I recently posted a picture showing some detail of Ely Cathedral’s Octagonal “lantern” tower, and was asked what processing was involved – so here goes:
This is the original “out of camera” shot:
Because of the bright sunlight, I’d exposed for the highlights here (I actually shot 3 bracketed shots at -2, 0, +2 EV and this was the most useful of the three).
In Lightroom, I then lowered the highlights slider which gave me some room to increase the brightness of the whole image. I increased the shadows, the overall exposure, added a little clarity and vibrance, and was then left with this:
Next up, I opened the image in Photoshop.
The two open doors were off-putting, so I cloned doors from the other side of the image, mirrored them, and dropped them into place. I also added a starburst effect to make the sunlight through the window more dramatic. The starburst is achieved by adding a white>black gradient layer, adding a wave distortion to this, then the “planetary” distortion, before scaling and moving the right position. The “screen” blending mode is used to overlay this over the underlying image. After those edits, and adding a little more warmth with the white balance back in Lightroom, I had this:
Finally, I opened the image up in Color Efex Pro 4 (part of the Nik Collection, now available from Google). I don’t recall the exact filters I used, but most commonly I use the Skylight filter, the Sunlight filter, and probably the Glamour Glow filter. These add some more warmth and softness to the image, leading to the final result: