This is the very first picture I took when I came to Russia for three months at the end of 2014. There is probably nothing more iconic that Saint Basil Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square to depict Russia. But it is also THE cliché image of Russia. To make mine a bit more interesting and “telling” of Russia, I decided not to crop out the chimneys at the bottom right corner. Not only they provided for a lovely “smokey” backdrop of the cathedral in the late afternoon light, but they also tell a story of their own. These are the chimneys of a power station right in the heart of the city, literally just a few hundred meters away from the Kremlin.
I like how the cold blue sky and the snow on the cathedral immediately give the sense of a winter scene and how a 500-year-old church and a 50-year-old power plant come together.
To get this perspective and a bit of compression, I shoot at 80mm on a crop sensor (equivalent to 120mm on a full frame) from about the center of Red Square. I focused on the cathedral with an aperture of F 5.6, which allowed me to also have chimneys in relatively good focus without having to bump the ISO too much (280) and keeping a good shutter speed of 1/125th and avoid motion induced blurriness.
You can see this picture bigger, along with a map of the exact point where it was taken at the following link (to my “photo-only” website) The World Photos