Friday, 18 May 2012

Italy, Taormina

HDR image of alleyway in Taormina, Sicily - Italy
Made in Sicily
This is an HDR shot that we took in Taormina while shooting images for our Cruising the Mediterranean series of pictorial souvenir books.

Taormina is located on the east coast of Sicily and is about halfway between the towns of Messina & Catania. The town is perched on a hillside overlooking the Ionian Sea and is about a 45 minute drive to Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano.

The town of Taormina features an ancient Greek amphitheatre, many fine restaurants, old churches, wine bars and antique shops. Corso Umberto 1 is the main street of the town and is only accessible by pedestrians. Many small alleyways lead off the main street.

What we loved about this scene was the 'Made in Sicily' sign and the artwork halfway up the stairs. Without these the image would have been quite dull. As the scene was quite high contrast we decided to capture it as a HDR. We processed this in Photomatix Pro 4.2 and gave it a bit of a 'painterly' look which seemed appropriate considering the contents of the image.

Our Tips:
  1. Get there early before all the tourists arrive or better still stay in Taormina for a few days.
  2. Extremely difficult to set up a tripod when its busy to get a shot like this so you'll have to hand-hold the 3 shots. 
  3. Try bracing yourself against a wall, or tuck in your elbows close to your body and hold your breath during the shots. This will hopefully alleviate any movement between shots.
  4. Make sure there is some interesting foreground features to make the shot more interesting and try several different angles.
If you are interested in purchasing Photomatix Pro then make sure you use the code 'widescenes' at checkout to receive a 15% discount.

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