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Photographing Stained Glass
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 Posted: Sat Mar 31st, 2012 04:31 pm
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Bill Jones
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Thanks to Debora Coombs I have been mentioned here before, but would like to introduce myself.

I am Bill Jones and have a passion for the camera as well as the computer. As a pastime I have done several virtual tours of a couple of local Churches that I would like to share  with you.

They may seen at http://rhmpano.org

As time has gone by I have reached that age that allows freedom and have hope of adding mare tours to my site. So if you know of any great old Churches that might be interested in my work, please pass along the link.

Also I would like to start a discussion on how best to photograph stained glass. One way I have found is to actually take several pictures of sections and stitch them together and then through a process of tiling the images at different resolutions being able to zoom in and really appreciate the detail and texture.

One example would be the windows Debora created for the St Mary's Cathedral in Portland and may be viewed here.

http://astimegoesby.us/panoramas/deboracoombsstainedglass/index1.html

Please feel free to critique and make suggestions as I only want to improve my techniques.

Bill



 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2012 10:26 am
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Rona
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Hi Bill - good to see you here!
Several years ago there was a huge discussion about stitching glass photos. The general consensus - with which I agree - was that a window is designed to be seen in its entirety and some parts look better in some conditions than others. A window comes to life with the light outside and that will always vary. That is the nature of the medium.
By choosing the "best" parts of each section, stitching is basically flattening the window. Combining photos taken from different viewpoints will also give an unnatural distortion of the image.
The feeling at the discussion I was at was that the entire window should be shown and then close-ups of different sections.



 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2012 10:56 am
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Bill Jones
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Good morning, what I meant by stitching is that the window is photographed from the same location but a telephoto lens is used to shoot it in sections, then the shots are stitched together. This wouldn't change the look of the window, but would create an extremely high resolution image of the window. This is then broken into hundreds to thousands of tiles for viewing over the internet.



 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2012 12:05 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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When we are viewing a window, our eyes make all the necessary changes to allow for differing intensities of light in the different sections, but the camera can only allow for one set of conditions at a time. For this reason stitching together various shots of one window is the most accurate way to mimic our viewing experience. I really like your idea of using a telephoto for each section for higher resolution. That's much better than just photographing the whole window at different settings for the differing light levels. Thanks, Bill. Best, Mary



 Posted: Sun Apr 1st, 2012 01:15 pm
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Bill Jones
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Very true, the eye has so much greater a range then the camera.  One way to get more information on the screen is to take several bracketed exposures and then blend them. You don't want the results to be flat over all, just create an image closer to what the eye would see.  This is also the best way to do a tour, you have a properly exposed set of wall and the windows do not get blown out, if clear windows then you see the interior and the view outside.



 Posted: Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 01:32 pm
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Bill Jones
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Here are some windows I did for St Mary's Parish (not Cathedral) in Mt Angel Oregon, They where quite high up, Bottom of window maybe 10 feet off the ground (for the 4 windows above the alter)  were made by the Emil Frei Glass Company of St. Louis, Missouri.

http://astimegoesby.us/panoramas/stmaryparish/stainedglass/emifreis/

Bill



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