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.