Altarpiece of Veit Stoss | Kraków, Poland

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The Altarpiece of Veit Stoss is the largest Gothic altarpiece in the world. It was built in the 15th century by the Bavarian sculptor Veit Stoss and comes with a long history. For centuries it was located in the St. Mary’s Basilica in Kraków (Kościół Mariacki) until the Nazis carried it off to Nuremberg during the Second World War. Fortunately, the altarpiece survived the war, was restored and shipped back to Kraków. Today you can see it in its original place, in the eastern end of the St. Mary’s Basilica.

Technical Details

Camera: Canon EOS 500D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm @ 10mm
ISO: 800
Exposures: 3 (-2, 0, +2)
Aperture: 4
Exposure time (middle): 1/30s
Tripod: handheld
Size: 14.7 MPx
Date: Taken in November 2013

Software: Lightroom 5.2, Photoshop CS6, Photomatix Pro

Workflow: As you cannot simply take a tripod to the St. Mary’s Basilica, I had to use a higher ISO setting. With ISO 800 it was only just possible to capture all exposures handheld but of course it increased the noise.

And even more disturbing are the distortions that you get without a tripod when you take the photo even just slightly asymmetric while using a wide-angle lens. Therefore I had to manually correct that a lot on the computer until I was satisfied with it. After that it was just a matter of finding the right balance between adding structure without adding too much noise to the photo.

The Altarpiece of Veit Stoss is part of the UNESCO World Heritage

The Altarpiece of Veit Stoss, the St. Mary’s Basilica and the whole Historic Centre of Kraków are part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1978. Together they’ve been among the first 12 inscribed World Heritage Sites.

» UNESCO Description of the World Heritage: Historic Centre of Kraków
» Other photos of the World Heritage: See more photos

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