Rodney Campbell's Blog

Queen Victoria Building Series II…

by on Aug.11, 2010, under Life, Photography

After my previous visit to the Queen Victoria Building and my Escher style photos of stairs, rails and staircases I’d been imagining some more images in my minds eye and I’d also been learning some new High Dynamic Range processing techniques so I decided to revisit the building (twice more now :)) and take/make some different, edgy and much more colourful images.

The HDR techniques I’d been learning tend more towards the surreal fantasy or stylised look (unlike my usual HDR’s which aim to be more photographic) and as such these are not necessarily meant to portray a realistic view of the scene but rather to give a more ethereal glow to the vision – one which I think works with the very colourful, vibrant and textural interior of this old world building.

So whilst they may not be “real” photographs I hope you enjoy both the creative aspect of their composition (angles of view and arrangement of subjects) and the over processing of the images to get these final results…

As before these are all high dynamic range (HDR) images created by merging multiple (3) different exposures of the same scene to create the final image and look.

The individual frames are taken at 0, -2 and +2EV and as they were all shot indoors in low light I had to both increase my sensor sensitivity (ISO) as well as use a very low shutter speed (especially for the overexposed +2EV frames). In these conditions getting a nice sharp shot is made much more difficult and shooting them handheld even more so. Again I took my new Benro carbon fibre monopod with me to stabilise the shots which I used for pretty much every image and again this has worked exceedingly well to get the sets of three sharp images to use.

The first image I originally took at the end of my previous trip to the building and it was the post processing of this image which inspired me to go back and take some more images expressly so I could process some more in a similar vein. However there were a few problems with the image – notably that it was tilted/skewed and I couldn’t get it to look both horizontally and vertically straight(ish). On my next trip I reshot it in an attempt to redo it but this time it had other problems (notably the insanely bright light coming in from above since it was a clear blue sky day). So I went back again yesterday which was a very rainy overcast day and reshot again for the third time and this time I think we might have a better result 🙂

“The Grandness of Time”

Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/5 sec at f/10, ISO 800

A sweeping view of the large main dome on the top floor taken from near floor level. This was another shot where I wasn’t entirely happy with the end result – mainly because of the blown out detail and rippled effect on the floor on the left. I actually thought this may be due to the HDR process but it’s all in the original RAWs as well so it’s simply the effect of the reflections of the bright light off the floor. The bright sun coming in through the roof also caused this huge swath of white across the left there and killed most of that passageway. So I reshot it again on the last trip (overcast day so the light wasn’t so hard) and it did turn out better but still with some blue ripple.

“Imperial Dome”

Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/2 sec at f/10, ISO 800

A view down the main entrance escalators off George Street with the backlit stained glass windows. One I apparently got right the first time 🙂 and this is probably one of my favourites from this QVB series.

“Up or Down”

Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/10 sec at f/8, ISO 1000

A different view of the main clock inside.

“Passages of Time”

Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/13 sec at f/8, ISO 800

These highly reflective mirrored glass escalators inside are a new addition to the building and make for some interesting reflections.


Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/13 sec at f/8, ISO 400


Nikon D90 + Sigma 8-16mm @ 8mm, 1/25 sec at f/8, ISO 800

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