Next to the Taj Mahal, this is the most beautiful monument I have ever seen. It is the unfinished masterpiece of one of the modern masters of architecture Antoni Gaudi, who started working on this monument in 1883 and the construction continues till date, and is expected to complete by 2026, a 100 years after his death. Once when asked about this extremely long construction period, Gaudi remarked – “My client is not in a hurry”.
The monument is as grand and spectacular from the inside as it looks from the outside. Gaudi’s architectural style can be seen all over this spectacular monument. Every corner, every small piece has been so beautifully crafted that you will just want to stay inside the whole day. This is one monument which I certainly would want to see finished.
How can you make a photograph like this? How did I make this shot?
- Weather – It was going to be a sunny morning, so I had researched the weather beforehand.
- Timing – I wanted to be the first one to reach the spot to make a picture without crowds. The monument opens at 9 am in the morning, and I was at the spot at 7:45 am.
- Location – I researched online beforehand what was the best location to photograph, even using the google street view and other photos on flickr to get an idea on what to expect when I reach there.
- Composition – Once we reached the spot, I located this pond close to the monument. Since the monument itself is so grand, it was impossible to get it in one frame, even with my wide angle lens put on. Also, with the sun shining perfectly on the monument and the area near the pond being in shade, it made for a perfect reflection in water photo with the golden light of morning.
- Gear – Next I opened up my tripod, placed my camera on it with my wide angle Tokina 11-16mm lens. I used a tripod on this sunny shot because as I closed my f stop to f/16, I could see the shutter speed of around 1/4 sec, which would have tricky to do handheld. I took a few handheld shots at this location too, but this one was on a tripod.
- Exposure Settings – I put my camera into manual mode, and set an f stop of f/16, ISO of 200, and shutter speed of 1/4 sec. I put my camera in self timer mode (as I always do for tripod shots) and took a few shots, making sure the reflection of the monument was also fully visible in the frame.
- Once I got back home, I transferred the images on to my hard drive and imported them into Lightroom for processing. Did some minor adjustments (pulling down highlights, opening up shadows, adding clarity and contrast to the bottom half of the image) and alas, the photograph was ready.
Having the right gear, reaching the location in time so that I could take my time to get the ideal composition, and some post processing in Lightroom were the key in making an image like this.