Basilica St. Martin - Weingarten, Germany (HDR Vertorama)

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►►► Explore the world of HDR with me at - View. Learn. Connect.

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Watch the Before-and-After Comparison to see where this photo comes from!

Success story:
> This shot is the 2nd most interesting photo uploaded on February 12th 2011 - has not been explored though
> It is among the top 10 HDR uploads of all times (last check: May 2011)
> It is an Editor's Pick at "HDR Spotting".

The story of this photo:
This HDR vertorama was taken in the Basilica St. Martin in Weingarten, Germany. This wonderful church was built between 1715 and 1724. The white interior creates a fantastic light, and when the sun is shining, this place lights up. This is a classical example of a scene that requires HDR. In a normal shot, you could never capture how the sun shines on those pillars without the rest of the shot being hopelessly underexposed.

While processing this shot, I discovered that my usual HDR Vertorama technique lead to a strange problem: Usually, I stitch the 32bit HDRs in Photoshop before the tone-mapping. However, I found that Photoshop drastically loses details in the highlights during this process. I tried it with this shot and the spots where the sun shines on the pillars became big ugly white blobs without any chance of recovering details. The information in these spots was just lost. Strange! I did not find any explanation or a way to cure this yet. Photoshop just mysteriously loses this data. If you have an explanation, let me know. To avoid this effect, I have tone-mapped the individual images first and then stitched them in Photoshop.

Take a look at my "HDR Cookbook"! It contains some more information on my techniques.

How it was shot:
> Taken handheld (Read more about the technique!)
> 5x3 autobracketed shots (three exposures each with 0, -2, +2 ev)
> Camera: Nikon D90
> Lens: Sigma 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM
> Details can be found here

How it was stitched and tonemapped:
> Created 5 tone-mapped images directly from the RAW files using Photomatix Pro 4.0 (Detail Enhancer)
> Saved the images as 16bit TIFs
> Stitched the 5 TIFs using Photoshop
> Take a look here for a more detailed description.

How it was post-processed:
> Post-processing was done in Photoshop
> Topaz Adjust on the entire image to get back the colors and the details [details]
> Topaz Denoise (more aggressively on the white walls) [details]
> Topaz Infocus on the entire image for sharpening
> Saturation layer on the white regions (desaturation)
> Saturation layer on the windows (master and blues)
> Levels layer on the upper middle part of the ceiling (masked with an oval selection to brighten this area)
> Saturation layer on the paintings (master and reds)
> Vibrance layer on the paintings (for a more even saturation)
> Color balance layer on the paintings (for cooling the colors a bit)
> Curves layer on the floor (enhancing the reflective look)
> Curves layer on some parts of the ceiling (more contrast)
> Vignette effect using a masked fill layer [details]
> Sharpening using the high-pass filter [details]
> Watermarking
Learn these techniques at - View. Learn. Connect.
- Thanks for viewing!

View 20 more comments

  1. Mark Colliton 48 months ago | reply

    definitely inspiring & thanks for the insights!

  2. kainz0r [deleted] 48 months ago | reply

    This picture just exploded my head.

  3. Robert Prucha 48 months ago | reply

    WOW, absolutely breathtaking! All your images are awesome!

  4. nolehace 47 months ago | reply nice...

  5. SilviaGr 47 months ago | reply

    Amazing! Your work is an inspiration! I will be studying it further!

  6. frank hahner 47 months ago | reply

    A very beautiful work.

  7. Mя.Møпstɛr 46 months ago | reply masterpiece after a nother....great stuff!
    fantastic stream!

  8. Yellow_cam 46 months ago | reply

    Perfection! Superb work Klaus! Amazing details, amazing HDR + Panorama! Nice.

  9. Milomania 46 months ago | reply

    Hi there! I loved this shot, really amazing man. Thanks for sharing those detailed techniques in your HDR cookbook. The best!

  10. Gregg Obst 46 months ago | reply

    Outstanding level of detail. Thanks for your tutorials. You have given me a great deal of things to add to my toolbox for future work.

  11. naturalflow 43 months ago | reply

    superb work, appreciate your info a lot, thanks for sharing so much meaty stuff, and fine architecture!
    have you been to the Sofia mosque in istanbul? or others?

  12. MάNoS 43 months ago | reply

    Great work...congrats!

  13. Jjbchic 43 months ago | reply

    Dear God, you have a gift!!! Absolutely amazing composition! Well done!

  14. Mező, Kornél (mostly away) 42 months ago | reply


    --- discovered and commented with Deep Dive ---

  15. mpauliks 40 months ago | reply

    Great !
    Posted via this page on flickeflu

  16. igor29768 38 months ago | reply

    Outstanding view and excellent work!

  17. sd98fw897r 31 months ago | reply

    It looks majestic, but: in reality, this church doesn't look like that at all. It is so much brighter, on any given time of the day.

  18. afullmer 15 months ago | reply

    Everything about this, I like.

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