Expat Life

Cuenca Catedrales in juxtapostion

In Ecuador, they are everywhere. In Cuenca, it is no different. I live by Parque Calderon, about a block away. This is considered the epicenter of the city by all Cuencanos whether mestizo or indigenous.

So, it’s fitting that the “New Cathedral” also known as, “Catedral de la Immaculada” is on one side of the park square and the “Old Cathedral” is on the opposite side. As I have written, the primary emphasis in the Ecuatoriano culture is church and family. Across a narrow street from the south side of the New Cathedral, sits another iglesia, El Carmen de la Asuncion. I assembled an image of the two churches, juxtaposed with each other.

The New Cathedral has it’s normal obligatory composition for the camera owners of the world whether their equipment be an iPhone, P&S, tablet, DSLR, etc. I do intend to compose the iconic shot sometime in the future when I have selected the proper vantage point for the capture. In the obligatory composition, all three blue tile domes are shown as is the other warm brown brickwork of the sides and eastern facing exposure of the building. The exposures are usually made from a higher vantage point and show the surrounding city area in the composition. Nothing wrong with that and it’s great to show all of the cathedral you can if that’s your story; however, it’s everyone else’s story also to the point of finding depressions in concrete and dirt where tripod legs have been slammed into the exact same holes as the person who made the same composition before you who made it right after the person before them.

Showing more detail that is virtually never shown along with another sister structure offers a fresh interpretation of the compositional elements at hand. It is quite rare that we have sun here in the late afternoon much less with a storm coming in from the east which is a successful backdrop to the warm light striking the domes and parapets of the two iglasias. Yes, textures, colors and light have all combined to get the “pop” and detail I sought.

Among photographers, a phrase was coined years ago to provide a summation of the rudimentary needs of a successful exposure. The phrase is, “F8 and be there”. How do you think I pulled it off? Was it the “F8” or the “being there”? That’s my story. ¡Espero que te guste!

  • Mulligan

    Shows what I know. I always heard, “F11 @ 125.”

    • Brian Buckner

      Hey Mulligan, there are a number of different combinations of aperture and shutter speed that will lead to similar results. However, F8 is a decent aperture for a good depth of field and as you mentioned, F11 might ad even a greater depth of field. The key phrase here is “being there” for this implies that you can only catch fish when your hook is in the water!

  • Great shot, Brian. Lovely combination of sun and clouds. Thank you for the photo details.

    • Brian Buckner

      Thank you Jeremiah. Hope you are well, I haven’t seen you about in some time. Take care!