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Florence at night

Florence at night


Exposure Date: 2013:10:04 20:28:39;
Make: Leica Camera AG;
Model: M9 Digital Camera;
ExposureTime: 1/4 s;
ISOSpeedRatings: 320;
ExposureProgram: Manual;
ExposureBiasValue: 4294967211/256;
MeteringMode: CenterWeightedAverage;
Flash: Flash did not fire;
FocalLength: 21 mm;
FocalLengthIn35mmFilm: 21 mm;
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0 Macintosh;


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Street shot or architecture? The square before the Doma (cathedral) and

this baptistry seems always active, night and day. The magic of Florence.

Slow shutter speed was used so you can see, if you enlarge the image,

the movement of the visitors, Italian and other. Thanks for looking.

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Whether I'd consider it architecture or street would likely be determined by the context in which I'd find it, what other photos it was being shown with, etc. Many good photos defy easy categorization and depend on a variety of factors for classifications. What this has is an attractive and harmonious opposition of starkness and warmth, the cathedral well illuminated, its geometry overlooking the well laid-out piazza, as if standing guard over the more random and spontaneous activity in the street below. The scale, too, provides dramatic and visual tension. Even the centrality of the cathedral in the frame yet surrounded by a comforting asymmetry provides a kind of benign tension. Yes, it is effective at the larger view when one feels the movement of the people, the life of the street, the pedestrian against the parochial.

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I am not familiar with this structure. I don't know if the building is actually tilting to picture right or its a tilted camera or lens distortion. I find it distracting.

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Fred, thanks for looking and commenting. There was something special about the lighting in the square at night which attracted me and seemed to sculpt the baptistry and the people in the square. As you can see in the far street to the left, the lighting was not uniform in color. I like your comment about the surrounding assymetry and the central building's symmetry and the slight tension so created. Very perceptive. I hadn't thought specifically about that.


I always look forward to your comments. I really need to spend more time looking at photos of others in the critique forum, which is too infrequent at present. It's a good forum. The original image here was wider (to the left) but the cropped elements were both flarey (like the light at upper right), or is it my lens, and less effective as picture elements, so expendable. I balanced the colors to bring out the light green in the marble and give something fairly realistic to the tones of the pedestrians. The building can be made brighter, contrastier, which I may try. 


Paul, in the original, the building at the right leaned over considerably (use of a wide angle lens from a 3rd floor hotel balcony) and in correcting that I made it more or less perfectly vertical, a bit at the expense of the lean of the baptistry (it does not, despite its approximate 800 years). If I was to do it again I would make the baptistry vertical (0.5 to 1 degree rotating counterclockwise). But its slight "lean" may add a bit to the tension Fred mentions. 




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