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Any tips for photographing stained glass in churches?
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1. Use spot metering
2. Expose for highlights
3. Try and keep the camera as still as possible
4. Use aperture priority at widest (f 2.8 if poss)
5. If you really want to experiment try a HDR shot
Also I wouldn't shoot at F2.8 .. id stop down a bit to get a sharper F stop on your lens as you will need to retain as much detail as possible. Exposing for the highlights is obviously crucial .. Make sure you check the histogram and ensure that you haven't totally blown the highlight in the shot. This is the only reasonable way to do it ..
That said you can get a totally realistic shot with HDR .. flick back a few pages in my porftolio and you will see a lot of HDR church and stained glass shots.
Is it better to photograph stained glass windows on a bright but overcast day?
I don't have Photoshop CS, I only have Elements, so I don't think I can do HDR> Can I do something similar in Elements 5?
My kit lens only stops down to 4 as well, so I'll try it at that.
An overcast day makes sense, sun shining in the window will make the contrast even greater.
If its a kit lens shoot at about F8 or so .. certainly not wide open .. you can download a trial of HDR at www.hdrsoft.com .. that should provide you with some chances to play with it !!
The photomatix software is very useabl e.. if you need some help PM me and ill give you a quick run through on it.
Correct .. sun shining through will make the contrast worse .. which is why HDR is the better option .... otherwise just bracket either side and use the shot which is best!
Dont make too many harsh adjustments in elements as heavy curve adjustments will lose your shadow detail even further.
Thanks folks, I'll give it another try. Yesterday's attempt was a disaster!
I took some pics of the stained glass in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool last week, and I went on a sunny day. If the glass has a lot of dense colours, then this could stop a lot of the light, and so lengthen shutter speeds. If you can used a tripod, then slow shutter speeds aren't a problem of course.
Pick a time when the sun is hitting the windows at an angle, as it would be almost impossible to get a usable image with the sun shining directly through the window to your position.
I used the spot meter on a clear, or brightest part of the window. As long as you want the frame to be in silhouette, then you don't need HDR imho. Unless I'm missing something by going the HDR route in this situation of course.
If the windows are very high, as they were when I took my pictures, then get as far away from the windows as your lens allows to minimize distortion. I was happy with my pics, but some are distorted because the windows are massive, although getting as far away as possible helped a lot.
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