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The Library (HDR Vertorama)

Go the photo page to see the final image and to get additional information on the post-processing.

Here is the Making-of video for ‘The Library (HDR Vertorama)‘. Watch how this image evolves through all the post-processing stages and stop at any position to inspect the parameter settings (see remarks below).

This video shows the entire post-processing work starting with the HDR merging and the tone-mapping in Photomatix, all the way through to the finishing touches in Photoshop. Each major step is explained by a subtitle.

Watch it in full HD mode (1080p) full-screen and pause at any point to inspect the parameters I choose for the different tools involved in the post-processing.

The Video

In a Nutshell


Check out the before and after to see the major milestones of this image side-by-side.

An HDR Vertorama image is essentially a vertical panorama combined with HDR to capture an extremely wide vertical angle of view and all the tones in the scene. The scene is photographed from bottom to top, and each of the photographs overlaps with the previous one and the next one. Moreover, each of these photographs is actually an exposure series (usually 3 or more exposures) that is merged into an HDR image. These HDR images are then combined in a process called stitching.


A Practical Guide to HDR Vertorama Photography

You can create images like this too!

I will release a new eBook in May 2013: A Practical Guide to HDR Vertorama Photography. The book explains the technology, different shooting techniques and the entire post-processing workflow for creating stunning HDR Vertoramas. Visit the eBook page to get more details, examples and a glimpse of the contents. Subscribe to stay posted about this eBook. You will get exclusive early access and a 20% discount.

How to Watch the Video

  • This video is available in HD (1080p). Click the “YouTube” button to the lower right of the player above to go to the original video on YouTube. You will have to switch the player to “1080p” (click on the gear wheel) to watch the HD version!
  • Switch the player to full-screen mode (squared icon at the lower right corner of the player area) to see all the details.
  • In HD mode, you can stop at any position and see the exact parameter setting I applied. Use the knob on the time bar to move forward and backward as the video is paused.
  • You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to jump backward and forward.
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13 Responses to The Making of – The Library (HDR Vertorama)

  1. Lynne says:

    This is amazing! Really looking forward to the new e-book (and hoping you spend a bit on the image stretching/transforming prior to cropping – sure looks simple when an expert does it, but I really struggle with that).

    • farbspiel says:

      Hi Lynne,

      yes, the perspective correction will be explained in the ebook, along with all the other techniques.

      Thanks for your feedback!


  2. Roman Shymko says:

    Really nice video! I like your attention to details.
    I have a question as for noise reduction. I was making shots for my vertorama in a very dark place and therefore had to use high ISO to make hendheld images. After merging images to HDR I got very noisy result. Do you have any special tricks for such cases? I’m curious if you can help.
    The result image I got is this: roman-shymko.com/digest/holly-trinity-cathedral-in-kharkov/.
    Please let me know. Thanks.

    • farbspiel says:

      Hi Roman,

      thanks! Yes, I do have special tricks to fight the noise. Check out my Three Rules of Noise Reduction. Basically, you should reduce the noise with a dedicated software before you feed your source images into your HDR software.


      • Roman Shymko says:

        Thank you, Klaus. That is more than I expected from your reply! I’ve read your article and will try to repeat your steps. I was using ACR NR and then Photomatix NR and in some cases Noise Ninja.

  3. Barrie says:

    Excellent video Klaus. Your work is truly inspiring and I learn something every time I watch one of your videos. also looking forward to the new Ebook

    Keep up the good work

  4. Thanks for showing us how it is done! You are an artist of post-
    processing. Thanks again, tim d peterson

  5. As I was watching the word did constantly came to mind was “genius”… ;-). Thank you, Klaus. Outstanding work, yet again.

  6. Tim says:


    I was wondering what the benefits were to making complex selections instead of just masking selective parts? It seems you spent a long time creating selections to make color adjustments, etc. Why not make color adjustments to the whole picture and then mask in the part you want to a duplicate?

    I love your site and view it all the time. Thanks for the all the inspiration.

    • farbspiel says:

      Hi Tim,

      I am not sure I understand your question.

      But maybe this will help: Making a selection and creating a mask essentially amounts to the same work. Essentially, masks and selections are the same as one can be turned into the other with a single mouse click.

      Feel free to refine your question if this did not answer it.


      • Tim says:

        Sorry, I am still unfamiliar with all the lingo. Why not make changes to the whole image, create a duplicate, and using masking, just paint in the changes you want? So, if you would like to adjust the color of the clouds to become more white, why not create a duplicate of the entire image, adjust the color of white to the entire image, and then just paint in the white to the duplicate just focusing on the clouds?

        That seems to be the preferred way of Trey Ratfliff, at least in his tutorials. I think you images are equal to or better than his, but I was wondering your thoughts?

        • farbspiel says:

          Hi Tim,

          Ok, now I get what you’re saying. You can work with duplicate image layers, but using adjustments layers (as I do it) you keep the entire image underneath intact. The actual image pixels are represented by exactly one layer that is never actually touched in any of the local adjustments, and I can take this layer at the bottom of the stack and change it in arbitrary ways (e.g. by adding a filter) at any time. I can also change all the effect layers individually, and they add up to each other.

          I could not do that with an image stack where each layer represents actual pixels of the image. So, this is really about flexibility and efficiency.

          I hope this explains it.


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