Share this photo on Twitter Share this photo on Facebook

St. Albertus Magnus, Düsseldorf

Posted by
MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 25 May 2009 in Architecture.

The interior of the church we were looking at some weeks ago. This was a difficult shot, as the interior was closed (except the narthex) and I had to take my photograph through a glass door. When you look closely enough, you still can see some reflections coming from various windows and lamps behind me. I had to press my lens against the door as far as possible and breathed out slowly. Instead of pressing the shutter on the camera I used my remote release in order to avoid the vibration when pressing the button. Oh, and, of course, it was dark, as always. The result could have been worse given the various circumstances. A year ago, this was not so easy.

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

A very peaceful shot and I like the calmness in it.

25 May 2009 8:13am

@Ana Lúcia: It looked even calmer because of its darkness (I brightened the photo up a lot).

Xavier from Troyes, France

Clever management of light and it's not so easy inside a church

25 May 2009 9:33am

@Xavier: It never is, but I hope I'm getting better from visit to visit. :-)

romina from bucharest, Romania

i like a lot the symmetry. but as a church seems a little bit impersonal. or not? great capture anyway

25 May 2009 11:01am

@romina: This church is a typical example of sacral architecture in the 1930s. It's an instance of the traditionalistic architectural style between both world wars. located somewhere between Romanesque and anti-modern Kulturkritik. It's not so easy to ignore its date of construction, though, as the aesthetic ideology behind this architecture fits well into the Nazi canon of values.

PD from Overland Park, Kansas, United States

This is a very different looking church that the ones you norrmally show us! The brick interior is different, but I like it - nice shot under bad conditions

25 May 2009 3:49pm

@PD: According to our standards it's a quite smooth design. The lack of old devices (a historic altar, some old confessional etc.) makes it look more modern than originally was intended by the architect, because he was quoting Romanesque form language.

MaryB from Staffordshire, United Kingdom

The reflection of the cross over the alter is beautiful, love the light too.

25 May 2009 7:04pm

@MaryB: I had to brighten it a bit up - there was not much light inside! Would like to see this church when the lights are switched on. :-)

Sarah from Suisse, Switzerland

Fantastic shot.

25 May 2009 8:01pm

@Sarah: Thanks very much!

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

I think I read this was started around 1939 and not completed/repaired for another 30 years or so : I guess that explains the use of brick like that which seldom looks right in church building. Perhaps I am just old-fashioned !

25 May 2009 8:45pm

@Ronnie 2¢: Brickstones for sacral buildings are actually quite common here, especially in northern and eastern Germany (random samples). I think this church will gain more character in the next two or three centuries. :-)

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Very different church style, a bit austere but a perfect place to pray.

25 May 2009 11:56pm

@akarui: It looks a bit empty, and the splendor you may find in other churches is missing here. The pure form seems to have more importance than the decor.

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Very well-captured, given the conditions you were dealing with. This church is reminiscent of my hometown church with all of the brick arches and hanging crucifix.

26 May 2009 12:22am

@Steven: It looks quite modern, I'm not sure if this was intended by the architect, as he quoted Romanesque forms. It would be nice to know how people would perceive it in hundred or two-hundred years.

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

The brick is different, giving more of an industrial appeal. You sure are tricky with the pressing into the glass, and shutter release. :D

26 May 2009 1:00am

@JoeB: Tricks I'm using when I'm too lazy to carry my tripod. :-)

dj.tigersprout from New York City, United States

amazingly unique architecture!! looks like a winery!! :) love the warm tones and soft light!

26 May 2009 1:57am

@dj.tigersprout: This is the brightened-up version of the original (dark) photo. I really would like to see it in full illumination.

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

Not bad for shooting through a window, even though besides the reflection, there is a tiny bit of that contrast reduction a window produces. Did you try tweaking black levels and/or increasing midtone contrast?

8 Jun 2009 6:17pm

@Twelvebit: Both. Usually I'm brightening the darker parts and reducing brightness in the other ones. That's really easy with Aperture, I'm always impressed how much detail I can save from a seemingly overexposed area.