Aug 6, 2013

Place Royale and Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires at Night


Place Royale is a small but very picturesque square in the Vieux-Québec part of the lower town nestled below Quebec City’s most famous landmark Château Frontenac. Québécois consider the place the literal and spiritual heart of Basse-Ville, the birthplace of French America. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Place-Royal (aka Royal Square) was utilized as the town marketplace, a center of business and industry. The most prominent landmark bordering the plaza is Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires and is Québec's oldest stone church. Settlers brought votive offerings like the church beautiful paintings, altar, and large model boat suspended from the ceiling to ensure safe voyages. Place Royal is home to the Centre d'Interprétation de Place-Royale and the center of the square has a bust of Louis XIV.

On one of the first nights I left my tripod in the hotel and we ended up at Place Royal. There we discovered a nice café where we soaked in the historic ambiance of the location and enjoyed a fine cappuccino. Needless to say, this became a regular night destination and activity during our Quebec visit. Place Royale turns magical at twilight and as I left my tripod at the hotel I had to get creative and find alternative structures to stabilize camera and lens for Long Exposure Photography at night. I did not need to look around for a long time and quickly found a fence that I was able to use as a tripod replacement. I positioned the camera on the corner of the fence. Luckily it also provided me with a decent composition of the main landmarks in front of me. Once set up and stable I made multiple exposures to capture this unique and magical ambiance. Aperture in this first photography image was set to f/11 providing a 15 second exposure time at ISO100. People crossing the plaza were magically eliminated through the long shutter speed setting. The second picture presents an opposite view of the square from Notre Dame des Victoires and was actually taken from an outside table at the café. Again without tripod support I decided to use my sweater for camera support and stabilization. Aperture in this second photograph was set to f/22 providing a 10 second exposure time at ISO400.

During digital post processing I minimally adjusted contrast, lighting and color saturation before sharpening the final image in photoshop.