Changing Perspective – Concord Baptist Church

I’m still working on some of the photos that I took a couple of months ago when I visited my parents in North Mississippi. Today I worked on one of the shots that I took of the exterior of Concord Baptist Church where my dad is the pastor. This is also the church where I grew up (many years ago), and where I played the piano for many years, so it has a lot of memories for me.

The front parking lot of the church slopes down sharply to the road, so when I set up the tripod for my bracketed shots, I was looking back uphill at the building, especially in order to get the full steeple in the shot. I was a little concerned about the angle, but I went ahead and took several bracketed shots to process as HDR’s. As I was shooting, the rain clouds were gathering, and I wanted to be able to capture the dark sky behind the white of the steeple.

Here’s how the HDR came out when I processed in Phototmatix:

Skewed Perspective

As you can see, the left and right edges of the building look like they’re leaning in toward each other, rather than standing up straight.  So I decided to play around with some of the photo adjustment tools in Paintshop Pro to see if I could correct the perspective problem.  I used the Perspective-Vertical tool to widen out the photo at the top while keeping the bottom at its original width, thus “stretching” the picture across the top to make the building stand up straight.  I then did a few adjustments to contrast, brightness, etc., and ended up with this version:

Perspective Corrected

Check out the vertical wall on the far left of the building just above the A/C unit, and compare it to the first shot.  Hopefully you can see the difference (although Andy had a little trouble seeing it! ).

Tonight we’re heading over toward Goodyear to have dinner with my sister-in-law, and I’m hoping that while we’re in the area we can go back to the Estrella Star Tower and maybe get some night shots.  Here’s a link to the daytime shots that I took there back in the spring.  I’m told that the tower is lit up at night, and I’d like to try my hand at some night photography.  However, the skies today look a lot like the skies in the photo above, so we may get rained out.

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Concord Baptist Church

I got to spend a little time this evening going through some more of the pictures that I took last weekend.  Many of the outdoors shots that I took, intending to process as HDR’s, aren’t working out so well since there was a good breeze while I was shooting and the bright green foilage produces lots of ghosting on the HDR image.  I’ll probably get some good single-image prints out of them, though.

Last Sunday morning, my brother Mark and I hung around after church services were over so I could get some shots of the church where I grew up and where my Dad still pastors.  I got just a few shots of the exterior before it started to pour down rain, and then I got some shots of the interior.  So far, this one is my favorite of the ones I’ve processed:

This is an HDR from three bracketed shots (-2.0/0.0/+2.0), tripod-mounted, processed through Photomatix and the post-processed in PaintShop Pro X3.  In Photomatix, I used the Detail Enhancement option, and also used the Medium light smoothing preset.  The image shown above is a reduced size…it looks much better in full size.  You can view the larger version on my Flicker site here.

I still have a lot more to go through, but I’m taking my time with them.  Want to make the memories last, you know.

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