© Michael Evans Photographer 2017

Architectural Photography In Salamanca…

Architectural Photography In Salamanca, Spain

Arriving late afternoon by car into the stunning city of Salamanca is certainly an experience to be savoured; as an architectural photographer, I was enchanted by the golden light that bathed the UNESCO world heritage city, animating the incredibly carved sandstone churches, reflecting from the palaces into the lively plazas below.

Originally founded in the 4th century BC, Salamanca was at one time under Roman rule, however it was the establishment of the university in the early 13th century that defined its future. Now regarded as the ‘Oxford’ of Spain, this ‘Golden City’ or La Dorada as it is also known due to the light dancing off the sandstone buildings is in my opinion a destination worthy of any bucket list. Sadly we did not have more than a few hours in which to explore, so after checking into a hotel near the main Plaza Mayor we set out to discover the city carrying the usual arsenal of lenses. The vibrancy of the city is attributable not only to the architecture, but also to the mix of native Castilians and the many international students who come to learn Spanish, filling the many  lane ways  and plazas with an interesting mixture of languages.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, unmissable at any time during a visit, but especially so at night… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017

The following images were capture over the few brief hours available to us on our itinerary; certainly not enough time to really explore such a beautiful city, but an afternoon and evening followed by a few hours the next morning that served as an introduction to a city that I definitely plan on returning to. As will be obvious, there are a large number of images in this post, consequently I have compressed them all quite heavily which may be noticeable as some banding in the sky, but which facilitates faster page download.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Anyone who has read any part of my blog will know how much I favour my 17mm TS-E, and this image really defines for me just how useful and brilliant the lens is in a rather narrow lane way I am still able to include the entire building of the La Clerecia catholic church. Handheld on the 5DSR…© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Apparently the street signs were originally written in blood… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Again taken with the 17mm TS-E, this image reminded me just how much more dynamic range I was able to extract from the 5DSR files as opposed to my old 1DS Mk III workhorse. Previously I would have had to settle for much noisier shadows (I expose for the highlights) but the 50Mp sensor has a far more useful dynamic range (although admittedly still lagging behind the current Sony and Nikon offerings) © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The old university in Salamanca © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The fascia of the old university building… every tourist (and student) comes her to find the frog, which is quite well hidden… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
This shot is actually a panoramic stitch of 5 frames, yielding a very high resolution final file (which I will most likely never print, but I simply could not resist the temptation to shoot it !!) © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
This statue of Fray Luis De Leon faces the old university facade… In 1572 he was dragged from his classroom while delivering a lecture and imprisoned for heresy; upon his release four years later he apparently started his subsequent lecture with ‘As we were saying yesterday…’ © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The old university in Salamanca© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Another view of the incredible detail in the old university facade… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The old university in Salamanca© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Looking up at the plateresque (meaning ‘in the manner of a silversmith’) facade, it can be quite a task to find the frog on the skull… According to legend the frog was placed there to remind the young men to resist the temptations of the flesh; this was after all a university town, with a large number of prostitutes servicing the many male students. Some of these ladies carried diseases that in the day would certainly have been fatal, hence the frog, which was regarded as a symbol of sexual temptation, being placed atop a skull… Standing in front of the facade, look up and to the right. Follow the first column from the door up with your eyes until you find the now fairly worn sandstone amphibian… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017

Salamanca is blessed with two cathedrals, appropriately named the Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral of Salamanca…

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Late afternoon light strikes the New Cathedral of Salamanca © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Detail from above the red doorway image above…© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Panoramic stitch from the front of the new cathedral, clearly illustrating the impressive baroque bulk… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
This interesting ‘House of Shells’ was constructed in the 15th century and contains Italian, Gothic and Moorish styles. This view looking up shows just how close the church in the second image in this post is… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The back of the old cathedral… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
The impressive old cathedral of Salamanca… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Late afternoon in front of the new cathedral… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Detail from the Casa De La Conchas, which currently houses a public library… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017

The Canon 11-24mm f4 L for architectural and travel photography

I have been very impressed with the coverage and file quality that the 11-24 combined with the 5DSR offers. While I normally shoot a number of panoramas to cover such a wide scene, in this instance I relied upon my new ultra wide angle to deliver the images I was looking for. Certainly the files need to be cropped, but the incredible distortion free angle of view that the lens produces (if kept perpendicular to the subject, no tilting up or down!), makes capturing such expansive spaces a real pleasure.

© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Plaza Mayor as the first lights awaken. An unusual elephant sculpture can be seen on the right… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Plaza Mayor detail… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Elephant sculpture detail… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
Another view of the impressive Plaza, designed by Alberto Churriguera in the 18th century… © Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017
© Michael Evans Photographer 2017

All of the above night images were taken using my trusty Really Right Stuff carbon fibre tripod. Of course it means more to carry while traveling, but for an architectural photographer wanting to shoot dusk or low light images it really is an indispensable piece of kit.

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