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Of all the beautiful churches in Chicago, this may be the most beautiful. St. Mary of the Angels.

I always love old architecture especially, the interior of historic buildings and churches and my sole inspiration for vertorama is from Klaus Herrmann. He is the master of this. Please take a look at his site for all tutorials and some great images. However, I felt to include the steps I did to create this image as well.


How was it shot:

I was lucky to have the whole church to myself on a rather hot day. So I decided to shoot the vertorama with the tripod. I took, 7x3 manually bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2 EV) using Sigma 10-20mm F4-F5.6 at f/8, ISO 100. See it big for details.


How was it stitched and tonemapped :

All 21 images were brought into Lightroom 4 for White Balance correction and chromatic aberration reduction. I also did some Noise Reduction in Lightroom. These were then saved in 16 bit TIFs and each of the seven sets of three images were tonemapped in Photomatix 4. I have experimented with several other processes and this is the only one that has worked in this case.The 7 tonemapped images were then stitched in Photoshop using Photomerge option and selecting cylindrical option. I tried the Auto option for stitching and it came out pretty ugly. So, I had to wait another 15 minutes before Photoshop could work its magic to create the vertorama :)


How was it post-processed :

* I brought the tonemapped file from Photomatix to PS CS5 and did perspective correction and cropping. With the help of Grid lines centered the whole image. This is key for vertorama shots.

* Used Topaz Adjust to bring some colors back as, I went for a pretty flat look on Photomatix.

* Since, I used a low ISO, did not have to use any Noise Reduction.

* Used Hue/Saturation layer (yellow) along with Layer Mask to bring out the golden colors.

* Used Hue/Saturation layer (blue) to desaturate the blues on the ceilings

* Used Levels layer to desaturate and give more cleaner look on the marble wall at the back

* Used a cooling filter (Blue) to get some blues back on the windows as the dynamic range was very high.

* Used Luminance masking to even out the tones on the ceiling

* Used Luminance mask and hand-painted mask to darken the floor and the chairs

* Used Hue/Saturation layer (yellow) to enhance the reflected light on the floor

* Dodged the paintings to create some interesting lights.

* Dodged the dome to brighten up

* Sharpened using High-pass filter

* Flattened layer and exported to Lightroom and created vignette

* Back in PS created a "spotlight effect" for more attention in the center. Klaus has a great tutorial on that. Check it out.

* Resized the image and "sharpened for web"

at the church of st. mary of the angels. last leg of our visita iglesia/photowalk


On Black

Church of the St. Mary of the Angels, Chicago, IL

The other day, I visted Bucktown in Chicago and had some time to walk over to the St Mary of The Angels church. It is one of the top 10 churches not to be missed in Chicago. I was very impressed by the architecture. The best thing was, I was the only one around so took enough time to take some shots.

The Quadcopter has sure given me shots I could only dream of before now. I decided to get this church in the morning light. I kept the sun to my back to keep some sense of even exposure going on. Onlookers thought it cool.


YouTube Video of this flight can be seen at:

St. Mary of the Angels Parish


Shot with my Hipstamatic for iPhone

Lens: Tinto 1848

Film: C-Type Plate

Flash: Off

This ceiling detail is found in St. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Basilica in Olean New York.

This is a view of the exterior of St. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Basilica, Olean NY,

Vertorama of St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago. This reveals a common stars in blue field in the ceiling and wonderful stained glass in the main dome. The crowning of mary is depicted above the alter. Then in the side alters you have depictions of people honoring the traditions of the parish.

This is fSt. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Basilica in Olean New York.

April 21, 2011 ~ 1850 N. Hermatige, Chicago. Stop #1

St Mary of the Angels and Majestic Tower, Wellington, New Zealand


This is a bit of a cliche shot of the St Mary of the Angels Church (built in 1922) and the Majestic Tower (built in 1991), but seeing as we were in Wellington recently I thought I would give it another spin, seeing as both buildings have been recently refurbished and strengthened.


Fujifilm X-E2, ISO200, f8, 1/125sec, 12mm Rokinon lens

Processed in Lightroom

Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Chicago has great stained glass. I hope I'm getting better at photographing it.

St Mary of the Angels and the Majestic Tower on Boulcott St. I like the contrast between these two buildings, but I'm going to have to try and find a better vantage point to re-try this from, I think. The stitching on this also isn't perfect, and the treatment was a little experimental.

This stained glass of the Sacred Heart is found in St. Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Basilica, Olean NY,

St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Boulcott St, Wellington

This is the dome of the church, St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago, IL. Also what I'm working on. This isn't a final image, but I hope it's enjoyable never the less.

"Good Jesu, what will you do with my heart?" - St John Houghton, who was martyred at Tyburn on 4 May 1535.


Today, 4 May, is the feast of the many Martyrs of the English Reformation, and this stained glass of the first of those martyrs, a Carthusian religious (St John Houghton) and the first seminary (diocesan) priest (St Cuthbert Mayne) is at the church of St Mary of the Angels in Bayswater, London.


St Mary of the Angels church ( and the Majestic Centre (http://www.majesticcentre.​, in downtown Wellington.


The Majestic Centre is one of the tallest building in Wellington and is about 4 times the height of St. Mary of the Angels church.

"I am the good shepherd. I know my own – by which I mean, I love them – and my own know me. In plain words: those who love me are willing to follow me, for anyone who does not love the truth has not yet come to know it."


– from a homily by St Gregory the Great.


Today is Good Shepherd Sunday, and we implore the Lord for vocations, that he may give us shepherds after his own heart who love him, and who love his flock.


For more information, visit our Vocations page.

Interior shot of St Mary of the Angels church.

Reflected front door of St Mary of the Angels church in Boulcott St, taken during a wander around the grounds there for a lunchtime constitutional...

(Tangerine Dream / Exit / Remote Viewing)

St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church, Chicago.


Three vertical frames combined in PSE 6. Three exposures for each frame, combined using Bracketeer.


View On Black

Today's shot is another of Saint Mary's Church in Bucktown. This is the entrance to the church on Wood St.


Watch the video below to see how I created the Vignette effect.


Download my "Midnight Vignette" photoshop action.


From the photoblog at


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Something Lovecraftian about the way this came out. Which is rather amusing since it was taken in a church.

(The Sundays / Reading, Writing and Arithmetic / Skin & Bones)

St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church Chicago.


Three exposures combined in Bracketeer.

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