Photographing the Pantheon, Paris

The Pantheon at sunset in Paris, FranceCanon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 24mm.

The sun was setting when I set up my tripod to make this photo of the Pantheon in Paris. The buildings dome-shaped top and greco-roman columns are spectacular. But it's not an easy building to photograph.

Photographing Upwards

Positioned at the top of a hill, no doubt to enhance the dominance of the structure, creates problems for the photographer. As a result you find yourself pointing your camera upwards to fit the dome into the frame. Unfortunately doing so causes the building to tilt which, under certain circumstances, can be distracting.

In Camera Solution

The best way to overcome the tilt is to move backwards until you can fit the top of the building in without having to tilt the camera upwards. To achieve the right framing you will likely have to use a more powerful focal length (e.g. zoom in).

In this case the building was surrounded by cars so moving back would have resulted in a grand, iconic building being fronted by all range of modern cars. Not at all what I wanted. 

Lightroom Solution

An alternative approach, and the one I chose, was to deliberately include more of the surroundings, than I otherwise would have, and then to utilize the Manual Lens Correction feature in Lightroom to correct some of the perspective problems associated with having to photograph so close to the bottom of the building. I think the resulting tilt looks relatively normal, by which I mean the less exaggerated tilt has produced a more realistic result.

I made the above image at sunset. I love the effect of the warm sunlight caressing the dome and helping project it forward from the vivid blue sky background.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru