Ceremonial Room (HDR Vertorama)

Ceremonial Room (HDR Vertorama)
HDR Vertorama Before-and-After comparison: Ceremonial Room (HDR Vertorama)

Also view the Before-and-After comparison of this image to see how it was created (click on the image above).

The story of this photo

This is a 12-shot HDR Vertorama image taken in the ceremonial room of the palace of Rastatt in southern Germany. Taking such photos while you are on a regular visit is quite a challenge. You cannot use a tripod, there are typically other people around you, and the dynamic range is very high. Nevertheless, with the right technique, anyone can do it.

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How to do it yourself

Read my recipes for Taking Interior HDR Vertorama Shots, Taking HDR Vertorama Shots with a Tripod, and Creating HDR Panoramas and Vertoramas to learn how you can produce images like this one too.

How it was shot

How it was stitched and tonemapped

Photomatix tone-mapping settings (click to see all the parameters)

  • CA reduction and white balance correction in ACR
  • Created two additional exposures in ACR (+4EV and -4EV) to preserve highlights and shadows [details]
  • Saved the images as TIFFs
  • Applied noise reduction (Topaz Denoise) to each of the source images [details]
  • Resulting TIFF images were then used as input to Photomatix (Details Enhancer option)
  • Stitched the 4 tone-mapped TIFFs using Photoshop
Layers palette in Photoshop

Layers palette in Photoshop

How it was processed

  • Post-processing was done in Photoshop
  • Topaz Detail on the entire image to get back the colors and the details
  • Topaz Infocus on the entire image for sharpening
  • Some perspective correction and cropping
  • Some retouching to fix stitching errors (due to hand-held shooting)
  • Global saturation and levels layers for better contrast and colors
  • Global levels layer with a luminosity mask to brighten the dark parts a bit
  • Saturation layer on the figures around the ceiling (desaturation)
  • Levels layer on the figures around the ceiling (more contrast)
  • Saturation layer on the golden elements to bring out the golden tones (master)
  • Levels layer on the golden elements (more contrast)
  • Saturation layer on the orange elements in the ceiling (master)
  • Saturation layer on the ceiling paintings (master)
  • Vibrance layer on the ceiling paintings (less vibrance, more saturation)
  • Levels layer on the ceiling paintings (more contrast)
  • Saturation, Levels and Vibrance layers on the chandeliers to bring out the glow
  • Saturation layer on the red marble pillars (master, more on the left)
  • Levels layer on the floor (more contrast)
  • Masked Levels and Saturation layers on the center of the floor to get a slight spotlight effect
  • Saturation layer on the white parts of the walls (desaturation, more on the right)
  • Levels layer on the white parts of the walls (more contrast, more on the right)
  • Saturation layer on the ceiling canvas (slight desaturation)
  • Levels layer on the ceiling canvas (more brightness on the left side)
  • Masking out the windows to preserve the details in the highlights
  • Some additional sharpening using the high-pass filter method [details]
  • Vignette effect using a masked fill layer [details]
  • Watermarking [details]
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8 replies
  1. Scott
    Scott says:

    I just wanted to say a quick thank you! Your skills and artistic eye are really amazing. What’s also amazing is your willingness to share your knowledge and workflow with other photographers. Keep up the great work!

    All the best,


  2. Victor C
    Victor C says:

    once again I’m not surprised with your work I’m IMPRESSED!!! Completely blow away!

    Thank you for sharing this really means a lot for us (at least it does for me)


  3. Gary Guest
    Gary Guest says:

    What brilliant work as always. You have a excellent eye for detail and the expertise to carry it out. I learn something every time I look on your site. Thanks to you we all learn something new each time.

    Thank you.

  4. farbspiel
    farbspiel says:

    Thanks so much for all your great comments and you kind words.

    It’s great to hear that you like my work and that you find some useful tips and inspiration here. That’s what I built this site for. So keep coming back as there is more to come!


  5. mike
    mike says:

    Hi, Love your work. Can you please advise, is the HDR Cookbook the same as the HDR Vertorama book or are they two different books?

    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your feedback. No, the eBook is not the same as the HDR Cookbook. The HDR Cookbook is a collection of online articles about HDR in general. The HDR Vertorama eBook is about a specific technique that combines panorama and HDR techniques for creating vertical panoramas.



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