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Heidelberg Church Interiors HDR (4 images)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Brian G, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    In mid-December my wife & I had to make an unexpected trip to Heidelberg. Having been there once before, I knew there were a number of beautiful old churches in the Altstadt (Old Town) area. This time I took a tripod; these interiors are too dark to shoot exposure brackets hand-held.

    These are all HDR images, based on anywhere from four to nine exposures, merged in Photomatix Pro, then subsequent editing in Photoshop, including touches from Topaz Denoise, Adjust and Detail.

    In the past, I've been guilty of a tendency to do too much sharpening early in the editing process (I tend to think in terms of prints as the final objective), but when such images are then posted online they look overly hashly, just a bridge too far, so to speak. So recently I've tried to do creative-stage sharpening on a more moderate way, and then leave output sharpening to the point where I'm preparing a file for print. So constructive comments are very welcome!

    NB: the views here are what Flick auto-creates from the upload, so they look worse than the actual uploaded file size, which is larger. If you care to see what the files really look like, you have to click through to "View All Sizes" on my Flickr pages, and select the largest file size.

    Thanks for looking.


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    Holy Spirit Church Rear View by Blueshound250, on Flickr

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    Heidelberg Church 2 Front by Blueshound250, on Flickr

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    Heidelberg Church 2 Rear by Blueshound250, on Flickr

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    Stairway to Heaven by Blueshound250, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 7
  2. feilb

    feilb Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Great work. The first two are a little overpowering for my taste; the latter two I like a lot. Great detail in the organ in three!
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Great set, and smashing treatment.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks for the comments. The first one is indeed "cooked longer" than the others. I don't attempt to process every image for a similar degree of "stylize vs. natural", I just tend to follow where I feel the image is taking me. Often, I do tend to prefer a more moderate treatment, it can just look better, but it's very image-dependent. I don't care for excessively stylized images unless it makes that particular image more captivating (in my opinion, of course).

    The middle two are front & rear views of the same church, and are in fact edited similarly. In fact, the preset I'd saved in Photomatix from the first one was applied to the second, with only minor tweaks from there. When I thought I'd finished with the both of them, I noticed that one was actually cooler in color temperature than the other, so I went back to both of them and adjusted them to look similar. It was an oversight on my part.

    I still think that the 2nd still looks a tad warmer than the 3rd, particularly online, and I may still cool both down a wee bit.

    Thanks again.

  5. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    That last one is the "bomb"!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    The first has that "colored pencil" look that some HDR can get. But its still stunning.
  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    There is something in the perspective that seems strange.
    In the first two the benches look to be on a slope.
    Is it just me.:frown:

    All the pictures are good work, I have found that churches in long exposure tend to get strange colors which we do not see with a naked eye.
  8. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Agreed. That "illustrative" look is great. sometimes.

    Thanks for the input.

  9. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Thanks! I don't think that's unique to churches; I've been doing HDR for a while now, and not only tonemapping but also certain other editing techniques tend to really bring out color emphasis that we generally don't notice by eye. On the occasions where I've been able to go back and see the same scene again, in similar light, and really look closely, some of those colors are in fact present, but very subdued by comparison. The processing brings them forward and adds an emphasis. And of course color shifts and unpredictable accentuations happen in shadow areas as a by-product of pulling up shadows that isn't there in real life.

    Certainly making colors "pop" beyond what's natural is sometimes part of the goal, and it reflects the intent of the photographer / editor. In my case I don't care about being faithful to "realistic", I want a certain look in the final result, and prefer not be constrained by what the eye actually saw.

    Having said all of the above, you may of course be right! :smile:

    As far as the benches looking strange, I have to think that's the result of a very wide angle combined with tilting the camera up, but still including the benches in the frame . . .

    • Like Like x 1
  10. AndyT

    AndyT Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2012
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I like the look of the first two - almost has a 3D effect. Not that there is anything wrong with the other either ! I must give this a go sometime ......
  11. I'm a bit "less is more", so the last two are the standouts for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Brian G

    Brian G Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Hey Nic, appreciate you chiming in. The 3rd & 4th images are the first that I edited, and they just seemed to work well without going too far with them.

  13. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Very well done, thanks for sharing.
    • Like Like x 1
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