Friday, June 24, 2011

A Heavenly Glow

• HDR Photo

And an optical illusion, or rather, an illusion created by optics!

Getting the back of this church into one photo is a difficult task, since this church is quite large (notice the people) and there is a wall behind you limiting how far you can back up. No problem, I thought. I can use the Sigma 10-20 lens. But even then, I couldn't get the whole building into the shot, at least not the way I wanted it. So I opted for a panorama. This is a four image panorama. (Original plan was to have a six image panorama, and include a building to the left of this one).

So, where's the optical illusion?

Anyone who has seen this building in person knows that the crosses on top of the building all face in the same direction. But here, the side crosses are at 45 degree angles to the center cross. How is this possible?

Before there was a Photoshop, before there were stitched panoramas, there were other ways to create an image that did not reflect what you saw with your eyes. Your choice of position, your choice of filters, and yes, your choice of lenses would all effect the eventual outcome. Using a very wide-angle lens on a nearby subject would make the center of the object appear to be much closer than the outer edges of the object. Which in reality IS true, however, your eyes and your brain tend to compensate for that. Stitching together four different images into one only tends to exaggerate this effect even more.

This is the Dormition Cathedral at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Kiev.

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