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The Old Church

It snowed yesterday, so I thought that would give me a good opportunity to go out and experiment with some HDR and other processing techniques for expanded range. 

I thought that the combination of the snow and the textures of the old church would work well.

I am a Deacon at Newtown Presbyterian Church.  Our “old church” was built in 1762.  We use it for services during the summer.  During the revolutionary war, the Hessians that were captured by Washington’s troops on Christmas eve were kept in the church basement.

the_old_church

 

This is the view of the church, buildings, and some of the grounds from Sycamore Street.

I metered the pictures and it seemed to me that I needed about 2 2/3rd stops differences between exposures in order to capture the range.  

I then ran them in batch mode in Photomatix to create HDR images.  I tweaked the strength up a bit, and then afterwards moved the blacks a bit until they started to get crushed.  For this picture, I put a detail filter on in Topaz Adjust.  I thought it still looked pretty natural, but crisp. 

its_a_working_church

 

I found in general that I liked best the pictures that had brick, stone, and lots of textures and less colors.  I think that the HDR processing really does nice stuff with textures.  I put a boost filter on this one to bring up the colors.  I didn’t feel like spending the time to play around with blending this back into the original.  I printed out 8.5 x 11 of all of these and found that the monitor and print versions are pretty different.  What I liked on the monitor did not always print well. 

back_of_the_old_church

 

I hit this one much harder with the processing just to see how far I could push it without it looking too gimmicky.  I printed a “dry” version alongside of this one.  

All of the folks here today liked this one better.

 

its_cold_out_there

 

This is one of those pictures that I imagined would be much better when I took it. 

I played around a bit trying to keep some interest in the sky, while also trying to show off the stained glass a bit. 

At the end of the day, I’m not sure that the composition is good enough to spend too much time on it.

windows_on_God_and_man

 

I call this “Windows on God and man’s work.  I liked the way that the window on the left actually seems more interesting than the stained glass on the right.  I need to live with this one a while. 

I put some kind of pop on this I think.  Mainly, my approach was just to try some of the different settings and see how things looked.  I was trying to match the processing to the picture.

against_the_bleak

 

I call this one “Against the Bleak”.  I was trying to bring out the gravestones and snow against the stained glass. 

Way more processing than I was comfortable with, but liked the feeling.  Another one that I want to live with for a while before I decide how to take it.

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