I might have overdone the polarising filter a bit on this, but I liked the way it darkened the sky to enhance the contrast between the stark lines of this modern concrete church and the pristine sky.
Apart from edge sharpening, and a slight crop at the sides, this is straight out of the camera (12mm at ISO100).
This is Hallgrimskirkja church, one of Reykjavik’s landmarks, whose tower you can see from almost anywhere in the city because the church is situated on top of a hill.
It was opened in 1986 and is the largest church in Iceland. The clock tower is 73 metres high, and you can take a lift up to the belfry for 350 kroner (nothing is cheap in Iceland) from where you have a 360 degree view over the whole of Reykjavik. Be warned that if you are up there when the clock strikes the hour – it is LOUD!
At the top elevator level, from where you climb some stairs up to the belfry, there is a small exhibition of photographs of the church taken from different angles, in different light and in different seasons. There are some beautiful winter photographs amongst them – well worth spending some time seeing.
I’ve posted an alternative view here showing the statue of Leifur Eiriksson in front of the church. Icelanders say that Leif Ericson (as it is Anglicised these days) discovered North America about 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The statute was a gift from the US Government, so I assume that gives some credibility to the claim.
The reason the people in the foreground are folding their arms against their chests was that it was a fairly cold and windy day. Down in the town where it was sheltered from the wind, the sunny day made it quite warm, but up here on the hill, where it was more exposed, most visitors to the church discovered that they didn’t have enough warm clothing.
Critiques | Translate
JoseMiguel (860) 2007-09-04 7:14
This is a very impressive image!
Just like you mention on the title, kind of space ship straight to heaven.
I like the intense saturation used and the shadow play got on the structure.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,
dlevy23 (2018) 2007-09-04 7:14
Hi David, this is a great photo. I agree about the contrast, love the dark blue sky against the white church. The church actually looks like lego.
Great composition and POV.
picardo (2459) 2007-09-04 7:19
I really like the effect of your polarizer.. to enhance the colors of the sky and the shadows of the architecture of the church. Really nice view.. It really looks like a spaceship!
batalay (37451) 2007-09-04 7:19
There is a surrealistic touch, and the shape is indeed evocative of the space shuttle. I like the effect of the polarizing filter here. It has served well to accentuate the pristine skies you can get in Iceland. I was at the top of the Campanille in Venice when the bells began to chime. I can empathize with your experience.
xkolba (596) 2007-09-04 7:22
It's absolutely amazing picture. I like great contrast between bright church and darkly blue sky. Very interesting POV and Perspective. This architecture is fantastic!
anes_lc (14968) 2007-09-04 7:45
how you capture all the church in one single shot ...without including the statue? :)smart angle :D
great shot,one of the most beautiful of this charch
useful note also :D
mcenteesalas (1618) 2007-09-04 7:48
Hi David, a truly magestic shot, beautiful subject, good composition with a wonderful light defenitely it has lots of acaracter, I also enjoyed reading your note very informative which goes hans in hand with this nice photo, thanks for sharing, regards, Salas
lewiz (1297) 2007-09-04 9:23
I love the PL effect... it really makes this shot.
Very imposing and impressive.
veve (4189) 2007-09-04 12:05
Very interesting architecture!
Excellent effect of the polarizing filter!
Great pov,light and contrast!
pboehringer (770) 2007-09-04 12:35
David, I disagree completely with you. The polarizing is right on spot. It never can be overdone in my opinion! The analogy to the space shuttle is more than natural and I thought of it while seeing the thumbnail without reading the title. Good inclusion of the people in the foreground giving the necessary reference of magnitude.
hispic (9652) 2007-09-04 16:49
I really like this pristine and deep blue sky. The darker one more -0.5 or -0.7 was liked in the age of Kodachrome.
Thanks for sharing.
Kenny10pin (19301) 2007-09-04 19:12
great posting, I like this shuttle the sky is amazing too, well shot
kevinos (7507) 2007-09-04 22:59
Yes, David, the intensity of the blue in the sky is necessary to create that sharp contrast that this picture needs.I certainly has impact. Your PoV, just off center, is probably perfect to highlight the symmetry of the structure. The people in the foreground are necessary to give the building scale. What an odd building, neither modern nor retro, I was amazed to see that it was built as late and 1986. I would have thought that this kind of of architectural eccentricity belonged to the Art Deco and would have placed it in the late 30's. Anyway, David a truely entertaining picture. regards kevin
serge44 (273) 2007-09-05 2:05
la navette vers le ciel ...belle architecture surprenante
ktanska (26359) 2007-09-05 2:54
First thing that comes to mind is sort of monument of a crazy dictator in a developing country :) But that's not necessary a bad thing, some of those are quite impressive.
Second is a fusion of an organ and a space rocket. Straightforward angle works well and polarizer effect is fine with this surreal building. I wonder if there was any room in the back to get less distorted view.
plimrn (21344) 2007-09-05 5:03
Wow this gives a totally different perspective of Iceland than any shot I've see. I thought it was taken in Los Angeles, right after a rain storm. The symmetry & the graphism makes a strong compo. The contrast between the white church and blue sky is excellent. I it was difficult to avoid the WA skew here as well as you have. Is that the symmetrical POV or did you also use 'tramsform'?
rafid76 (0) 2007-09-07 10:52
reminds me of a monument I saw in Leningrad in Russia, it was of a rocket in swept motion upwards of Yuri Gagarin, the only difference this is a church.
well i do like the polarizing effect it makes it stand out.
bibiweb (8) 2007-09-09 0:36
Though I've never been there myself, I've seen several pictures of this church on TE before. I like your POV and the way you've perfectly centered the subject. The polarizing effect is perhaps a bit strong at the top, but it does make the white of building stand out even better. The title is well chosen too!
Giorgio (11279) 2007-09-17 22:38
- Wonderful composition very graphic and coloured, the polar filter maybe, very good job !
All the best.
devimeuxbe (58557) 2007-09-18 12:02
Strange composition lookong like a spatial shuttle.
Beautifull light and interesting report.
danos (92654) 2007-09-20 10:08
impressive this the architecture of this temple in Iceland.The saturate blue contrasted perfect with the white of the church.The whole thing is so vivid .. seems to leap from my screen .. striking .. Well done David.
feather (51130) 2007-09-21 7:08
I must be going mad. I was so convinced I had already critiqued this I thought it must be a re-post!
What an amazing building this is. Your wide angle lens has done a great job to fit it in when we see how close you had to be to avoid the statue. I love polarised skies so as far as I am concerned no need to apologise for that. I like the one with the statue too and would have had difficulty deciding which one to post. Good work
Stepan (27210) 2007-09-27 15:01
The title is so pertinent !! What else could we say ?
The light and the impact of the white rocket are crazy. Seems to be as pure as heaven...
pablominto (53746) 2007-09-29 8:58
I like the near perfect symmetry!
And the architecture is pointing to heaven, no doubt about that...
Very good details in the structure, wonderful blue Nordic sky!
jaywalker (16101) 2007-09-30 4:20
Hi David, Great symmetry & wonderful light, the strong blue throws the white of the church forward brilliantly, superb modern architecture & the title is perfect, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
jemaflor (91349) 2007-10-03 2:47
Interesting architecture for this church in Reykjavik, some old remembers for me ... well taken with a perfect contrast on your shot between the white monument and this strong blue sky.
Charo (51210) 2007-10-05 1:44
Impresionante y moderna arquitectura la de este templo.
Magnífico contraste de colores y excelentes detalles.
elmec (12210) 2007-11-09 1:09
Amazing building perfect shot!
I like the contrast of bright walls and dark blue sky!
marianita (3455) 2007-11-09 1:10
excellent result! what architecure, colour int he sky
John_F_Kennedy (43555) 2007-11-11 23:57
A beautiful photo! The colours, light, POV and depth are magnificent. Looks great.
xuaxo (6846) 2007-11-12 14:13
Very well seen and captured.
Not only gothic churches, but also modern architecture can be also quite beautiful (instead of this).
AiresSantos (56155) 2007-11-20 11:59
Wonderful picture of this very beautiful building, dear David !
Excellent Colours, details and light well managed.
ohe (2334) 2007-12-28 13:32
This one seems to be completely unreal !! You've shoted it on Second Life ??
Colors and architecture drive me to this reflection.
Anyway, thanks a lot for this unreal view.
- Olivier -
cyrrhus (2878) 2008-01-12 8:06
This church is impressive. I had seen it before on TE (from france)... but in this shot it really takes monumental proportions. Good that you say you have overdone polarisation... but personnaly this is the kind of effect I like... a deep blue against a bright white.
I wonder how the church is inside.
rminkow (1556) 2008-01-26 21:18
Hi David..I like this shot. The building is interesting and your composition works well with it's shape. Nice job.
linask (2930) 2008-02-17 1:25
Clear sky matches the church very well.
Using polarizing filter with wide lens is always difficult - polarizing effect is different at different angle. Since I use wide lens and polarizing filter a lot - I have many shots with the same problem. But anyway, I think it's better than no polarizer at all.
donluicu (24724) 2008-03-07 10:58
..or the (bad?) use of a CPL filter with a WA!!
this dark blue line..
and it's too bad, because the building is really impressive, and the compo too
Didi (59738) 2008-04-21 1:11
Generally I don't like modern churches architectures but I make an exception for this one because it's a great original one.
Very interesting one You have done an interesting work by using your PL filter who gives a nice contrast with the sky.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-23
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm f/4G ED, Circular PL
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Blogger slideshow, Icelandic churches [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-09-04 7:09