Contact Sheets: Sagrada Familia

A photograph is more than just a documentation. It is the photographer who creates an image by working with light and composition, and also by choosing which image to show to the rest of the world. Today, we want to decompose an image of the Sagrada Familia that I took in January 2014.

This post is part of our “Contact Sheets” series. If you are not familiar with the concept, you can also head over to our first post in this series or to our review of the exhibition that inspired this regular series. In this month’s post, we will be looking at this image:

My favorite shot from our visit to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is, in fact, a HDR composition. (Olympus Pen with M.Zuiko 14-42mm)

My favorite shot from our visit to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is, in fact, a HDR composition. (Olympus Pen with M.Zuiko 14-42mm)

We visited Gaudi’s church during a short trip to Barcelona in January 2014. The city was rather quiet, probably because of the gray and dull weather that didn’t entice as many tourists to visit. However, on that day, the sun came out for about half an hour just when we entered the church, bringing out the beauty of the stained glass windows and adding a soft glow to the bright arches and columns. We were struck by the beauty, and if I had been traveling with anyone else but Mr. Colors, they would probably have gotten annoyed by how long it took until I was satisfied with my pictures.

My favorite is the one above, and it is a superposition of three images, taken from the same position and with the same aperture but with different exposure times:

There is no image editing on these pictures apart from the obvious addition of our logo. I used a free HDR program to combine the images and chose a very subtle HDR look – or so I like to think. Of course, I took way more than three pictures. As I was particularly impressed by the airiness of the architecture, I took mostly overhead pictures, each of them with three different exposure settings. Here are three more of them, again without post processing:

Especially the last one conveys a very different feeling than the one I chose as my signature image from the Sagrada Familia, and is thus a good example of how the photographer’s choice impacts the presentation of a place or event.

Which of the seven images do you like best?

If you are interested to improve your photography skills together with me, taking one step each month, check out our monthly photography event as well. And for updates from this blog consider to follow us on WordPress, twitter, bloglovin’ or facebook.
This article was published on

13 thoughts on “Contact Sheets: Sagrada Familia

    1. perelincolors

      In this context, yes. It’s an interesting technique to create pictures with lots of detail in both the shadows and the bright areas. It can be done very well or it can turn out very ugly (search on google images and you’ll find examples for both). The extreme HDR look is not for me but I think it’s great for churches and temples because they always have some very dark and some very bright corners. There is a bunch of free apps out there to combine the images.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. trablog

        I have used the HDRish effect on some of my monochrome pictures by using picasa. But that is not by combining any pictures. Anyway I never used the exposure bracketing. So I have never combined any pictures yet.

        Even I don’t like the extreme HDR images. They look artificial.


      2. perelincolors

        True, there is also software to create HDR without bracketed images but of course it cannot rescue the details that weren’t recorded in the first place. I also think that extreme HDR looks terribly artificial.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. desleyjane

    Hiya! I like the first one the best, but I am also drawn to the “bright” one in your HDR series. It seems to me to accentuate the light. I also really like the last image. The suspension makes me think of a jellyfish. Such an intriguing photo!
    Fabulous idea to deconstruct an image 😄


  2. Finding My Inner Zen

    Amazing! I always have trouble taking pictures inside buildings such as this one. I’ve been here before and can definitely say mine did not turn out as nicely.

    I found this building to be unreal though; absolutely gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

We love to see your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s