This is the Alhambra in Southern Spain, one of the most iconic pieces of Islamic architecture in Europe, and certainly one of the most beautiful buildings I've visited.
It's a place I'd wanted to visit for years, and we arrived in Granada after spending time in Cordoba, where we saw the equally impressive Mosque.
The Alhambra was built around the 14th century as the fortress/palace/residence of the city rulers, and was later added to by the Christian King and of Spain, Carlos V (the square building you can see in the centre).
It sits on top of a hill overlooking the city, below the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and to shoot the exterior properly you have to head into the neighbourhood of Albaycin, located on an adjacent hill.
This shot was taken from a park in the Albaycin. I walked up there an hour before sunset to shoot the last light falling on the walls, and found the park heaving with life, and various photographers setting up tripods - Granada is a medieval city full of tiny winding streets and this as this is one of the few places you can get a view of the entire palace, unobstructed by other buildings and trees.
Sadly, I didn't get the dramatic sky I had hoped for, but a few moments after the sun had set, and the Alhambra lights came on, the sky turned pink, which in turn was reflected by the white snow of the peaks on the Sierra Nevada.
This was the only chance I had to shoot the exterior, as the following evening we were inside the palace. The interior is even more impressive than the exterior and looking at the thousands of intricately carved walls and pillars, it's hard to believe that it was all done over half a millenium ago.
If you're interested, there are many shots of the interior on my website
I took this using a two stop grad (soft) to control the highlights in the sky, a tripod, mirror lock up and a cable release.
Not sure if anyone will like it, but it's a shot that I'm fond of, so here goes...Metadata
Taken in Albaycin, Granada, Spain.
Nikon D3 | Nikkor 28-105mm
Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead
Lee 0.2 (2 stop) neutral density graduated filter (soft)
1/2 | f11 | 60mm
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