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Thread: constant improvement

  1. #1
    crisscross's Avatar
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    constant improvement

    I realise I am always making comments on everyone elses pics here but have never put one up for you to have a pot at, so here is one from Hereford cathedral. Historically & architecturally the interest is in the fact that there were several partial rebuilds all before 1200 (see Wikepedia entry) and you can see the joints between the rather rural earlier effort and more sophisticated improvements. I am cheating as I am a retired architect.

    Photographically its (a) trying to get the exposure right for mix of daylight, artificial and not to blow the stained glass (b) where to set the zoom and crop. You can be suitably relaxed if you ask anyone on duty and, becoming more common, pay a photography fee.

    In churches I use a mini-tripod held onto furniture etc and try a few exposures until I think I am there (1/5 sec f4.5). Its the Nikon 18-135 kit lens, actually at 35mm. I seriously advise against going below 20ish, better to do pano technique. NX2 has a lens distortion corrector & I believe some lens manufacturers do plugins for particular lenses

    In PP, apart from usual stuff, in this one it has been easy to get a horizontal base line and sometimes use an unskew to get the perspective under some sort of control. Never try to totally unskew as churches and cathedrals are tall enough for vertical perspective to be seen by eye and full correction looks like outward lean. Wasn't needed here as there was a high rest point.

    Chris - more on www.pbase.com/crisscross/herefordetc
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    Last edited by crisscross; 16th November 2008 at 08:23 AM.

  2. #2
    David's Avatar
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    Re: constant improvement

    Hi Chris - Thanks for this image. I've tried to capture such images and have almost always been disappointed with my results. Your view has the merit of having a reasonable dynamic range from the stained glass to the shadow areas. Personally, if or when I get another chance, I would try an HDR approach to get more from the shadows and better illuminate the glass. Regarding perspective, I agree that if you apply too much correction then you get an artificial look. In this case, however, I think a further application to particularly the left hand side would give a better balanced view. I've always found perspective correction tools difficult to handle, but the one I like best is the one associated with The Gimp. I'm going to look through my files to see if I have anything comparable and will post it here for your views.

    David

  3. #3
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: constant improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    ... Personally, if or when I get another chance, I would try an HDR approach to get more from the shadows and better illuminate the glass. Regarding perspective, I agree that if you apply too much correction then you get an artificial look. In this case, however, I think a further application to particularly the left hand side would give a better balanced view. I've always found perspective correction tools difficult to handle, but the one I like best is the one associated with The Gimp.
    David
    On the 1st point, although I have seen, very rarely, something improved by HDR, far more often it ends up looking blatently artificial. I think the guy that did it well on a church interior has very good software. I never found any for mac available on free trial. On this I don't think it is even necessary as nothing is blown and its easy enough to use a D-light tool to bring the shadows up as far as one wants - but it is precisely the shadows that give a building heavy 3 dimensional modelling...and represent centuries of ageing.

    On the 2nd point, you need large spare margins to use unskew and it remains difficult to find a path for the vertical edges that doesn't intersect something glaringly. Here on mac we are very lucky, there is software called GraphicConverter that has superb unskew with full lines and draggable intersections.

    This is from same viewpoint, same exif except 18mm - maybe the picture you would prefer. This comes down to choosing between general views and accentuating one aspect, or better still doing both, will add this to the gallery now you have prompted me David.
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  4. #4
    David's Avatar
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    Re: constant improvement

    Chris - here is an after and before image of stained glass from Salisbury Cathedral. As the original was a single RAW file I've carried out a pseudo HDR on it and corrected the horizontal perspective. I don't consider the shot, even enhanced in this way, particularly good because it was hand-held and hence blurred, and it is slightly off-centre. However, it does what a mild HDR treatment (with Photomatix Pro) can achieve.

    David

    constant improvement

    constant improvement

    PS It looks like our posts have crossed. If you have a RAW file, e-mail it to me and I'll see if I can give you anything you might find acceptable.
    Last edited by David; 16th November 2008 at 12:45 PM.

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