The Vaults

Tiny Website Tweaks

A few little things to note…

1) I added the Google +1 to the top of every post, page, and the main site.
2) I removed the slow-leading Tweetboard widget that used to be on the left
3) I fixed several typos in the new HDR Tutorial

Live Video Hangout Today

Come join live (it will be streamed and recorded too) – on Google+ at 12 PM PT (3 EST) today. I’ll have on Cali Lewis and John P, and we’ll be talking photography and stuff… it’ll be fun!

Great Structures

I know I take a lot of photos of churches… I have no kind of agenda or anything — I just simply like big, beautiful structures. It seems like in the last 500 years, churches have consistently been able to amass the huge sums of money necessary to build these “great structures.” The only other entities that amass a lot of money to make “great structures” are governments, corporations, and sports teams. But, really, governments often build extremely boring things with the money. Corporations sometimes build awesome buildings, but only a very small percentage of them are truly inspired. The third group, sports teams, do build amazing structures, but they are all fairly consistent in their look and utility. Any other groups I am missing that amass a ton of capital to build amazing things?

Daily Photo – The Vaults

I find that every time I take a photo of a huge cathedral, like the granddaddy here in London, that I take a landscape and a portrait shot. You just can’t get it all in! And then, I think, well if I could, why wouldn’t I just go ahead and do a full 360 shot? Where do you stop? Hehe this is a problem in a way…

But, seriously, I always have trouble enjoying panoramas and 360 degree photos on the web. Do you all agree?

HDR Photo

  • ….or, “Why Ghosts in a church is entirely appropriate.”
    Speaking of ripping people off and abusing your authority – just watched Cowboys versus Aliens.
    At least the title lets you knows ahead of time that you aren’t watching Shakespeare.

  • Susan

    Gorgeous cathedral Trey – the lighting is awesome!! Welcome home!!

  • Keep in mind that the great cathedrals were all constructed over the lifetimes of several generations. They did take a great cumulative amount of money, yes, but it was not done all at once, nor with massive debts, loan and mortgages as today. We could all stand to learn from the patience of the communities who built these structures.

    Love your photos of Notre Dame. The remind me of my visit there this past spring.

  • John Cox

    Magic as always…

    Sometimes panoramas do work (if a little distorted – tried this vertical one in Temple Church London:

  • As much as 360° images are fun to play with an cool to look at, I agree… They are a bit troublesome. I also feel they take away the focus on the actual subject! Like you said, where do you draw the line? I recently took an HDR panorama of the Remarkables here in Queenstown (it’s not online yet, still tweaking it) and I had to be very careful as to not overdo it. Pick where you want to ‘draw the line’ and cut the panorama off 😉

    I’d say Apple Stores are among the “great structures” out there… But that comes under the category of corporations. I just love the way they integrate with the surrounding environment, and compliment the iconic glass superstructure with subtle hints of wood and stone… I’ve only ever been to one, but I’ve researched many of them 🙂

  • Juergen

    Hey Trey,
    Great Shot! Is it troubling you that bricks on HDRs always look kind of muddy? Must have to do something with the structure of bricks and stucco. 3D Panoramas projected on a 2D surface may twist our brains which makes us dizzy.
    One more idea of organisations showeling amass of money: Syndicates.
    Have a nice Sunday. Jürgen

  • George Green

    Some others that have interesting architecture are older school buildings, and old movie theater. I guess the constant here is old. Newer schools and megaplex theaters are boring buildings. Also I like some of the airports and train stations. The cathedral is gorgeous. It seems so light and aerie and colorful. Most I have been in are grey and dark. Great job of processing.

  • David Woods

    Like the photo. I visited York Minister earlier this year and took this view from the Choir to the West Altar…

    Quite a different view !!

  • John Cox

    Wow David, very different 🙂

  • Thanks!

    David – that is a cool photo indeed – those are challenging creations!

  • Jason piper

    Great picture. These are my favourite type of buildings to see photographs of and HDR makes them look amazing.

  • Hi Trey!

    Beautiful interior shot!
    I’m always amazed about how well churches and cathedrals look in HDR. I love to work on these images. My last photo was made in Gijon, Asturias (Spain):
    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  • Hole, Ass

    Hey trey, I think, there may be some minor ghosting on the bottom of the image.

  • Andy Bird

    My home city of Glasgow, Scotland is a place that has some really amazing and ornate architecture from yesteryear that really is a joy to behold. On the other had there are so many modern, cheap looking, steel and glass, ‘purpose built’ structures cropping up all over the city at the rate of knots. Some of them are OK in fairness but many are just lacking the same kind of love, craft and individual skill that wnet into the older buildings. The soccer stadiums are also very, very dull. When the Taylor Report back in the 90’s ordered all stadiums to become all-seated many of the less-wealthy clubs had no choice but to throw up stadiums that all ended up looking the same – kind of like unfinished Meccano kits. When I think of awesome stadiums I think of the Olympiastadion in Germany and the Birds Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing – truly incredible!

    I’ve also realised that my posts over the last three days my posts have resembled the Ilyiad and the Odyssey in length so my apologies if i’ve they’ve made anyone hit the booze hehe!

  • Gail in Montana

    Hmmmm, there is a strange name in the comments, no comment on that one!! Great photo of the cathedral. Susan, I think I am under Gail Moshier in Google+ . I just joined it yesterday. Hope you can find me! Thanks for posting another beautiful photo of a magnificent church, Trey. Have a wonderful Sunday, all 🙂

  • Julie

    Andy hit the nail on the head. The craftsmanship of these old cathedrals that often took generations to build, is inspired by love. Today’s modern churches are cold and stark. They are designed by architects who often have no understanding of the importance of the structure they are designing. They are built by contractors who also have little stake in the building. The people who designed and built the old cathedrals, were building for the glory of God. It was an act of love.

    I love the ghosting in this. It makes me think about all the people of times past who have entered here.

  • Beautiful shot Trey – I like the detail of the stonework… plus the stained glass windows look superb!
    Regarding ‘panoramas and 360 degree photos on the web’ – yeah, I agree… maybe it’s just me however, I tend to find they have too much information crammed into them… to the extent that scale becomes difficult to comprehend!

  • Thanks all 🙂

  • haveacupoftea

    Fourth group : Culture! Admitedly not the first association that comes to mind when mentioning “a ton of capital”, but still capable of introducing interesting places, be it museum or theater. A varying mix of public and private money – one could argue it’s often government (Europe) or corporation (US) money, complemented by a dollop of philanthropy -, producing maybe a highest ratio of significant buildings – time will tell…

  • David Woods

    Thanks Trey.

    27 exposures up and over, processed in photomatix then CS5 merged and processed with with topaz adjust.



  • Sharon Thomas

    Beautiful colors and detail! Do they really let you use a tripod in the church?

  • This is excellent Trey! I love the massiveness of this building. Churches are one of my favorite subjects to shoot. There is something about the older ones and the architectural designs that is really fascinating. HDR really makes them “pop”! Here is a link to one I just posted on my blog. It was shot in the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

    Have a great Sunday everybody! Thanks for looking!

  • Harbles

    I like the virtual reality 360 degree shots that let you take your time and look around at the details of a place you are likely never going to get the opportunity to visit like Peter McReady’s amazing VR photography. Or Jook Leung’s work for ‘The Last Shuttle’ project.
    More documentary than artistic I suppose but it’s like you are there. I can do a similar thing with your shots if I d/l the original size shot and zoom in to look at detail but you then tend to miss the arty bits like overall composition and feel of the photograph.

  • Cool shot! Your cathedral shots are always great. Check out my latest and a brief story about my recent “Twilight Zone” moment: Let me know what you think!

  • Great image, love how you integrate ghosting into the theme of the location.

    And nope, I respectfully disagree. For me 360 panoramas can be just as enjoyable as single-view photographs. I also like to watch moving pictures (i.e. videos) and I don’t think they are mutually exclusive in any way. They are all just different media, with different levels of pre-determination vs. interactivity. When in a good movie every still frame could count as gorgeous photo, a well-taken panorama lets many viewpoints count as nice composition. It’s a different challenge to make these, more by carefully choosing a location and positioning yourself than by selective framing. But I really don’t think they compare, they are just different media.
    But then again, that’s really just an opinion, and I may be completely delusional because I like making HDR panoramas myself. Like, here’s one:

    Sorry for going off like this, but this remark slightly saddened me, I have not expected such generalized opinion from you.

  • Great shot Trey (as usual).

  • Greg Sparrow

    Hi Trey,
    I believe this is Notre Dame in Paris, not London. I’ve taken the same shot… 🙂 Thanks for all the wonderful pictures you post!


  • I somewhat agree about virtual tours. They have some utility, but from a picture\art perspective, they all have the same feel, unless you “reproject them”.

    I really like the stereographic projection and I think this one has some great potential for composition. At least, this is the #1 reasion why I shoot them. 2 examples:

    Now I haven’t processed any since the webinar… will need since my post processing has changed a lot!

  • Lovely picture Trey. For the 360 degrees panoramas I also disagree with you on this. They really can be fun to see and for instance, if you’ve been to the famous Batalha monastery in Portugal at the Unfinished Chapels you can see that this site is very well in panoramic photography! Here is the link:

    A still photograph is very nice and gives composition value, because you can crop and focus your attention on a specific subject. But this is also true for a panorama. You choose when you make the capture, your location in space when you take it, the correct point of view, etc. Plus, the software in the last years make it so much easier to view full screen with a lot of interaction.

    As a panoramic photographer specializing in this type of photography I gamble on it and it works. People love my panoramas and I do a similar work like you on a smaller scale. Travel the world and make nice 360 degrees panoramas. I would love to travel and work with you if possible one day on a trip!!

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