Swabian Gem – Weingarten, Germany (HDR Vertorama)

Swabian Gem (HDR Vertorama)

The story of this photo

View the Before-and-After Comparison to see where this photo comes from!

View the Before-and-After Comparison to see where this photo comes from!

This is another photo from the Basilika St. Martin in Weingarten, Germany. On this beautiful sunny day, I had a lot of luck. The sun illuminated the church and there were virtually no tourists there. I was excited about the photos. But when I came back home, it became obvious that the dynamic range was too much for the hand-held AEB series I took. I had to learn a lot and do some extensive experiments to find out how to deal with this. But still, the post-processing of this image was cumbersome. While the original 0EV images were stitched perfectly by Photoshop, the tone-mapped images refused to stitch properly. Artifacts occurred were the images would not fit together perfectly. Usually, if you run several stitching attempts, you may be lucky and PS finds the right way to stich the images as some elements of this process are randomized. Not with this image. Yet another opportunity to learn something new since I had to fix these by hand cutting out pieces of the image and applying the right deformation by hand. Afterwards, I cleaned up using the clone stamp and the healing brush. Finally, the remaining post-processing was difficult too. The steps listed below are really only a rough estimate of the real process.

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How it was shot

How it was stitched and tonemapped

How it was post-processed

  • Post-processing was done in Photoshop
  • Topaz Adjust on the entire image to get back the colors and the details [details]
  • Topaz Denoise (more aggressively on some parts) [details]
  • Topaz Infocus on the entire image for sharpening
  • Saturation layer on the white walls (desaturation)
  • Levels layer on the white walls (more contrast)
  • Separate levels layer on the dome (brightness and contrast)
  • Saturation layer on the paintings (master)
  • Separate treatment of the culprit, the organ, the floor and the wooden parts using levels and saturation layers
  • Saturation layers on selected parts of the ceiling (colorizing)
  • Vignette effect using a masked fill layer [details]
  • Sharpening using the high-pass filter [details]
  • Watermarking
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