Last fall I took a trip to Dublin, Ireland and spent a day in Book Heaven – Trinity College Library. While there, I visited the Book of Kells exhibit. Unfortunately (but understandably) the library did not allow photography inside the exhibit at all. After spending some time in the exhibit, I ended up hanging out and shooting in the library.

What is this patience of which you speak?

Working around the other tourists was an exercise in patience. Patience is a virtue that I normally have very little of. This time patience paid off in a couple shots I am really proud of. This includes the image below of a spiral staircase up into the library’s rafters. I wish that we were allowed to go up there as the view and photos would have been amazing up above Book Heaven. As it was roped off, I took a few bracketed shots to see what I can pull off. This image is one of the best from the group.

Stairway to Book Heaven

This image was three brackets at +/- 2 and 0 EV shot with a Sony A7Rii and Laowa 15mm f/2 lens. I had the aperture of the camera set to f/5.6 for these shots. The rest of the EXIF data is below. I processed the image using On1 Photo RAW, merging the brackets into an HDR image. Once it was merged I applied a preset I created for these types of dark and moody images. To finish it off I added one of the built in LUTs – “Keen” and dropped the opacity to about 75%.

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If you are visiting Dublin, you need to make some time to visit the Book of Kells exhibit and wander around the college grounds. Don’t forget to find a corner in the library and absorb the view. There is just something about the smell of an old library! I can’t wait to get back soon.


Photo EXIF data:

  • Camera: ILCE-7RM2
  • Taken: 21 October, 2019
  • ISO: 800
  • Shutter speed: 1/30s
  • Title: Stairway to Book Heaven

Photo Location:

John P. Hoke

John P. Hoke headshot

Cyber Security Professional, Photographer, Coffee Junkie, Mac Addict, Craft Beer & Whiskey connoisseur, all around curmudgeon and generally sarcastic SOB – Not necessarily in that order.

The opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and not those of my employer, family, pets, the voices in my head, or anyone else for that matter … hell in an hour they may not be mine either πŸ™‚

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