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Matthias Church - Budapest, Hungary (HDR Vertorama)

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


Read my new HDR Cookbook post about the technique of producing an image like this.


The story of this photo:

Matthias Church is located in Budapest, Hungary, at the heart of Buda's Castle District. The current church was constructed in the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century [adapted from Wikipedia]. The church is allegedly amongst the "100 most beautiful cathedrals in the world". I don't really know what that is worth. However, the interior is unlike any other church that I have seen in that it is entirely held in orange, red, and yellow tones with a bit of subtle blue in it.


This is actually the first HDR vertorama upload that I created by using a tripod. All the earlier ones were shot hand-held. Usually, tripods are not allowed in most churches. However, the people in Budapest seem to be quite relaxed about this issue. I asked at the entrance whether a tripod was allowed, and the guy looked in disbelief because he did not understand what a tripod is. When I finally succeeded in explaining it (with my hands), he waved me through with that look on his face saying "I have got better things to do that caring about tripods!". Great, thanks! :-)




Success story:

> This photo is/was featured in the The Top30 HDR Images in May 2011 on


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


How it was shot:

> Taken with a tripod with a simple Novoflex panorama plate and a Kirk macro rail fitted to it as a panorama adapter

> 5x3 autobracketed shots (three exposures with 0, -2, +2 EV - shutters speeds: 6s, 1.6s, 25s)

> Camera: Nikon D7000

> Lens: Sigma 10-20mm F3,5 EX DC HSM

> Details can be found here


How it was stitched and tonemapped:

> Created TIFFs from the RAW files in ACR - reducing CA [details] and setting the same white balance for each shot

> Created additional exposures with -4EV and +4EV with ACR to control highlights and shadows [details]

> Created 5 tone-mapped images from the TIFF files using Photomatix Pro 4.0 (Detail Enhancer)

> Saved the images as 16bit TIFs

> Stitched the 5 TIFFs using Photoshop


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 [details]

> Topaz Infocus on the entire image for sharpening

> Global exposure layer (slight increase in exposure and slight decrease in gamma)

> Global Levels layer (more contrast)

> Saturation layer (increased master, toned down the reds and the blues)

> Levels layer on the middle part of the ceiling (brightening)

> Sharpening using the high-pass filter [details]

> Watermarking



Learn these techniques at - View. Learn. Connect.


- Thanks for viewing!

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Taken on May 7, 2011