Friday, March 9, 2012

Mariyinsky Palace

Mariyinsky Palace (Ukrainian: Маріїнський палац, Mariyins'kyi palats) is an official ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine in Kiev and adjoins the neo-classical building of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine. It is a picturesque Baroque palace on the hilly bank of the Dnieper River.

The palace was requested to be constructed in 1744 by the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, and was designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the most famous architect working in the Russian empire at that time. One of the students of Rastrelli, Ivan Michurin, together with a group of other architects, completed the palace in 1752. Empress Elizabeth, however, did not live long enough to see the palace. The first royal figure to stay in the palace was Empress Catherine II, who visited Kiev in 1787. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the palace was the main residence of Governors-General.

Mariyinsky Palace

A Before and After:

I've been wanting to post a photo of Mariinsky Palace for a long time.  However, the pictures I had of it, even after processing, did not come out the way I was hoping for.  And the reconstruction of the palace, which was to be completed sometime in 2010, is still underway.  But a couple of weeks ago, I came across a photo that I had forgotten about, and after working on it a bit, I finally had an outcome I was happy with.  Once the construction barricades come down at Mariinsky, I will still be going back there for some more photos!

Once again, I started from one original, since that was all I had to work with.  The processing of this was a bit unusual for me, since I usually start with three before pictures, not four.  But this time there were four, though you only see three of them shown below, all on the left.

On the top right, you see the photo as it emerged from Photomatix.  Is it an improvement over the three originals?  Yes!  But I knew I could do better than that.  So I took it into Photoshop, where I bought out more color in the sky and more detail in the building.  And a few other minor changes while I was at it.  The photo you see at the bottom right, and at the top of this post, is the final outcome.  Finally!  I've got a picture of this palace that I am totally happy with!

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