In a recent post (High key – low key) I posted a couple of photos of the lake in Nymphenburg park with the Apollo temple in the background and promised a closer look at a future post. So here it is today, a closer look at this small temple with three of my favorite photos of the last few weeks.

I was sure these photos would turn out nice even before I took them. What I didn’t know was how difficult it would be to actually make them look good, because there were some annoying details that just wouldn’t be easily fixed. On the other hand, while I was photographing, I was hoping for one good final picture, and in the end I came up with three shots of the same subject but with fairly different looks.

Monopteros, Apollo temple, Nymphenburg, Munich, Notis Stamos
Apollo temple in purple tones.

The first problem that troubled me most while processing the photo above was getting it to look straight. As far as I remember, I did check the camera in built horizon setting before shooting, however the original picture had a slight tilt to the left. This however looked a lot more pronounced just because of the lake shore orientation, which was pointing away from my shooting location. So the original picture really did look like the water was all going to spill out of the frame. However, when I tried to straighten it using the steps as a measure, it looked like it didn’t need any correction. In the end I tilted to the right until the picture seemed more or less straight overall. On the positive side, when boosting saturation during post processing, I was really surprised with the amount of color that was hidden in the raw file. I can tell you, the original really didn’t look as colorful.

Monopteros, Apollo temple, Nymphenburg, Munich, Notis Stamos
Apollo temple in B&W.

The second photo is in portrait mode and after some thought I decided this would be the one I would convert to B&W.  Using Nik software I gave it a pinhole camera look, but other than that, I haven’t changed it much. The problem here was that the temple’s columns on the left side looked crooked. Here I mean “I am surprised it is still standing” crooked. After some days of leaving it alone and with close inspection of the photograph I understood that this was an illusion caused by illumination of the columns. The lower part of one column at the back was lighter than the upper part and it was blending to the column in front making that one seem crooked. After the problem had been identified, the fix was fairly easy with Photoshop.

Monopteros, Apollo temple, Nymphenburg, Munich, Notis Stamos
Apollo temple in blue tones.

I like the first photo’s colors more than this one’s, however the clouds in this one make it more dramatic. After a suggestion of The Wife I decided to keep part of the original blue cast in the image (introduced by the WB setting). I have also added a green toning to accentuate the grass color. This photo also had the crooked column problem, which I corrected the same way as in the previous photo. In this one however, the roof of the temple also seems to be leaning to the right and I still can’t figure out why this is caused. I cannot imagine that the roof of the temple is not straight, so some lighting effect is playing tricks on us. The strangest thing is that I checked other photos of the same temple that can be found on the internet and the roof also appears to be leaning in those photos.

Anyway, leaning roof or not, this is a great location and a very photogenic little temple in all lighting and weather conditions. As I said in the beginning of this post, these three are among my favorite photos this year so far and I hope you like them too.


© 2014 Epameinondas Stamos


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