Before & After: St Mary’s Church, Beverley

ABFriday 29 January 2016

Another ecclesiastical subject this week. However, this time it’s an interior – of the nave and high altar of St Mary’s church in Beverley. A lot of people are aware that Beverley has a Minster (basically, a cathedral without a bishop) and you could be forgiven for assuming that this was it, given its monumental scale and rich decoration. However, it’s ‘just’ a Parish Church.

Before

Nave before

This photograph looks down the main aisle of the church to the altar beyond the rood screen. Apart from the fact that it’s a bit wonky, it displays one of the most common ‘technical’ problems with photographing church interiors: the external light source, particularly when shining through a stained glass window.

After

Nave after

The first thing – as ever – was to straighten and crop the image. The pews at the bottom of the original weren’t bringing much to the party and the columns on each side provided sufficient in the way of leading lines.

The bright sun shining through the windows high up on the right meant that some of the stonework of the columns on the left was blown out, while the ceiling between the two arches seen in the original was very dark. The latter I dealt with by the simple means of cropping it out (which also took care of the windows) and I applied a graduated filter effect on the left side of the image to claw back some of the detail that was lost in the original.

The second source of bright light was through the stained glass. I reduced the glare by moving the Highlights and Whites sliders all the way over to the left.

The image still had a ‘cold’ overall cast, so I boosted both Clarity and Vibrance, which gave a much warmer tone.

The key colours in the image are obviously blue, orange and yellow. Reducing the Luminance and boosting Saturation (a little) made these ‘pop’ a bit more as well as bringing out still further detail, especially in the painted ceiling.

 

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