Damon Williams  

Cathedral by Damon Williams

February 2021 - Cathedral

About the Image(s)

Nikon D5100
28mm on a 18-200
ISO 100 .
Originally captured in color, and then edited in LrC. Heavily edited in transform, exposure and everything else you can think of.

This is the Dom (cathedral) in Fulda, Germany. I shot it in winter, in color, without any real intent for the image. Originally, I turned it B-W in Mac Photos, and its Noir filter (preset) made it look GREAT (IMHO). But, Mac exports look like garbage, so when I sent the original (fortunately, I still had the RAW) to LrC, it took hours (well, it seemed that way) of editing to semi-replicate the look that the Mac Noir filter gave it. It seems like nearly every exposure edit created ugly halos and stuff so I had to back off on nearly all exposure changes. But, the result is, I think, a striking BnW image, fairly free of editing artifacts. And, it was really good training for me on how much you can push editing before it becomes too much. If interested, I can post the original for comparison/conversation.
P.S. I know you might think that there are editing halos around the lower portions of the building, but there aren't. That's just atmospheric haze that I couldn't really get rid of WITHOUT getting over editing halos.
Attachments area

12 comments posted

Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
Hi Damon,

I'd like to see your Mac Noir filter version. Maybe what you can do - if you have a very large screen on your MAC is do a screen capture instead of exporting the photo if exporting corrupts the image. I believe you can save the captured image as a jpg. (I hate those halos too and fight them all the time). I think this photo captured the grandness of this cathedral and you have a very interesting sky. I don't think I would do anything more as I usually make things very dramatic in my black and and I think this is just right. I would maybe lighted the doors just a bit.   Posted: 02/11/2021 20:10:09
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Very kind Emmy. I took a screen shot of the Mac Noir version. Here it is. I'm curious to see what this looks like and how it compares to my LrC version. What are your thoughts? Even if they're comparable, one of the big differences is that the Mac version took 0.34 seconds, and the LrC version took 40 min. But, you get what you get.   Posted: 02/11/2021 20:31:57

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
  Posted: 02/11/2021 20:37:11
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Emmy Denton   Emmy Denton
Hi Damon, you are right this is a much better rendition although there is a subtle difference, the image seems to pop more - the whites are crisper and the sky is more dramatic. Did you try playing with the s curve in LR?
35 sec vs 40 min is very dramatic difference - but the good thing about LR is you can save the settings as a preset and next time it won't take as long. You might look for a noir preset on the web for LR. I have seen so many folks selling presets or giving them away on instagram.   Posted: 02/19/2021 11:34:58
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
That's a good point re: finding a preset Emmy. That could be a game changer. I'll investigate.
  Posted: 02/19/2021 12:54:51

Jane Pittenger   Jane Pittenger
What a gorgeous cathedral and your edit is stellar. I like the symmetry and detail and the people giving it a sense of size. The only critique i have is about the perspective. I suspect you shot it standing a bit to the left of center in order to get the top center decorations visible both the ones closer to you and the ones in background. But the secondary effect of that is that for a shot that screams to be symmetrical, it isn't.   Posted: 02/12/2021 13:20:17

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
You know, truth be told, I can't recall exactly what I was thinking when I composed the image, or if there were other constraints that demandedsomething other than perfect symmetry. I understand your point re: the strong desire for symmetry in the image, but I guess you can't have that, without merging the figure head with the central dome. Sometimes you just gotta pick a side and go with it I guess. Good inputs though. Thanks.   Posted: 02/12/2021 16:26:02

Bernie Groome   Bernie Groome
Damon, you and I have had a discussion before about how much you should/should not edit. I personally love the symmetry of the structure and the tack sharpness of the photo. I like the composition not being directly on center. You would have lost some of the detail of the center spire had it been taken directly on center. For my own education would you share the original color raw for comparison?   Posted: 02/19/2021 08:51:16
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
Whaddayathink Brother?   Posted: 02/19/2021 12:49:16

Damon Williams   Damon Williams
  Posted: 02/19/2021 12:53:26
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Bernie Groome   Bernie Groome
Oh I definitively think the color brings it to life! I don't think I would have not done anything but straighten and a little cropping. I like leaving some of the foreground...gives me more of a sense of being there. But this is just my opinion. Either is a great capture!!!   Posted: 02/19/2021 13:42:46
Damon Williams   Damon Williams
I just thought the foreground looked like a bunch of pastels without any contrast...but that's just me. Re: the foreground, I thought most of it was dead space (not negative space). But check out the larger image. You'll notice that if you crop in just enough (but not too much), the paving creates faint leading lines that point to the image. I battled just how much of it to keep the leading lines, but get rid of dead space. You can drive yourself crazy doing this (at least at my level of...lack of proficiency)!   Posted: 02/19/2021 14:24:48


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