Sunday, January 13, 2013

A cold Saturday afternoon sunset...

Yesterday, I decided to try and shake the cough that I was developing by taking a stroll downtown to get more familiar with my new camera.  Since everything else was new, I decided to do a church walk through the downtown core.  I visited the tried and true Alexander Nevski Cathedral and Saints Sedmochislenitsi Church.

Being the more modern of the two, the Alexander Nevski Church was constructed between 1882 and 1912.  The cathedral is named after a Russian prince who, with the help of his soldiers, liberated the Bulgarians from the Ottoman during the Russo-Turkish War.  Many of the parts of the church were constructed in different parts around the world including Munich, Berlin, Vienna and Venice.  This helped to create the ornate, eclectic, yet dark interior of the church.   Since no photographs are permitted within the church, you will have to visit for yourself to see the stunning interior.

Saints Sedmochislenitsi (above) was converted from an old Ottoman mosque into the Bulgarian Orthodox church in 1901.  Its history claims roots in Roman Serdica, the Ottoman Empire and the current day Bulgarain Orthodox religion.  More about the interesting history of this church can be read HERE.  Although the conversion process began in 1901, it did not finish until 1996 when the final frescoes were painted into place.  Between 1901 and 1996, the interior candlestick holders were created (1906) from police badges and the exterior clock was built in 1930, along with the surrounding courtyard.  The interior of the church remains in repair today but it is nonetheless a must see on your stop to Sofia, especially if you can time your visit with a service.

These photos were both taken by using a tripod and cable release.  I took five different photos, the first one 2 stops above proper exposure, the second at 1 stop above proper exposure ... all the way down to -2 stops below proper exposure.  I then used a method similar to THIS to combine the five photos into one.  I then imported the 32 bit results back into Lightroom and made final adjustments.  Hope you enjoy them!

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