50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Using HDR to look through a window

Recently I have enjoyed looking at the blog, Lingering Visions, and one of the things the author, Dawn, is doing is a weekly look at windows.  I have found it interesting to look through the various posts and this week I have a photo that fits so I thought I would join in.

This photo was taken at Bellfontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.  The cemetery is a beautiful spot.  Be sure to stop at their front offices on the way in because they offer a complementary map of the grounds.  I took a bunch of pictures but for this particular post, here is my window shot:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/10 1/100

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/10 1/100

As I approached this mausoleum, I could see there was a lot going on in this potential photo.  I decided then that I would bracket the exposure to try and capture as much of the detail as possible.  First I wanted the peeling frame of the exterior.  Then in the window itself you can see several things.  The bottom and top you can see the interior, but in the bottom you can also see a reflection of what is outside behind me.  The middle of the window is dominated by the stain glass window that was on the far side of the mausoleum through which you can see back out to the rear.  So, that is a lot to look at.  There is also a lot of contrast here between bright color and more muted color.

So, this is a very busy window.  What do you think?  Would you have shot it differently or processed it differently?  Your comments are most welcome below.



27 thoughts on “Using HDR to look through a window

  1. Love the textures and the colours! I’m not usually a fan of HDR, but I think it has really brought out the details here, so you made a good call there. Now I’ve got to find my windows!


  2. Claudia says:

    At first glance, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but when I read the rest of your post the photo started to look more interesting and rich. Sounds like a fun challenge. 🙂


    • Thank you for commenting, you have stumbled upon one of my concerns with this photo, that maybe it needs too much of an explanation. That’s always a bit of challenge because if you have to explain your work too much, perhaps you aren’t being clear enough. Just something I was thinking of when I was making this image.


  3. A great effort at getting the best out of a very difficult lighting situation. I’m not sure how you are bracketing the exposure. Three ways I know are several shots from a tripod; Three shots using the camera’s auto spread and its hi-speed multi-image setting when hand holding; or single shot and creating multiple raw files within photoshop. There is a fourth, but not one I use. I’m interested to know which HDR methods you are using 🙂


    • In this case I was shooting in manual mode. It is a handheld image, there was a lot of light, so I had a pretty fast shutter speed. I did use the auto bracketing feature, which meant one stop between each of the images. I use Photomatix Pro for my HDR work. I have used Photoshop a bit, but in my opinion Photomatix gives a better result.


  4. Pingback: Thursday Lingering Look at Windows Week 13 | SC Surf Butler

  5. I really like this image. You did a great job with the HDR to make it realistic looking. Some HDR effects look too processed, but if you had not said you used HDR, I would not have known.


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