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wco81 May 29, 2006 12:20 AM

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This is a pic. inside the cathedral in Siena, Italy. It was a common problem, windows even small ones becoming undefined white blobs or even stained glass windows losing definition.One problem is they didn't let you use tripods inside so that might have given you a chance to play around with different exposures of the same frame.It appears to be a problem if you put the stained glass surrounded by a lot of walls. But if you framed it so the stained glass dominated the frame, then you'd more likely get more definition. But that would require using zoom since some of the stained glass is very high above the floor. And to use zoom, you really need to use a tripod.

granthagen May 29, 2006 3:32 AM

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wco81, I have to agree that this is a dynamic range problem. I think that to get a good shot of the interior without blowing out the windows would have required putting the camera on a tripod and shooting a couple of exposures of the same scene and blending them together later. Sometimes you can get away with doing the same thing with one RAW image and varying the exposure setting to get several versions, but I doubt that it would have helped much here.

In this situation, I think that if you wanted a viewable shot of the windows, you would have had to use more zoom. Probably, the increased amount of light from the windows would allow you to shoot at a high enough shutter speed to hand-hold the shot -- if you could frame the windows tightly enough.

Oh, well. It's all guesswork, now.

I didn't do much to this shot but play with the contrast a bit and sharpen it a little more -- sadly, increasing the noise, also.


wco81 May 29, 2006 9:13 AM

Looks like everyone is saying I need to blend multiple shots together.I guess if I really want nice pics of cathedral interiors, it's best to buy professionally-shot slides and scan them into the computer. They don't let you use tripods inside these popular venues.Can I expect more of the dynamic range captured by film to be retained if I scan slides?Or are there better sensor technologies in the future like perhaps CMOS which might do better with HDR?What ever happened to Foveon?

granthagen May 29, 2006 5:03 PM

If you have a half-way decent scanner that can accomodate slides you should get way better results from that than you could hope to get yourself under the imposed restrictions.

Sensor technology is always improving. Recently, a big-shot at Canon said that the 100-200 native ISO sensitivity of the CMOS sensor could go up to 6400 or more "very quickly."

I think that Foveon sensors have been put on hiatus, but I don't think the technology is dead, it just needs more work to make it ready to compete with the cheaper, higher res' mainstream products.


VTphotog May 29, 2006 10:25 PM

Depending on what camera you are using, you may be able to bracket the exposure and get a sequence which will allow blending. Also, multiple exposures of the same scene can be blended, which averages out some of the noise in dark areas, allowing you to bring up the shadow detail more.


creeduk May 30, 2006 2:18 PM

Tripod is what you need but as you already mention that is not possible. But the windows are the real issue so as long as you take a very similar angle you can add the windows from shot 2 to shot 1 with relative ease. The rest of the lighting can be fixed in image 1.

Corpsy Jun 1, 2006 8:49 PM

Usually if I'm in the same situation, I underexpose the shot at the lowest possible ISO and then brighten it up in Photoshop either with curves or with the Shadow/Highlight adjustment. If your camera can shoot RAW that may help a lot, but you still need to underxpose.

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