridges opening, I headed across to the Cultural Center to take another look at what I could get.

This time I had two advantages.  First, having been there before, I had a better idea what I was looking at.  Second, during our previous visit, a private event had been taking place in one of the halls under the glass domes so we could only see it obliquely.  This time, no events were taking place and I had freedom to wander where I wanted.  This proved even better because I hadn’t realized that there was another room further on that also was fascinating to see.

What I hadn’t brought with me was a proper tripod.  I had a couple of supports that I had brought (including a Gorillapod) but they were only useful in certain situations.  Therefore, I had to practice my best hand holding at low shutter speeds for some of the shots.  All good practice!  For a lot of the locations, this wasn’t a problem.  However, in the open rooms, ramping up the ISO was necessary although balancing the shutter speed against the noise levels was a trade off that had to be made.

The interior has a lot of interesting places to shoot.  Some of them offer clear opportunities and this time I came equipped with a wider lens to accommodate the width of shot available.  Some of the other areas have great detail and interesting features but I have yet to find a good way to represent that in the shots.  At least that leaves me with more reasons to go back for another try.

There is a wide range of light within some of the rooms and trying to represent that tends to lead me to some HDR work.  I tried out a bunch of shots with HDR and when I got home, experimented with different ways of processing the HDR.  Some of these are aimed at a realistic interpretation and some are more dramatic.  The patterns and colors can make the dramatic finishes look very interesting but too much of the same thing gets boring fast so I am still playing with other finishes.  For those HDR experts out there, let me know if you have some good ideas.

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