Friday, June 4, 2010

National Cathedral Entrance

National Cathedral Entrance

When we arrived at the National Cathedral on our last day of touring DC, we got there a little early.  So we hung out right in front of the place and I snapped this off.  It's very impressive from the outside and reminded me a lot 0f Westminster Abbey from when I was stationed in England many moons ago.  Since the Cathedral was just finished in 1990, it makes me think that this is what those old medieval Cathedrals must've looked like back in the 14/15th centuries once they were completed, before pollution and weather wore them down.  The Cathedral used 14th or 15th century craftsmanship to build it which leads me to that conclusion.  You can read more about the place here.

I used my standard processing except for a couple minor tweaks.  Instead of using about 67% opacity with the Pro Contrast filter in Nik Color Efex, I kept it at 100%.  The original tone-mapped image was quite dark and this opacity level turned out perfect.  The other tweak was that I had to use Nik Viveza 2.0 to lighten the sky in the upper left corner to lighten the sky a bit.  Lastly, I had to fix the perspective with the lens distortion tool in Photoshop and I had to use the warp tool because I guess I really had a bad angle or something when I took it.  It now looks pretty normal.

Some of the specs for this shot are as follows:

Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6D EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens
ISO: 200
Aperture: f11
Mode: Aperture Priority
Tripod: Induro AB0

One last thing... Since most of the pictures I take now are HDR and I like to use at least 5 brackets most of the time, I'm thinking of upgrading to a Nikon D300 instead of a D90.  The D90 only lets one take 3 brackets at a time whereas the D300 lets one take up to 9 brackets, I believe. It's a pain in the butt to change settings in the middle of a shot to get more than just 3 brackets, but the price of the D300s is a little high.  But, it also has a magnesium body and other cool things. Is that worth it?  If so, anyone have a used D300s for sale?  Any thoughts would be most appreciated.  Thanks!


  1. I have read a lot of good things about the d300s , but yah its expensive!! We have been looking into getting a d90 because our 4/3rds Olympus really isnt cutting it anymore. We have to battle with 3 brackets also it can be a pain. I find myself moving to -3 clicking 3, 0 clicking 3 and finally +3 and clicking 3 to get 9 exposures but man its a pain in the butt haha. I think for the quality of image you are already creating the d300s will be massive for you.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm leaning toward the d300, but things may change. We'll see.


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