Archive for the 'church' Category


8/27/2010: The Dom and the Bridge

It got later and later on my rainy evening walk through old town Wetzlar, but the evening light lasts a long time in Germany. I was headed back to the hotel when I made a last stop for this classic shot of the Dom above the stone bridge over the Lahn. Once more a shot I have taken many times, but never in this light, and never with HDR in mind. The drama of the cloud cap, the last light, the moisture in the air softening color and prespective, and elegant arches of the bridge set in rustic stone, the pastel gables of the old houses, and above it all the tower of the Dom (and that anachronistic blue polyester tarping). Quite a shot, even without the fairy light of the fountain on the trees at the right. Smile

Two radically different exposures allowed me to capture the light of the foreground and the gray of the sky, and Photomatix Lite put them together for a pretty remarkable effect (if I do say so myself).

A little help from my usual Lightroom routines (Blackpoint, Clarity, Vibrance, and Sharpen), and some perspective and distortion correction, and there it is.

Canon SX20 IS.

From Germany and England 2010.



The Dom: Wetzlar, Germany

There is an interesting story, of course, behind the Dom…the not quite cathedral of old Wetzlar. The original church was built in the 1300s, but as the city of Wetzlar grew (salt and iron), the town fathers found the ambition to be a cathedral city, and began to build a new church around the walls of the old. That’s how they did it then…they literally built the new building with the old one inside it. Before it was completed, Wetzlar fell on hard times, and construction was abandoned. It was restarted, as I remember the story, 3 separate times in the next 200 years, as the fortunes and ambitions of the town and the town fathers waxed and waned, each time with a new architect and a new style.  It never was finished. There were supposed to be two towers, and inside the church there are doorways half way up blank walls where new floors had been planned and never installed. And yet, because of that, it is one of the most interesting churches in Germany, containing as it does, written in stone, a record of the changing styles in church architecture over almost 3 centuries.

Sitting high on the hill on which old Wetzlar is built, the Dom dominates the skyline from any direction, but it is actually not easy to find a good spot for photography. This is a classic distant shot, taken from the long park along the River Lahn, beyond the stone bridge, again on my one rainy late evening of photography on this trip to Wetzlar. In this light, and with that sky, it certainly has drama. What you see is a Photomatix HDR rendered from two Canon SX20IS wide angle exposures. (The blue on the tower is not a lens or sensor flaw. There is scaffolding the full height of the tower where they are repairing and reinforcing the walls, and it is, characteristically, covered in bright blue polyester tarps.)

After blending and tone-mapping in Photomatix Lite, I did my usual Blackpoint adjustment, added Clarity and Vibrance, and sharpen in Lighroom. Some perspective adjustment was also applied.

From Germany and England 2010.



Saint Anne’s Point

iPhone 4 HDR. St. Anne’s point is photogenic from almost any angle. Here from the back, along the coast on Cape Arundel. The Drama of the sky and sun breaking through clouds (including the rays), the strong silhouetting of the buildings against the light, the detail of stony beach and even the rail of the stair…and then the light on the water, produced, to my eye, a powerful image.

Captured and processed completely on the iPhone. Two exposures merged in Pro HDR. I tried my usual Levels adjustment and sharpening in PhotoGene, but then went back to the original HDR with PerfectPhoto for a different set of tools. Increased Gamma, lightened shaddows, increased contrast, and warmed the color temperature just slightly. Uploaded with SmugShot.

From iPhone4 HDR and Pano.



St. Anne’s in Evening Sun

Happy Sunday!

St. Anne’s Church in Kennebunkport is perhaps the best example of the stone churches of Southern Maine. There are many, all built around the same time, by the same denomination, as “summer churches” for the colony of summer residents that was developing along the coast in those days. St. Anne’s sits of a point of land at the mouth of the Kennebunk River, overlooking the stretch of coast to the south. As you can imagine, it has been the backdrop of some pretty high profile weddings over the years. Here, the summer evening sun of Maine, past 7PM, warms the old stone and picks out detail, while the shadows of the trees dapple the already richly textured surface. I across the street, shooting into the church grounds form a good distance. Hence the long focal length…but in hindsight it provided an interesting perspective.

Canon SX20IS at about 200mm equivalent. F5.0 @ 1/250th @ ISO 200. Landscape program.

In Lightroom 3, a touch of Fill Light and Blackpoint just barely right. Added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Narrow Edges preset.

From Around Home 2010.




The Dom up the Alley Stairs

Again the Dom, this time from the Old Town just across the bridge. This alley/stair has always fascinated me with its mixture of forms and textures. The distortions of the Sony H50 lens are obvious here, but any lens in this situation is going to show at its worst.

Sony DSC H50 at full wide (31mm equivalent). f3.5 @ 1/60th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

My usual in Lightroom. Blackpoint right, added Clarity and Vibrance. Sharpen Landscape preset.

From Germany 2009.




The Dom, Wetzlar Germany

Happy Sunday.

The Dom, almost a cathedral, was built over several centuries beginning in the 1100s. It was never finished. Hence the almost.  The building follows the historical fortunes of the town of Wetzlar as the salt and iron trades waxed and waned in Germany…not to mention the political tides, as the area saw active warfare all through the middle ages (not to mention in our current era). As the city fathers had funds, they undertook massive and ambitious building plans on the Dom, necessarily given the time lapses, under several different architects, each with a vision suitable to his time. There are doors in the interior walls that open on empty space, and the unfinished new cathedral surrounds the more or less complete old church like a broken shell. The space between the two walls became a graveyard over the years, and literally thousands are buried there. Two main towers were planned. One is complete. The other just a stump.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Dom, from my viewpoint, is that is used by both the Catholic and Protestant communions in Wetzlar. The Catholic sanctuary faces one direction toward an alter, and the Protestant sanctuary faces the other toward a pulpit. They meet in the back rows exactly in the center of the massive central church.

This is an unconventional view, taken from blocks away and up the hill by the amphitheater. I had to climb up steps and hold my camera above my head to get over the intervening buildings and trees. Even then the bottom of the image has been cropped off.

You can see the very different types of architecture in this one shot.

Sony DSC H50 at abgo