Monday, 10 October 2011

Princess Cidolina

"Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place which name I don't want to remember, a gentleman lived not so long ago, once of those gentlemen with a lance and ancient shield in the rack and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing"


La Princesa Cidolina


In the above picture you can see two women: Princess Cidolina and her friend. In a second plane there are a medieval gentleman, a market and buyers. The gentleman and the two women are actors in a medieval fair.


This picture was taken in the historic centre of Alcalá de Henares (in Madrid, Spain), in one of the main streets of the city, near the house of Cervantes (where his parents lived in the past).


This picture was taken in the medieval fair of Alcalá de Henares. A fair celebrated because of the baptism of Miguel de Cervantes (October 9th, 1547), one of the better writers in the history, who lived in Alcalá de Henares.

As I've commented in previous posts, this medieval fair is a perfect source of opportunities for photographers: live shows, medieval decoration, craftsmen showing how is their work, etc.

In this case we have two actresses performing in live. The princess is a woman looking for a boyfriend (somebody in the public). The another woman is helping her. Gentlemen escort them.

I like very much the ambience in this fair. It's one of my favourites events.


This picture is a mixing of HDR layers made from a single NEF file. The HDR layers are made with Qtpfsgui / Luminance HDR. The mixing was made with Gimp.

It's a spontaneous shot. I had not time for thinking about the correct parameters. As you can see in the Exif data, it was a fast shot (1/25 seconds), but not enough: the mouth and the hand of the friend of the princess is blurred. The aperture is not too much closed or opened: it's f/7.1. A portrait requires low f-numbers (for unsharpened backgrounds). With f/7.1 the depth of field is not too much small and it include to the gentleman and the shops behind.

The depth of field and the HDR effect produce a big volume sensation. It's a good sensation for a market full of people and details.

I used a focal length of 55mm, the larger focal length in my default lens (Nikkor 18-55mm). I wanted be close to the scene and capture the details.

The ISO speed was 100. It was a outdoor scene in a sunny day.


The original version of this picture is this:

It's a frame of a sequence:

Traditionally, my pictures about the medieval market are showed in sepia. With full colours, the medieval market doesn't seem too much "medieval". The sepia version published in Astaroth's World and in this blog was this:

The first HDR version I tried was very good. It was the reason because I decided processing this picture:

The final version have a little piece of each previous verion.


I like very much this picture. It has a enormous volume sensation and a lot of details in the textures. The colours and the HDR effect produce a bizarre/burlesque point of view. As in Don Quixote, this picture is a caricature of the real world.

The wrong things: maybe it is over-processing (so unreal...) and it's a little blurred (because fast movements of the friend of the princess).


Due to image rights of the several models who appear in this picture, I can't sell this photo. This picture is a non-profit artistic expression.

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