Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Norbury Church in HDR

Hi All,

I've finally managed to get back out and about with my camera again.

This time I decided to visit The Old Manor House at Norbury near Ashbourne. This is a beautiful National Trust property. 

The Old Manor House
During my visit I took several photographs but at the time there was no access to the inside of the house which was disappointing. However in the grounds of the house was a fabulous church which was open to the public. 

Norbury Church
I wandered around the church looking for a shot and finally settled on a shot looking towards the alter taking in the stunning stained glass windows on either side and at the end. As you would expect it was incredibly dark inside the church depsite a few lights burning. Luckily I had bought my tripod with me so it was an ideal situation to shoot for HDR. 

The beaurty of HDR images is that they can capture all of the detail in the shadows and the highlights by combining three or more images taken at different exposures. For my HDR's I always use three images spaced 1 stop apart. To do this I take an initial exposure from which I decide where my starting point is going to be. Then I use the bracketing function to take three images. The first is at the correct exposure. Then I shoot 1 stop over exposed and 1 stop under exposed. (See Below).

1 Stop Under

Just Right

1 Stop Over

As you can see, the images above progress from too dark to too light. These are ideal to combine together to make an HDR image. There is no hard and fast rule for the spacing. Some photogbraphers combine many images 7,8,9 spaced 1, 2, or even 3 stops apart. Ultimately you have to do what's best for you. In my case it's 3 spaced at 1 stop.

Once I had got the images into to PC I then used a piece of software called Photomatix Essentials 4.0 to combine the images and edit them into an HDR image that suits me. 

The Final Image
As you can see the final combined HDR has detail in both the shadows and the highlights and brings out the quality of the spectacular stained glass windows. HDR's a great fun to create but it is incredibly easy to go too far and create an unreal and false looking image, However if that's the look you're going for then more power to you !!

On the next blog we're going to be shooting through stone.

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