Strahov Monastery - Prague

Strahov Monastery

Here's a peek inside the Strahov Monastery in Prague. I think there are times when it's open, but it was locked up tight when I was there. I was actually shooting through another locked gate which turned out to be helpful.

With this high contrast scene I knew I wouldn't capture good image by only shooting one exposure. I braced my lens on an opening in the gate and fired off a series of three bracketed exposures. My shutter speeds were 1/8, 1/15 and 1/30 so going handheld with no support wasn't a good option. Since I was combining the three exposures, bracing the camera was also important for minimizing changes to the composition. There ended up being just a little bit of movement, but the HDR software (HDR Efex Pro) aligned the images without a problem.

When I composed the photograph I framed the scene extra wide to give me some extra space. Or as I like to call it, "wasteable" space. Not a word, but maybe it'll catch on. I was planning ahead for the distortion correction that would be needed when processing the photo. What distortion? Well, I was tilting the camera up which caused keystone distortion. In straightening the photo I would lose some of the image and I didn't want to lose the good stuff.

Tip: If you're tilting the camera up, you want to leave more of the extra space at the bottom. This is because with the distortion correction you will end up losing more at the bottom of the image bottom than the top.

Across the courtyard from the monastery is the Strahov Monastery Brewery. The Czech Republic is known for its beer; you could spend a whole trip just sampling beer! Here are a couple shots from inside the brewery.

Strahov Monastery Brewery