Altarpiece of Veit Stoss | Kraków, Poland

The Altarpiece of Veit Stoss is a masterpiece of Gothic sculpture and one of the most important works of art in Poland. Created in the 15th century by the Bavarian sculptor Veit Stoss, the altarpiece is the largest of its kind in the world. Its intricate carvings and delicate details have captivated visitors for centuries.

Originally located in the St. Mary’s Basilica in Kraków, the altarpiece endured a tumultuous history, including the Nazi’s removal of the piece during World War II. After the war, the altarpiece was restored and eventually returned to its rightful place at the eastern end of the St. Mary’s Basilica.

For those interested in art and history, a visit to the St. Mary’s Basilica to see the Altarpiece of Veit Stoss is an absolute must. The basilica itself is a stunning example of Gothic architecture, and the altarpiece serves as the centerpiece of the church, drawing visitors from around the world to admire its beauty and significance.

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

Nico Trinkhaus

Nico Trinkhaus

Nico Trinkhaus is the mind-blind photographer, using cameras to create visions and memories that otherwise would be lost to him.

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