HDR-U (HDR- Update) – Prague, Czech Republic

Prague HDR-U_Talke
I searched through some old processed HDR’s and found this one of the Prague Castle Church (St. Vitus). I took this photo back in 2009 and posted it shortly after my visit. I took the same 5 brackets and re-processed them this past evening using current technology and software…and went through my standard methods for current HDR’s. A very different photo!!!

Some major differences:
1) 2009 HDR – processed with Photomatix
2) 2013 HDR – processed with HDR Efex Pro
3) Distortion from wide angle lens fixed for 2013 HDR
4) different std processing methods…sharpening, levels, contrast, etc..

Amazing to see! To me the biggest change is using HDR Efex Pro. I prefer it over Photomatix. Both software has a particular look. I have made comments in the past…HDR Efex is in my opinion a sharper cleaner HDR processing program. But as always, whatever you prefer is ok!

If you are a photographer…many times we look back at our older work and chuckle about it. Since that time we have gained experience and use new software. What we thought was a great picture now in our own eyes is just acceptable. If you have been producing HDR’s for years….give HDR-U a try!!! You may be amazed!

Prague, Czech Republic (HDR)

Prague (Praha) is a favorite of mine.  I will be back soon.  This shot is from the Astronomical Clock Tower.  Some fantastic city views up here!!  I’ll have to study for my trip this next time.  Prague has some amazing churches and old buildings.   Any tips for spots to see?  I found this on the web:   Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Prague has become one of Europe’s (and the world’s) most popular tourist destinations. It is the sixth most-visited European city after London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin.  Prague suffered considerably less damage during World War II than some other major cities in the region, allowing most of its historic architecture to stay true to form. Some sights:

  • ld Town (Staré Město) with its Old Town Square
  • The Astronomical Clock (Orloj) on Old Town Square
  • The picturesque Charles Bridge (Karlův Most)
  • The vaulted Gothic Old New Synagogue (Staronová Synagoga) of 1270.
  • New Town (Nové město) with its busy and historic Wenceslas Square
  • Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter) with its Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Prague Castle (Pražský hrad – the largest castle in the world) with its St. Vitus Cathedral

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 29.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza
  • Prague, Czech Republic – Charles Bridge Tower (HDR)

    Prague rules!   I visited this past year and my main target was the Charles Bridge.  As it was offseason, it was under construction and not so great for photos.  So what to do?  Take a photo of one of the towers!  Throw in HDR and B&W and here it is!    I cannot wait to go back to Prague again this year!   A beautifully amazing old city with many sights to see!    Even this old tower looks cool!  Praha is a favorite of mine….and hopefully one for all to explore in their life time!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 18-200 VR f/3.5-5.6
    • Setting: Aperture Mode
    • Focal Length:  22.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/4.0
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Viveza, Photmatix, Silver Efex Pro

    Prague, Czech Republic – Old Town Astronomical Clock

    This is the famous Old Town Astronomical Clock in Prague.   A very cool sight to witness if you ever visit this amazing city.  Here is some info from the web:   The Astronomical Clock, built in to one side of the Old Town Hall Tower, dates from the 15th century. To fully appreciate the clock’s intricate construction, join the crowd in front of the tower to observe the procession of the Twelve Apostles: on the hour, every hour, a small trap door opens and Christ marches out ahead of his disciples, while the skeleton of death tolls the bell to a defiant statue of a Turk.  Below the Astronomical Clock are 12 medallions with the signs of the zodiac, added by Josef Manes in 1865. The Old Town Hall Tower, built in 1338, is one of the most striking buildings in Prague. Inside is a staircase and an elevator. For a fee, visitors can climb or ride to the top to experience terrific views over the Old Town Square and the rest of the Old Town.

    Up in the tower is where I had taken the sunset shots of the city from pervious posts.  I cannot wait to go back to Prague…hopefully in the summer!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 18-200 VR f/3.5-5.6
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 80.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/5
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro

    Prague, Czech Republic – Prague Castle – St. Vitus (HDR)

    In Prague one of the most beautiful places to visit is the Prague Castle.  Inside the Castle is this wonderful Cathedral called St. Vitus.   I posted an internal shot a while back.   This is an HDR form the  south view of the Cathedral.    Its always great to see an entire view shot, but sometimes its fun to mix it up and zoom in close to get details.  St. Vitus looks fantastic close up!   Its always enjoyable when you look up and say…wow!!!   I spent about 1 hour here…I’d say more time is needed!   I wonder if there is a city view up there to see??

    Here is a little of history of the castle from the web: The history of the castle stretches back to the 9th century (870). The first walled building was the church of Our Lady. The Basilica of Saint George and the Basilica of St. Vitus were founded in the first half of the 10th century. The first convent in Bohemia was founded in the castle, next to the church of St. George. A Romanesque palace was erected here during the 12th century. In the 14th century, under the reign of Charles IV the royal palace was rebuilt in Gothic styleand the castle fortifications were strengthened. In place of rotunda and basilica of St. Vitus began building of a vast Gothic church, that have been completed almost six centuries later. During the Hussite Wars and the following decades the Castle was not inhabited. In 1485, King Ladislaus II Jagello began to rebuild the castle. The massive Vladislav Hall (built by Benedikt Rejt) was added to the Royal Palace. There were also built new defence towers on the northern side of the castle. A large fire in 1541 destroyed large parts of the castle. Under the Habsburgs some new buildings in renaissance style appeared here. Ferdinand I built Belvedere, summer palace for his wife Anne. Rudolph II used Prague Castle as his main residence. He founded the northern wing of the palace, with the Spanish Hall, where his precious artistic collections were exhibited. The Second Prague defenestration in 1618 began the Bohemian Revolt. During the subsequent wars the Castle was damaged and dilapidated. Many works from the collection of Rudolph II were looted by Swedes in 1648, in the course of the Thirty Years’ War. The last major rebuilding of the castle was carried out by Queen Maria Theresa in the second half of the 18th century. Ferdinand V, after abdication in 1848, chose Prague Castle as his home.

    Gotta love history!  I can say it over and over again…Prague is amazing!!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 18.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/4
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro

    Prague, Czech Republic – Sunset on Prague Castle (HDR)

    This photo makes me want to go back to Prauge right now!  I posted another sunset shot a little bit ago from a different angle. This one has a little more kick to it.  It captured more of the pink sky.  Did I get lucky this nite! My last post mentioned how I arrived at this location at sunset.   I just went back this past week and processed a few more photos (still tons to go!)…this gem was one of them.   In the background is the Prague Castle and this shot is from Old Town at the Astronomical Clock Tower.  I am looking forward to heading back to Prague again this year!  Such an amazing place!   Dekuju Praha!!

    Talke Photography Settings:

    • Camera:  Nikon D300
    • Lens: Nikon 18-200 F3.5-5.6
    • Setting: Aperture  Mode
    • Focal Length: 55.0mm
    • ISO: 200
    • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
    • Aperture:  f/4.8
    • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
    • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro

    Prague, Czech Republic – Sunset in Old Town (HDR)

    NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix

    Here is a nice sunset shot from Prague a few weeks back.  As per my first post from Prague..it was my first visit ever to the amazing city! I had a list of spots of shots I wanted to take in my limited time in the city…Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, etc…  My plan was to get the Charles Bridge in HDR at sunset.  But as it was offseason, the bridge was under heavy construction.  Just about every shot was filled with construction covers.   As I walked over the bridge back into the city from Prague Castle…I was a bit bummed.   I took a few shots, but nothing worthy of posting.  I kept on walking and arrived into Old Town about 20 minutes later and just missed the Old Town Astronomical Clock Display…a sight for anyone visiting to see.   Ouch…was I missing everything??  One of those days.

    I looked up and saw some pink in the sky…the sun was setting!   I was walking amongst the buildings and peeked through an opening to see how the view was….not good.   I remembered at the clock tower people were buying tickets…quickly without having any idea…I ran up to the ticket guy and asked if there was a viewing site at the top of the tower?  He said yes!  …Perfect!  Not sure how much it cost…$8??  I didn’t care at this time!  All I could think was how many stairs I had to run up!  Was this day fun or what?

    I turned the corner and there was an elevator!!!!   Sweet!  I arrived and had to only walk 1 flight of stairs.  All around the top of the clock tower was a wonderful view of the city.  Doubly sweet!  The sun was just dipping and I sadly bumped some tourists out of the way and set up my tripod in this 4 foot small walk way.  Add my tripod fully open and me…this equals about 3 1/2 feet of aisle blocking material.  OK…maybe 4 feet!   I felt bad for all that tried to pass…they were stuck for a few minutes.  I apologize to them now…sorry!   The Prague Castle was to the right…but the light was not right for a sunset shot there…I panned and overlooked old town and the mountains.  The sky was  orange & pink and amazing!  Quite interesting colors in this shot!   A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes a fun story!  I do not think I will ever forget this shot.  A fun one to get!  Enjoy!