In my current project at Fonthill Castle, I am capturing Henry Mercer’s collection of foreign tiles as well as unique tiles designed by Mercer. In building the project, I first try to photograph the tiles in their setting within the Castle. This view is a selection of Mercer’s 18th Century Delft tiles in one of the Saloon’s large arched windows. The perspective looks into the Library.
The challenge of this image was to focus on the Delft Tiles as mounted in the window and provide the setting as looking back into the Library. I used HDR to blend the dynamic ranges of 5 images to balance out the shadows on the window tiles and the bright light coming in through the window. I then used NIK Color Efex Pro contrast filters and Photoshop layers to selectively highlight and brighten details of the tiles and background tapestry in the Library. I also wanted to keep the texture of the concrete at a subdued level.
There is so much to see in the Castle. It is just very hard to capture the range of colors and details as the different elements are hidden by shadows or washed out from the bright light coming in from the windows. In certain areas I have had to take images with a 13-stop difference between the deepest shadows and the brightest highlights. I learn from each image I make. For reference, below is the base exposure image that I started with.