Zadar, Croatia

Day Two Hundred and Fifty Two. Hello Croatia! And today, Zadar specifically. This trip changed my definition of the word historic. Before today, to me, old was the colonial era, the 1700s, 1800s -ish. Hundreds of years is a long time, right? Well, not so much. I photographed a church today whose construction began in the 9th century. Ninth. Over a thousand years ago. And, here's the crazy part: it's not a museum. It's not a protected historic site. It's just where the locals go to church every Sunday. How insane is that? If you're Croatian (or, more broadly, European in general), it's probably pretty normal. If, on the other hand, you happen to be a red-blooded American, like yours truly, then it's rather shocking.

On the technical side, I shot most of these images with the tilt-shift and did a few 5-minute long exposures, but the real magic (as always) happened in post. I used a few of Lightroom's newer techniques to really bring these images to life. If you haven't started using Luminance & Color Masking yet, you're leaving an entire world's worth of possibilities on the table. Previously, there was no reasonable way to isolate selecting only the sky in an image (in Lightroom (you've always been able to do selective masking in Photoshop)), but now if you have a well-separated subject and sky, selecting one or the other is nearly trivial. Is it a fine-art-print worthy selection? No. In all but the most absolute ideal circumstances, there will be edge effects. But, given that it takes seconds instead of hours to make the selection, if you're not printing your work at wall-sized scale, then there's nothing to worry about. Adobe just increased the level of artistic expression capable in Lightroom by an order of magnitude.

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