St Giles Cathedral, Stained Glass, Tricky Light

Several attempts at this. Struggled with strong yellow cast from windows, blue shadows and trying to lighten the flags while keeping the colours from the stained glass. Finally realised mid-edit that the subject should be the light. (Maybe the overall picture is still too bright). So several modules competing against each other in my final image. Need to learn to conceptualise the pic before the edit rather than sucking and seeing all the time.

20230316_0083.RW2 (32.2 MB)
20230316_0083_02.RW2.xmp (11.7 KB)

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I like this comment and I actually try and conceptualize the picture before I take it and I try to understand what the software like DT can do if I just capture all the information of the scene. I will download and have a play with this image. Thanks for the share.

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I wish I could get into the habit of doing that. I don’t even visualise before editing. I just end up thinking of the image as bunch of components to tweak rather than having an end point in mind.

In a previous life I was a professional photographer, but started off at 12 years of age in the darkroom rather than with a camera. So I learnt first what could be done in the darkroom and later learnt the camera craft. I still apply that approach to all my work. BTW, I just love DT and all the options and alternative pathways it gives to develop a image. I learn something nearly every week from this forum.

Even just looking through the viewfinder, I find I focus too much on the subject matter, fail to look enough at what else is in the frame and then get surprised that there’s something completely distracting in the pic. My father was a film cameraman (operator these days) for the BBC and took nice photos, I guess because always he had to think of the whole scene.

My advise is to compose from the edges and the corners of the image, because a photographer is cropping out the world to tell a story. The least important part is the middle of the frame. Also consider what emotions are driving you to take the picture and make sure that is captured. For instance, in this shared image was it the church interior and the flags or the stain glass window that motivated you?

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It was the light, primarily. I had already taken some pics of the flags and then the sun came through so I went back to take it again. I guess the risk is you get into a bit of a pick n’ mix mindset where you think you can get the flags AND the light: bonus! But actually you need to decide the subject that you’re directing the viewer toward or it gets confused. Easy to say.

20230316_0083.RW2.xmp (16.8 KB)

This is my very simple edit. I tried to burn in the windows with as econd instance of exposure to put colour back into them, but they were over exposed and this was a critical problem. I then used shadow and highlights module to lift the interior without getting carried away. I know the tone equalizer module is preferred by many users for good reason but I am a little lazy and like the fast and reasonably good result I get from Shadow and highlights. It also picks up the contrast in the shadows which is the main reason I like the module.

Thanks for the share.


Like it. Yes, the facing stained glass window is burnt out (bad technique compounded with worrying about losing shadow detail) but you’ve brought it back and yours looks far more realistic and detailed than mine.

I tell my students to expose for the highlights because they can not be recovered but it is amazing what can be pulled out of the shadows albeit unnecessary brightening of shadows increases noise . This shot I would have preferred exposure bracketing and then exposure merging in Lightroom. One of the few uses I still have for my lightroom perpectual licence LR6.

I did take bracketed shots that day (that were all a bit boring) but I was pointlessly trying out the hi-res mode on the LUMIX for maybe the first time ever in this shot and I don’t think you can bracket with that, as far as I know. My edit looks so gaudy now. Ha

I have not tested that mode in a lumix so I can make no worthwhile comment. BTW, I have come across some fuji files from cameras with ‘invariant ISO’ which allows huge underexposure at 100 ISO to capture the highlights, but then increasing the exposure post shooting to about 1600 gives no extra noise. Amazing stuff. The way of the future for digital cameras I hope.

This is the other thing I find hard. Making a judgement on, in particular, the chroma levels without a comparative reference. When you put it side by side with another edit, it’s obvious, like bloody hell what was I thinking. But until then, the software allows me to just keep pushing as my reference is what I’ve done already.

I tried to add colour to the stained-glass windows.

20230316_0083.RW2.xmp (14.5 KB)


You managed to do it without making it look like a carousel, unlike mine

You’ll see in the sidecar that my handling of colours was far from restrained. :smiley:


Was that color balance RGB applied under a mask, or was that global?


My fun in GIMP

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My play in GIMP. I kept the treatment very simple.

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