Shadows And Highlights–A Study In HDR


This new schedule, Wednesday to Tuesday, for the weekly photo challenge, is playing havoc with my diary. With the old one we’d be told on the Friday, I use the weekend to plan and usually go out on a Wednesday. Write the new blog post on a Thursday. But that’s not to be, anymore. Nevertheless I need to get a blog post out so here goes. Wednesday saw me in Chester Cathedral. I’ve visited before but never with the camera so I felt it was time to rectify the situation. The cathedral has some great places to photograph. the Cloisters, Gardens, Lady Chapel and Quire Stalls to name but a few. So let’s start with the cloisters. I was hoping for some better shadows, but the light outside was just dull grey, so very little light was cast through the stained glass windows. It didn’t help that the cloisters were also lit by spotlights and those wall lights you can see, throwing a very orange cast over everything. Sure I can compensate for this, either in the camera or in post, but it’s one of those extra annoying things to deal with.

Chester Cathedral

I have to say that in most of the photographs you will see today I resorted to using HDR and my trusty old friend PhotoMatix. Now there’s a piece of software I haven’t used for some time.

I’ve swung far from the straight and narrow path of straight photography… I’ve done some hokus pokus that would make the shadow of Daguerre haunt me for a heretic. – Anne Brigman

Wandering around the cathedral I found this room with very high arches, Same thing again, a lot of lighting, it was giving me the shadows and some nice highlights, but once again, maybe a bit too severe.

Chester Cathedral 1

 

Still you work with what you’ve got

If the lighting in a scene is non-uniform or if there are shadows, the lighting will, in general, appear more non-uniform and the shadows darker in the picture than in the original scene. This is purely a visual effect having nothing to do with the photographic process as such. – Ralph Evans

Anyway, moving on. Chester, like many cathedrals, attracts lot od visitors, some come to pray, some to look at the architecture and stained glass, some to photograph it, like me. What I like is that during services, they ban photography and ask for silence, as a mark of respect, so I left my visit to the Lady Chapel until later in the day.

Chester Cathedral 1_2

 

At the rear of the Lady Chapel is a stone monument, the Shrine to Saint Werburgh, patron saint of Chester. Originally the shrine was located at Hanbury in Staffordshire, but continuing Viking raids in the late 9th century prompted it to be moved to the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. (Now the site of Chester Cathedral). During this period and before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 a monastery was established. Later, under the Normans a Benedictine Abbey was founded. Under the Normans the shrine continued to be a site of pilgrimage.

Then in 1540 came the dissolution of the Abbey, which later led to the creation of Chester Cathedral. Want to know more about the Dissolution Of The Monasteries, one of the most revolutionary events in English history, follow this link. Note this will take you to Wikipedia and open a separate page.

The Shrine was broken up during the dissolution and Werburgh’s relics were lost. In 1876 what was left of the stonework that survived was reassembled and put on display at the back of the main nave in the Lady Chapel.

Chester Cathedral 1_1

You know I took so many photographs whilst I was here, this blog post could have been 5 times as long, maybe I’ll do a second one with another batch of photographs. Meanwhile,

Chester Cathedral 1_4

Now this was really hard to photographs. There was a constant procession of people and it wasn’t so well-lit, so I was having to take a lot more bracket sets than I intended..and in everyone, someone would walk through the scene. So In desperation I dug out my trusty 10 stop ND filter and went for an extremely long exposure instead of an HDR. Don’t ask me the science behind it, but a long exposure will remove all moving objects, i.e. people from your photograph. Better still if you can get a really long exposure, in the region of several minutes you should be able to “make disappear” those who tend to walk slowly or stand still in your photograph.

That’s some nice stained glass so I went in for a closer look.

Chester Cathedral 1_3

Well that’s it for this week. Just a few photographs from my wander around Chester Cathedral. I hope you enjoyed them.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Shadow of the Lake – Progressing into Solitude
Visions Of A Daydreamer Weekly Photo Challenge- Shadow
IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT – A Penny For My Thought
Shadows 1, 2 & 3 – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Sue’s words and pictures Shadow selfie
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Shadow
Schatten photo – writingindevizes
What Rings Like a Bell But Makes No Sound- – Nes Felicio Photography
Shadows – Are you still reading-

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26 comments

    • Mike Hardisty

      Only my second time in the cathedral and my last was a flying visit. So I learnt quite a lot whilst I was walking around. Good thing is there are volunteers who know the history so you just ask if you want more information

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jenn

    I look at every single one and I can’t pick which one I like the most… I know you had issues with lighting but they still came out beautiful… Maybe its my untrained eye but to me; you did an outstanding job😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M. Oniker

    Lovely as always. I particularly like the long shot, second from the end, that you did the long exposure (your descriptions make me think of the ghosts of the people walking in and out of your shot). So glad you narrate, as opposed to just posting pictures, which would still be worth the follow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. petspeopleandlife

    Chester Cathedral, I do love your photos of all of the cathedrals that you have shown your readers/followers. Each one has its own aura. I can only imagine the wonder of those places. The light in the cathedral is enchanting and mystical. I especially like the pics that show the stained glass

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike Hardisty

      Chester is one of those cathedral with lots of stained glass, I spent nearly all day in the cathedral photographing different areas, Yvonne, but the stained glass was sort of incidental to the photographs I was taking. I could go back and probably spend another two days covering just the stained glass in the cathedral and teh cloisters

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Shadow: Dogs | What's (in) the picture?

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