Fountains, Peterhof Summer Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

A black in white photo of beautiful fountains in a quiet area of the glorious Peterhof Summer Palace near St. Petersburg, RussiaCanon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens. ISO 100.

I visited St. Petersburg, Russia during December 2011. The days were warm and long and I was able to photograph, unhindered, day and night. It's a most beautiful city, full of the charm and the splendor of its imperial past.

One afternoon I hired a car, driver and guide and made the short trip to the Peterhof Summer Palace about 45 minutes out of St. Petersburg. Its based loosely on Versailles just out of Paris.

My new Russian friends were keen to tell me that Versailles was somewhat inferior to the local counterpart. Though I've visited both, under similar weather conditions, I don't really have a firm opinion on the matter. But, despite the large crowds and bright, afternoon light I enjoyed the challenges of making photos at both locations.

Both Peterhof and Versailles are famous for their fountains which are spread throughout the grounds. The above photo features a small section from a series of fountains around the edges of a small amphitheater.

Making the Photo 

It was simply a matter of walking around the fountains until I found a group in relatively subdued light. I positioned myself so that the outer columns provided a frame for individual elements of the fountains. The repetition of the columns, spaced at relatively equal distances from each other, provides a rhythm and sense of unity to the image.

The trees provided a great background as they blocked the sky and allowed the water to stand out. This allowed me to reduce the contrast and flare in a way that would not have been possible in other sections of the fountain.

An Added Bonus

I find it interesting to contrast the solidness and stability of the stone with the flow and transient nature of the water.

So, even under bright, sunny skies its possible to make lovely photos in the middle of the day. Not recommended and not always easy, but certainly possible.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru