Monday, 9 January 2012

Lucern architecture

In May2010 I visited Lucern in Switzerland for 4 days.

During most of that time it either rained or was overcast. Fortunately when it rained it was the soft drizzle kind, not the thunderstorms with heavy shower kind that I am used to over here on the Highveld . . .

                                                                'Vero Moda', Lucern 2010

Luzern was very difficult for me to photograph. I suppose the constant rain made it look more dark and gloomy but also the architecture, although very pretty, was difficult for me to 'see'. The ornate drawings and paintings on the old buildings juxtaposed against the newer more stark modern architecture was nice to look at but difficult to photograph.

For these photographs of buildings in the old town I used a Mamiya ZD medium format digital camera with a 50mm shift lens. In 35mm terms this lens is equivalent to about a 32mm lens, close to my favourite 35mm lens. The lens is very close to normal which makes it more difficult to photograph very large building where a wider lens would make it easier but I prefer the normal view as opposed to the ultra wide view of say a 24mm lens.  The shift function on the lens allows me to keep the camera and lens absolutely horizontal, and to get the top of the building in, I shift the lens upwards until the whole buildings is visible in the viewfinder. As I shift the lens upwards the foreground of course becomes less and less but that is part of the advantage. The other advantage of keeping the camera horizontal and shifting the lens is that the vertical lines stay vertical as opposed to a camera that is tilted upwards were the vertical lines converge towards the top of the frame...The Mamiya ZD camera is a 22mp camera and the main advantage of the large sensor over say a 35mm sensor is the extra dynamic range, which means I can capture more highlight and shadow detail as opposed to the smaller sensor cameras that has a smaller contrast range. The images are also very smooth. The downside is that the camera is big and bulky and with the shift lens needs to be mounted on a tripod. The lens is a manual focus with a manual aperture selection which means that I focus first with the aperture wide open, do the shift and then stop down, usually to f22. At f22 I get maximum depth of field and as opposed to 35mm cameras and lenses the image is still very sharp, even in the corners, at max. shift.

The Jesuit Church, Lucern 2010

'Phanomen', Lucern

Regards, Ivan