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Bodiam Castle

Posted by
Doug (Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom) on 5 October 2012 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III. He was given permission to build this impressive castle by Richard II as a defense against possible invasion by the French during the Hundred Years War, although it was never actually attacked. The closest it got to any real battle, was during the Wars of the Roses, when in 1483 on the orders Richard III the castle was ordered to besieged, the then owner Sir Thomas Lewknor quickly surrendered. Later at the beginning of 1641 English Civil War it was owned by John Tufton who supported the Royalist cause, and had to be sold to pay fines levied against him by Parliament, unfortunately the interior of the castle was dismantled and was not inhabited again.

My second attempt at HDR so please feel free to critique I won't be offended.

I've decided to use this image in the planting a seed theme to encourage me to learn more about HDR, so the plan is to practice and be able to improve my knowledge and skills with this particular technique


Making an effort to return to AM3 after a bit of an absence, it's really nice to see photo's from all contributors and I will try to comment when I can. If I offer criticism I do so only to help and I do not wish to cause offence. My photography tends to be from my travels, as well as my passion which is wildlife and landscape. I hope you enjoy what you see.
Thanks for your comments I'm really grateful for them and welcome constructive feedback.

gerard1948 from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

It is very beautiful, the treatment is superb, I love the castle and its reflections. An excellent photo.

5 Oct 2012 5:33am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Fantastic hdr, I like the reflection very much.

5 Oct 2012 7:33am

jpla from St Barthélémy d, France

Joli ce château ! Je te souhaite une agréable journée

5 Oct 2012 8:07am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Oooh err Doug.........take those RAWS and go back into Photomatix for another try. Starting point is white and black points to get the levels right, then colour temperature. Then you can play with/adjust the other sliders, highlight smoothing seems to be responsible a lot of the time for producing the garish glow around the contrasting edges.
Generally when I'm done and saved my image, I use "open as" in Photoshop and choose Camera RAW, I then make final adjustments and tweaks to things like curves and hue and saturation, removing any blemishes etc.

5 Oct 2012 8:25am

@Curly: Thanks Curly, I'm trying to use a free HDR program but I think I might have to invest in something like Photomatrix and do it properly

*MЯG* from Tehran, Iran

nice hdr and perfect shot

5 Oct 2012 8:47am

Heinz from Hamm, Germany

Zu dem HDR kann ich nichts sagen. ( keine Ahnung ) Aber eine gute Spiegelung von dem Schloss.

5 Oct 2012 9:05am

Basile Pesso from City of Aminus, Paris, France

Interesting HDR and great reflections !
To be straightened a bit to the left to make it even better :)

5 Oct 2012 9:12am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Superb shot, Doug - and magnificent HDR result!

5 Oct 2012 9:34am

Mariana M. from Waterloo, Canada

Great frame and reflection . Sorry, I do not like processing !

5 Oct 2012 10:19am

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

Although it has haunted feel to it which I really like - the HDR treatment is a little too overcooked for me especially with the glow around tree lines. Not sure which program you are using but would recommend Photomatix and it is my program of choice. Curly's final tip about "open as" RAW is one I use a lot for all photos and not just for HDR's

5 Oct 2012 12:16pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Very beautiful ! Great treatment .

5 Oct 2012 12:33pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Your framing is superb, and I love the look of this handsome castle. The HDR is not in any way ruining the shot for me, but you've got some good advice above and it would be fantastic to see this without the halo effect :) All in all, excellent.

5 Oct 2012 12:52pm

SalSa from Tehran, Iran

A nice complete reflection...good frame

5 Oct 2012 1:05pm

Brockaly from Leominster, United Kingdom

Wowser - v strong - used to steal the boat and try to climb in after closing time!

5 Oct 2012 1:48pm

Don from Spokane, United States

A nice shot of the old, famous castle. I haven't done enough HDR to comment.

5 Oct 2012 2:45pm

Lena from San Francisco, United States

Gorgeous architecture with reflections. very nice frame. great image.

5 Oct 2012 3:34pm

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

So here cometh a whole load of stuff that probably won't help, but you know me...On an academic basis, HDR is about simulating the way that an eye works as the iris opens and shuts across different areas of brightness and darkness. That given, your eye doesn't produce halos around things, or make bricks have uber-roughness, so what we have here isn't HDR, it's tone mapping(and, another distinction is that you cannot get true HDR out of one shot, you really need a minimum of 3) Tone mapping has no rules, if you want to but halos around things or really emphasise cloud structure-Go on, do what you like, enjoy the result, be creative!!! Therefore, I don't think that there's a "It's right, it's wrong" comment that can be made about this shot, because you are creating an effect-and an effect can be as wacky as you like. Now, for "Real " HDR, it is worth investing in some decent software, BUT leave the sliders way down low-remember you are trying to create a natural looking scene, however, highlights aren't washed out, and there's bags of shadow detail-but, to repeat myself, it looks natural when you've finished. Does this make any kind of sense?

5 Oct 2012 4:19pm

@CElliottUK: Thanks Chris and yes it does make a lot of sense. Thanks everyone else that's offering comments it's really helpful, as I must admit this type of processing is very new to me. This particular image is done with three bracketed images but the software I'm using does not seem too user friendly and I think I'll invest in something like Photomatrix Essentials which seems to be beginner friendly unless anyone has other suggestions to try, bearing in mind I use a PC not a Mac !

Ainsley from Derbyshire, United Kingdom

I love this Castle, right after i first went to Scarborough as a child and was awe struck by the way the keep dominated the town, I went in to a book shop and purchased my first book on castles in the UK. This was the front cover and a not too dissimilar shot from yours, unlike Chris in depth comment on HDR, I like the effect. I like to play with the sliders and I like to add drama to the shot. I think this works well and i love that reflection. Photography should be fun and to conform to rules is boring... just have fun and produce something you like the look of. At least it can be controversial. The only rule I have tried to conform too since joining the site is keeping the horizon police quiet ;)

5 Oct 2012 4:28pm

@Ainsley: Thanks Ainsley. While I agree with a lot of what you say I must admit to wanting to go down the line of emphasising the natural in the way Chris has suggested. Although I do agree our images should be what we like personally and it's sometimes good to court controversy and discussion.

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

Like the light
in yesterdays black and white
Nice framing her and despite all the critisism above I rather like the tones here myself

5 Oct 2012 4:36pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

I think I'll stay out of the 'controversy' ... but I am a 'member' of the "horizon police". *smile*
Make certain a line in the center of the image is perpendicular to the bottom or top edge; the sides may lean in on a wide shot, but unless you do a perspective correction on it, that's okay. (That's my 2 cents' worth.)

5 Oct 2012 6:42pm

Florence from Paris, France

Wow ! What a wonderful castle indeed and tone-mapping delivers a particlar mood which suits rather well here. Well done Doug.

5 Oct 2012 6:45pm

Carol from Leamington, Canada

I can't believe how still that water is.... it really is a 'mirror image!' The castle itself is outstanding, I really like the framing with the trees and grasses. As to the processing, well.... my experience with HDR is nil so I can be of no help there. The water and the sky seem to be off in color for me though, I do love the composition and subject.... very nice!

5 Oct 2012 7:02pm

farNaaz from Iran, Iran

A mysterious post processing for a mysterious shot from a very mysterious place .
Well done . Bravo.

5 Oct 2012 7:03pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

HDR is a great ... Beautiful symmetry ... Thanks for the very interesting explanation ... Best regards Doug... Adela

5 Oct 2012 7:32pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

I love HDR. This is a great image. It has a moody atmosphere.

5 Oct 2012 7:57pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Very beautiful image... I like the details and textures on the castle and foliage; the reflection is amazing; I think the sky is a bit too dark ~ just my opinion ~ very attractive image!

5 Oct 2012 8:29pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Very nice shot, good playing with hdr makes it vert dramatic

5 Oct 2012 9:22pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Doug- this is just Stupendous ...BEAUTIFULLY shot and processed! Thanks for all your kind words and comment which I completely agree wth..

5 Oct 2012 11:04pm

Dan from Quartz Hill, United States

Just One Of THe Best I Have Ever Seen On This Site....

5 Oct 2012 11:19pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Beautiful architecture and reflection. I'm not a big fan of HDR, but for only your second attempt, I'd say you really nailed it.

5 Oct 2012 11:49pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

I think this is absolutely beautiful! I have tried HDR and I do a horrible job! This is wonderful. I love the color, the detail, and especially the reflection! Just gorgeous! 5*'s!

6 Oct 2012 12:02am

Sue-Ann from Quebec, Canada

wow! un beau reflet d'un beau chateau et il n'est pas en sable... De passage, je regarde les dernières photos de mes fidèles visiteurs, merci à toi...

6 Oct 2012 2:17am

Prem from SoCal, United States

this is so nice and loving the reflections...

6 Oct 2012 3:27am

Baldwin from Bejuma, Venezuela

Fabulous shot of this majestic castle ... the warm colors and reflection are absolutely wonderful !!!

6 Oct 2012 3:32am

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

Stunning....fabulous shot

6 Oct 2012 7:32am

Erika from Finland

Gorgeous shot! And I'm impressed with the HDR, my own attempts haven't gone anywhere near as well as yours..

6 Oct 2012 3:15pm

Nicou from Sion, Switzerland

M;erveilleux reflet un vrai miroir sueprbe cpatage et compo fantastique.

6 Oct 2012 4:02pm

Mooie from Vancouver, Canada

Great composition! And I think the HDR is cool here.... looks like it is from a story book :-)

6 Oct 2012 7:48pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

HDR is a bit like Marmite and I suppose tone mapping is close to Vegemite...always a matter of taste and less is often more. This looked fine, and with all the advice I'm looking forward to the next offering!):-

6 Oct 2012 8:56pm

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

I don't like HDR very much, but it's a good beginning in this effect ! perfect for the theme, and here, it's works well, not too much effect !

9 Oct 2012 8:40am

philmess from angouleme, France

belle photo bien travaillée et super architecture le reflet est impeccable

9 Oct 2012 1:51pm

Jerry from Aberdeen, United States

Wonderful, this is beautiful.

11 Oct 2012 8:29pm

Emma G from Canberra, Australia

I am yet to try HDR and think this looks great...the reflections are lovely & I had to look carefully for the halos that others have discussed! I'm not officially a member of the horizon police, but the slope is a bit distracting.

12 Oct 2012 9:08am