Stained Glass in Maine

During my recent weekend in Maine, my daughter and I went into St. Saviour’s Episcopoal Church in Bar Harbor.  She waited patiently as I oohed and aahed over the stained glass, then proceeded to take a bunch of pictures.  According to its website, the church is the “oldest, largest and tallest public building on Mt. Desert Island”.

I offer a selection of those photos as my interpretation of this week’s photo challenge on refraction, which Wiktionary defines as, “the turning or bending of any wave, such as a light or sound wave, when it passes from one medium into another of different optical density”.  These windows were so very detailed that the light coming through was a jumble of bright colors.

I’d like to blithely expound on how this nurtured my creativity.  Well, it didn’t.  I found it frustrating and time consuming, although the end result was quite good.  I think once I get over being frustrated, I’ll be happy for the time I spent on it, but I’m not quite there yet.

Processing these took most of today.  The top 1/3 of several of them were overly dark, I think due to eaves on the outside.  Once I got them looking good, the backgrounds lightened up and the wood paneled walls showed up as maroon noise.  Ack!  My favorite boy toy made several trips upstairs to answer questions and teach me how to use layers and masks in Photoshop.  I got it figured it out too!  So that’s good.  I just wish it wouldn’t have taken so much long.  As is typical with the learning curve, it took me as long to do the first one as it did to do the rest of them together.  Of course, I was doing laundry too, so there were interruptions to hang up and put away clothes.

The pictures were a challenge to take, which is why they needed so much processing.  Thankfully my photography has improved enough that I could switch to manual mode and use spot metering to determine the optimal settings.  However, anything that was lightly colored was blown out (i.e., it showed no detail).  I had to keep slowing down my speed to darken the photos.  Worse yet, I had no tripod and wasn’t sure the church would like me setting on up anyhow.  So I hand held as best as I could, increased my ISO, and hoped for the best.

Below is how it looked before I processed it.  Everything is crooked (something I do too frequently).  The panel of three also has keystoning.  The left and right windows leaned in and while it didn’t look bad, I used transform in Photoshop to straighten them out.  And oops, I also included what my daughter was doing as I took pictures.  She was so intent on her phone, she didn’t notice me taking her picture with my cell phone.

To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.

To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.

 #write31days

25 thoughts on “Stained Glass in Maine

  1. Pingback: Post Processing Stained Glass Photos – Part 3 | Living The Seasons

  2. Pingback: Post Processing Stained Glass Photos – Part 2 | Living The Seasons

  3. Pingback: Post Processing Stained Glass Photos – Part 1 | Living The Seasons

  4. Pingback: 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity | Living The Seasons

    • Thanks Sue. That term “blown out” is (I think) common in photography, but I’m trying to define the terms I use as not all my readers are serious photographers. But yes, what you described with that mural is exactly the problem. It looks all white and there’s no detail.

      Lightroom really helps me with this. I can use a darker picture and lighten up everything except that. Or I can use a picture that just barely shows detail in the blown out area and use an adjustment brush to try and bring it back. I’ve done that with the beagle’s muzzle (which is usually blown out) and it works pretty well.

    • I was. I only got as long as I did in there because she was playing some sort of a game that looks for portals and she’d found a bunch of them in Bar Harbor. But it was a nice day out and neither of us wanted to spend very long in a dim, musty church.

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