I went to Toledo at the weekend – Spain’s old capital, not the one in Ohio – specifically to take a photograph like this. I had seen an image of the historic Toledo skyline at dusk in a coffee table photo book and thought I would try to capture something similar.
I’d guessed that the picture I saw was taken from the Alcazar, but knew I wouldn’t be allowed up its ramparts at night, so after some extensive Internet research I managed to identify a hotel that was just on the cathedral side of the Alcazar which had a roof terrace. And it was from there that I took this shot.
That is the cathedral illuminated on the left and the church of San Ildefonso on the right.
I waited for the sun to go down whilst having dinner in a little restaurant in the street that you can see partly illuminated in the bottom right, and after finishing my traditional Spanish seafood paella, washed down by a jug of Sangria, I headed up to the roof terrace with my camera and tripod. The weather was perfect. It had been a hot day with a clear blue sky, and now some cloud had appeared, but not enough to block the colours in the sky. However, as the light started to fade, only the lights of San Ildefonso came on - the cathedral was just a black silhouette.
I had almost given up hope that the cathedral would be illuminated, when suddenly its floodlights came on and I had just one or two minutes to shoot this before the orange colour on the horizon disappeared and the blue sky turned to black.
Luck was with me and my weekend mission was accomplished!
As you can see from this, the roof terrace of the hotel had a great view over the old city, and I went up there several times early and late in the day to shoot photos in different light, but not once did I see anyone else up there. The terrace was always deserted. The other hotel guests obviously didn´t know what they were missing because this was one of the best views in Toledo.
No PP except USM at 200%.
Critiques | Translate
Mikos (4326) 2006-09-18 6:00
such an impressive night picture, where you highlight the most known places in my beloved Toledo.
Great great job
Voltri (1775) 2006-09-18 6:04
David, great photo! Amazing POV. I have some issues with colors (too dark picture), but looks like monitor at work is not calibrated properly, so don't pay attention unless other memebers will mention it too.
siolaw (38018) 2006-09-18 6:12
A beautifully colored sky, those two monuments and a fine POV makes this an excellent photo
fayeulle (27827) 2006-09-18 6:28
Toledo is far from your country and near from France and I never visit it. What I like here are the colours of the sky. However I would lide you lightened a little bit more some dark parts, especialy on the right side.
isabib (1953) 2006-09-18 7:18
Perfect time to capture this moment. The sky is still not too dark. TFS!
clnaef (6289) 2006-09-18 7:51
Magnifique paysage plein de finesse et de romantisme
vinicio (23415) 2006-09-18 9:19
Excellent image David, beautiful lights well managed, interesting note too, compliments.
vedra (0) 2006-09-18 10:33
Beautiful night shot with dark, heavy clouds falling on the city. The tower is simply illuminated but it occupies whole attention on this photo.
kensimage (8561) 2006-09-18 11:44
Wow, David, before I read your note I was sure this was Ohio!
Hopefully this one cost you less than 200 euros, though it's certainly really nice. It's very well exposed (tricky given how bright the cathedral is), and they turned the lights on with just enough light still in the sky to make a great photo. Nice framing, though perhaps the tower is slightly close to the edge. A fine shot. Regards, Ken.
sebcz (2345) 2006-09-18 11:47
I have also been to Toledo. Fantastic, old city, those narrow, steep streets, lots of souvenir shops...
Unfortunately, all my photos from that period were taken with a classic camera, I'd need to scan them maybe...
Great photo here, my friend.
KostasKon (0) 2006-09-18 12:45
Excellent night shot. The colours of the sky are very beautiful.
raybam (387) 2006-09-18 14:04
ahmet54 (3039) 2006-09-18 14:22
absolutely a great night-shot. The deep blue of the sky and the small strip of orange are composing a symphony of colours. The lit facades of the churches are setting the highlights in your composition. Great work. TFS.
Henryk_Bilor (20799) 2006-09-18 15:57
Excellent night shot. I wish I had such one in my collection. Very good lighting and composition.
ktanska (23930) 2006-09-19 2:49
Again a shot well worth the effort. Good luck too. While travelling you need it to get light right. Near home it's easier to find the best date and time.
Both the sky and the floodlights seem to have natural colours. Great!
delkoo (68) 2006-09-19 3:30
beautiful night shot, with two churchs illuminate on a nice dusk sky.
Aspirin (278) 2006-09-19 21:29
A very nice shot with great blen of colors ..
jemaflor (80026) 2006-09-21 5:41
Very nice, good moment to take this shot, light perfect on monuments and wonderful sky between blue and yellow, great effect.
capthaddock (28790) 2006-09-21 8:51
Beautiful, and from the convenience of your own hotel rooftop, that type of place would cost 10 times as much here in money munching norway, I like best the level of exposure on the tower and the well defined sky.
rbcy1974 (20758) 2006-09-21 17:09
Excellent skyline of the city, beautifully captured architecture, the lighting is very good, and the sky is amazing
MIG13 (0) 2006-09-22 16:30
Hi, David! Nice pic, showing the night lights of this magnificent town! I've never been to Toledo-Ohio, but I bet it is a very very different place he he (I've been to Columbus and Cleveland...)! Good work, my friend! TFS! Greetings from Rio! Miguel.
balatrek (7447) 2006-09-23 2:35
I have visited Toledo often, it is near Madrid, and I have never seen it of this so beautiful form, your effort was compensated, fantastic sky and perfect lights, good work!
Kenny10pin (19301) 2006-09-25 15:13
Very nice night shot the colours are nice and also the buildings, very well composed too
aralda (1240) 2006-10-04 13:40
Those shades of blue with what seems like traces of smoke provide quite a nice sky for this moody dark photo.
AiresSantos (56155) 2006-10-10 10:57
Great night composition with an excellent contrast. I like the POV and how you framed the picture. Very good colours and light.
TFS and greetings,
sergio1 (12152) 2006-10-16 6:58
Excellent night shot to Toledo, beautiful place and perfect work. I like the copo and expossure.
nika (0) 2006-10-16 13:02
Love that dramatic sky that takes me to the El Greco versions over Toledo with his presurrealistic viewpoints . The definition(sharpness) is also briliant and i was thrilled about where you took the picture from but your interesting comment blew off my hesitations . The picture is really great . Cheers David !
flatwin (2181) 2006-10-18 17:40
tres beau cliché avec de belles couleurs et un bon cadrage
quillo (11850) 2007-07-27 11:20
A magnificent night photo: I adore the lights and the color. Also, the composition is very compensated: the belfry and the church to every side, creating a very interesting game.
Undoubtedly a big photo.
- Copyright: David Astley (banyanman) (7789)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2006-09-17
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D100, Nikkor AF-S 24-120/3.5-5.6G ED
- Exposure: f/3.5, 1/2 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2006-09-18 5:54