I was recently commissioned to take this photograph of the Russian Orthodox Christ The Saviour Cathedral. The client contacted me after seeing the vow renewal ceremony I had photographed at the Cathedral in 2012. They plan to have it printed, framed, and presented as a personal gift to someone in Russia. Fascinating!
The reason for sharing this particular photograph is because it’s been my most intense single image Photoshop work in a very long time. The final image was merged from a set of six separate photographs. By itself, merging is relatively easy by being an automated process. The difficulty lies in capturing it correctly. This involves taking the pictures quickly to avoid changes in light, and, counterposing that, being steady to avoid parallax errors. Parallax errors are easy enough to avoid with a nodal tripod head, but I don’t own one because this type of work isn’t typical for me.
The majority of my Photoshop time went towards correcting the perspective manually and removing all of the distractions that would otherwise sully the image. The sidewalk and road had some litter and spray-painted utility markings; a bright yellow fire hydrant screamed for attention near the entrance; several road signs and a couple of sewer access covers were clustered together near one of the corners. All of it had to go.
Unfortunately, it was completely unrealistic to remove the electrical wiring hanging across the façade of the building. There were too many wires crossing too large an area with too many textures. That’s too many too-manys for my retouching abilities. C’est la vie in Toronto, where hanging power and streetcar lines conspire to obscure beautiful buildings all across the downtown core and surrounding neighbourhoods.