Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Canterbury Cathedral

I spent the last three days in Kent with a group of people from Cambridge Camera Club, and part of that trip was a tour around Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday.  I have barely started processing the images I took, but here are a few to be going on with.  I decided that the location was an ideal place to learn about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, but these are very early days yet.  As you can see below, some of the results are less than successful!  I'm currently evaluating a couple of pieces of software for performing the HDR conversion and tone mapping, which explains the textual "watermark" in some of the pictures.

On the left is the "Exposure Fusion" version, which is much more natural but has failed to preserve details in the brightly lit wall.  On the right is the overcooked version using classic HDR processing and tone mapping.  Not sure the grungy look suits this particular image.

Another comparison with "natural" versus "OTT" processing.  It's pictures on the right which get HDR a bad name, and it's not difficult to see why...

The picture of the pulpit works reasonably well in HDR, as it seems to fit with the vertical distortions caused by the 15mm fisheye lens.  The treadmill is actually high up in the roof space of one of the Cathedral transepts, and was in almost complete darkness.  Not sure I like the way I've processed it, so I'm sure I'll be coming back to this particular picture.  An truly astonishing monument within a monument.

Here the overcooked look actually seems to suit the image rather well.  Maybe it's the curved verticals which help to make the surreal processing more acceptable?  This is probably my favourite HDR conversion to date, but it's clear I've got a long way to go yet.  A book is on order from Amazon!

The last two images from this this first set are straight shots.  On the left is a rather magnificent brass lectern.  On the right is a the amazing ceiling of the tower, which had to be photographed from the middle of a treacherous flight of stairs.  The shield in the middle is, apparently a trap-door.