Church Ceiling

Church ceiling

The ceiling of the Freising cathedral.

The previous cathedral burned down almost exactly 850 years ago (April 5, 1159). Work on the current church started almost immediately but it took almost 100 years until the church was finally consecrated.

The interior was remodeled a number of times with the current rococo ceiling having been created by the Asam brothers around 1724. Everything looks shiny and new because major renovation and restoration works were completed recently.

The difficulty in capturing a scene like this is that the light coming in the windows is extremely bright while the shadow areas can be very dark. Most digital cameras can not handle the dynamic range in such a scene.

The solution is to use HDR (high dynamic range), which is a technique to squeeze more extreme light and darkness into an image than the camera sensor can capture. The trick is to create several exposures of the same scene (a tripod really helps :): one frame exposes the highlights correctly, the next the midtones, the final frame the shadows. Software magic then combines everything into one image. Because most monitors are 8-bit-per-color-channel devices (and JPEG supports only 8 bits per color channel) the resulting image is then rendered down into an 8 bit per channel representation.

The difficulty lies in the number of choices that must be made at every step. It takes a bit of experimenting to get good results.

Tags: , , , ,


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *