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Old Feb 7, 2010, 3:50 PM   #1
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Default DPHDR on St. Thomas Church

Dynamic Photo HDR (DPHDR) on the rose and gallery of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York City. C&C welcome!



Middle exposure of 5 shots:

Last edited by vvcarpio; Feb 7, 2010 at 4:07 PM. Reason: Added middle exposure
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 5:00 PM   #2
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As the pic opened and started to scroll down, it caught my breath. What a shot. The details are amazing. Every brick on the ceiling. I counted them all. And yup, they are all there. I hope they got a quantity discount from the brick maker. Outstanding job VV.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 5:38 PM   #3
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The last time I was in Saint Thomas was thirty years ago (maybe forty). My memory is of course completely shot, drugs, booze, hot dogs, etc, but even so I remember the place as being dark...

Dave
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 5:48 PM   #4
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Awesome shot! I've never been there but it sure must be a beautiful place - that's what your picture says. The organ is what caught my eye, after I finally tore it away from the stained glass window. Very impressive, all the way around.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 6:18 PM   #5
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absolutely stunning image. the details, the perspective, it all works together so well.

bynx said, breath-taking. i agree
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 7:56 PM   #6
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Beautiful work!!! You should be very proud.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 8:09 PM   #7
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Too much saturation. The image looks flat, over yellow, and the stones don't look like stones. The eye can recompose the perspective but i don't think that's your aim. And Chato is right: curches are dark.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 8:39 AM   #8
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Thanks a lot, all, for your comments, critiques, and compliments!

I was at the bookstore last Saturday browsing the only book the bookstore had on HDR -- I think it's this one.

Before buying a book, I usually read a few pages first. But turning page after page and looking at all the photos inside made me remember what I may have forgotten -- that HDR is all about details. (I should say, "details, details, details" to emphasize.) The author, for example, was showing how he brought out details in dark areas of an old shopping alley in London (I think). The end result was nowhere near reality (IMO) but it was stunning.

I wondered how the author did that and whether he was withholding some techniques and only revealing those that many already knew like f-stops, exposures, lenses, etc. I wondered if each edit took hours and didnít want to sound discouraging by saying so or maybe found it embarrassing if he did.

In any case I went home and tried some experiments. What I did with this one was use DPHDRís Halo-Matix tone map. I reduced the halo slider to about half the default value and saturation to near zero. PSE7 took care of resizing, sharpening, and adjusting levels to bring out details from dark areas. Using PSE7ís ďremove color castĒ, I clicked the medicine dropper all over the place trying out different white-balancing adjustments until I found the one I liked.

In all, the task wasnít Herculean. I did it on other edits below.

#3. Altar of St. Thomas Church. I played around with white-balance.


#4. Entrance on Fifth Avenue.


#5. High glass windows of St. Thomas Church.


Bynx, I had thoughts, too, about the ceiling. But mine were, imagine one of those getting loose and falling on your head while praying...

Dave, St. Bartholomews on Park Avenue is also very dark. My initial impression was like walking into a cinema. The next day when I walked in again, however, it wasn't as dark. I think maybe the mind plays tricks setting expectations too high the first time around. In any case, it gives you a better feel of what it was like before electricity and the light bulb were invented. You may live in a big castle but to find your way around, you'd still have to navigate by candlelight.

mtngal, yes St. Thomas is very beautiful. While shooting, I was kneeling pressing the shutter release on my gorillapod-mounted camera on the floor of the center aisle when the organ played music. It was loud. The sound came from behind me -- the altar -- but couldnít turn my head just yet because each exposure took a couple of seconds. I didnít see anyone playing the organ and it did that again after a few minutes so Iím guessing the organ is on auto playing music at preset intervals. The music was beautiful, Iíd say hair-raising, and definitely adds to the experience of being there.

Hards80, I wonít be going out on a limb in saying that St. Thomas is even more beautiful than St. Patrickís Cathedral which all tourists go to. Simpler but more beautiful .

Shutterbug74, yes, Iím very proud.

Ordo, it almost sounds like I didnít do anything right. In any case, for all I know, youíre right. I went purely on instinct.

Before posting the pic yesterday, I showed it to my wife. She was instantly awed and said she wished she had all the time I had to experiment, too. Itís a high compliment because to me weíre like classmates learning a new thing and all of sudden she made it sound like I leaped miles ahead of her. So instead of feeling proud I felt, um, sorry. I showed her what I did but somehow that didnít feel enough. Iíll try to guide her along the next time around.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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Well, in fact i like the pick, who doesn't? It's more a conceptual disquisition about the hdr pp: how do you keep the sense of perspective and drama in a 2d media? You have:

1. Lines, particularly related to:
2. Points of fugue.
3. Lights and shadows.
4. Colors (distant colors turn to grays).

The risk of some hdrs is the over flattening of the image in the pursue of showing every detail, those in the lights and those in the shadows.
Let me play with shadows and colors in your first pick:

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Old Feb 8, 2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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vvcarpio try martin sykes program that he is working on ... on one of the middle exsposures see what you come up with http://forums.steves-digicams.com/ed...ngle-jpeg.html

also im not that keen on 3 in the last set you posted the white balance is a tad too much @ ordo a nice edit aswell
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