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Photographer's Note

One of the topics of the conversations that I had with RicLopes, AiresSantos and Keribar in the opening of Keribar's exhibition in Lisboa was shooting blue hours. Towards the end of the event, the light in the cloister where the exhibition stands was gorgeous and Izzet had his tripod mounted to capture some blue hour shots that looked great in the camera display. I am curious about them and I hope he will post at least one of them.

One of the things that we discussed was what time was better for shooting blue hours. I was the only one that was not sure, while they all agreed that the later, the better, as long as there is some blue, even if it is apparently too dark.

When I was choosing what to post today I stumbled upon this one and I thought that after all maybe it illustrates well how they are right, as it was shot about two hours after sunset and the sky has still plenty of blue. To be honest, the original is much darker, but all was needed to put it like you see here was adjusting the levels selectively; if that adjustment was too drastic, I would have much trouble avoiding a halo around the roof, walls, and even more on the tree.

About the church: This mostly Romanesque, with some parts Gothic, basilica is described by some as one of the most outstanding medieval monuments of Spain. Its construction started in the late 11th century or maybe early in the next century and wasn't finished for 200 years. Its dimensions rival many cathedrals. According to the legend, which I believe is consistent with some archaeological studies, the actual basilica stands on the same place of an older basilica, probably from the Visigothic period or maybe earlier.

The complete name of the church is "Basilica de los Santos Mártires Vicente, Sabina y Cristeta". Those saints were early Christians that lived or were just murdered or just buried in Avila. These histories of the Christian iconography are too confusing to me... I always thought that Saint Vincent was buried in Lisboa. Then, in Avila I heard about his tomb having been once in this basilica or its older predecessor. Finally, in Valencia, I saw a mummified arm of that same saint. Supposedly he was buried in Valencia until the Muslim occupation and the body miraculously appeared in Lisboa carried by a boat crewed only by crows (that boat appears on the Lisboa flag). I wonder how the arm made its way to Valencia, something that is even more puzzling considering that it happened as early as 1970.

While I was researching for writing this note I found something that may interest those of you more involved with Medieval Architecture: a PhD thesis on the basilica from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, by Pedro Feduchi Canosa. I didn't care for finding if that thesis gives some light on the mystery of the burials of Saint Vincent.

WS: Photo of the main door, which lies below the big arch behind the lighter tree. I present two versions of the same shot. #1 is the the original, uncropped image; in #2 I tried to correct the perspective.

Other TE posts of this church: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Link to all my posts of Avila: *

Location (latitude, longitude): 40.657828,-4.696832

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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