Sunday, February 23, 2014

Inside Sherborne Abbey

Rural Dorset and Somerset is where I have been staying for the last 3 days, very near to the town of Sherborne. My wife and I stayed in a beautiful cottage, and of course it gave me the opportunity for me to explore this part of England with my camera.

Today's picture is funnily enough one I took today. I can't think of a more glorious opportunity to picture this glorious abbey, when no other people were present, and a place that is fine with you taking photographs! I even had the tripod set up and everything, I genuinely could not believe my luck. The abbey itself is amazing, the only thing I have not been able to capture more of in this photograph is the highly decorated and detailed ceiling, but another time perhaps.

The JPEG Monster

So here's a fun story for you photographers out there. The HDR picture above is taken from 4 JPEG exposures. I did not realise this until I had already created the HDR. Of course I did not mean to shoot in JPEG, but I was in such a rush to get the photos, that I know I held one button on my D700 too long and flicked another one at the same time. Now I was sure I must have changed the settings somehow accidentally, but I was so careful to avoid the ISO Monster (Definition: where you adjust the ISO to a high setting for one particular photo, and forget to turn it back) that I did not realise my file settings had been changed from RAW to JPEG.

The only saving grace about shooting these exposures in JPEG is the fact that I did bracket the shots, meaning I could blend them together in Photomatix, and still cover the dynamic range. Had I wanted only a single image from this, adjusting all the shadow and highlight details from a JPEG would have been very difficult. So knowing I had used JPEG settings for this HDR, my post-processing after Photomatix was very minimal. I did a tiny amount of layer-masking, and figured I could probably get away with another edit in Nik Color Efex 4. All in all, I think it was lesson learned and disaster averted.

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