Berlin - Potsdamer Platz

by Ranke Carsten

berlin potsdamer platz ranke carsten

Gallery: Single Photos

Category: Uncategorized

Published: Saturday 4th of March 2006 04:42:42 PM


Leigh Perry
Amazing shot. The unique angle of view and distorted shapes create a tremendous image. Your treatment is very effective too. The contrasty blacks and whites without much grey in between gives almost a lithographic etching effect. Wow.

Colin Carron
Carsten - magnificent! The visual energy of the forms is excellent. I like how the verticals of the bottom half all point towards the centre of the circular (?) roof at the top. To me it has a rather art deco feel - an architects 'ideal city' drawing perhaps? From a selfish point of view I would like to rate this (7/7) so that it would appear in my 'photos rated highest' selection. But brilliant!

alexandra rauh
This is really stunning.I remember arriving there as a little girl 70 years ago,it was stunning than, but You sure gave it all its glamour of the new time right now,I am just as small again.

Jeff Grant
Carsten, this is a knockout! It works every which way. On top of that doing it handheld and with a grad is amazing. I have trouble with grads on anything smaller than a 645 and yoor camera is not renowned as having the brightest of the bunch.

Will King
Carsten, this is just amazing! I'm not qualified to offer you a critique. I will just look and enjoy. Bravo.

Darko Kordovan

Carsten Ranke
Thank you for stopping by ! I am glad you like it, because this is not my usual stuff

Adolfo Valente
wow, this is amazing! A spectacular composition. Congrats!

Pnina Evental
Well it seems that you can reffer to subjects that are not landscapes... It is an interesting composition of urban view if you like. Interesting angle with a very nice result.

Rob Duyser
untill I saw that this is a compsite, I wanted to ask how en earth you find and frame up so many architectural features into one photo; brilliant compostion then and nice shades, nice pencil drawing look.

Sean Depuydt
Carsten, this is totally awesome! I love the toning and composition. This is really fantastic. I visited Berlin twice in late 80's, it's a very cool city. Congrats on a fine image - Sean

Conte Oliver
Excellent Fantastic shot! Best regards

Cherlyn .
Wow, excellent work. Very good B/W contrast & tones as well as perspective.

Ferrando Flores Rafael
! ! Impressive Carsten!, agree with everyone about the visual impact of the scene, tremendous use of architectural lines and duotone processing, not your usual stuff but not the last for sure!

Michelle Amarante
This is simply stunning Carsten.... Your stitching is seamless. A beautiful composition and I love the cool tone, it works well with this. Wonderful image.

Alberto Conde
Taken aback by such a fantastic urban landscape. Great one, Carsten

Keith Cottrill
Wow, that's crazy! I love the effect of the fisheye on this shot. There is a sense of chaotic motion that is really wonderful. And the duotone helps to emphasize the distorted shapes and non-parallel lines. Great image!

Mike Stacey
One of those gobsmacking photos. It's got it all. Great work, especially with your post processing. Tones and subtle tint are very well done.

Stephen Forsyth
Italo Calvino could have made an Invisible City out of this. The round structure at top reminds me of a satalite dish, but its pointing down, receiving messages from the city, rather than broadcasting them. So who's listening? Is this what the martians are using to spy on us before the War of the Worlds invasion?

Pawel Czapiewski
Stands out. Exciting composition and very good mixing job. I'd consider a slight crop off the bottom to eliminate the tent like bright structure. Regards,

David Robinson
Carsten, this is one of the best cityscapes I have ever seen, and just a magnificent composition. Thrilling is the response I have to this. It makes me feel the excitement and thrill to be in this space -- I know I am about to have an exciting adventure here. Where do I start!!! Outstanding work, Carsten, as good as any of your landscapes. I never thought I would say that about a cityscape...

Mario Aielli

Patricia Minicucci
Not your usual stuff...but still a signature work. I do not think that I've ever experienced such a sense of energy in a cityscape before. What a treasure.

Sang Kyu, Han
It is great work! Fantastic!

Kim Tural
Wow! This is so amazing! What a great assortment of architectural styles! I love the dramatic perspective you used for this composition and how you achieved super contrasts and tones. I am trying to figure out how you did it!

Hans Koot
it seems good when you do something else then your usual stuff :-) .. gives a bit WOW effect...

Pulok Pattanayak
Excellent architectural photography. Great perspective.

J Perez
Dizzying perspective. I love it!

Gustavo Orensztajn
Amazing shot, at a first I though it was a fisheye lens but I see the it is a 10mm. Great pic and perspective. I see you use duetone for the tones, have you trie to print it? Can you get the sam tones in the printer? It is an awesome picture in all sense!

Carsten Ranke
Gustavo, thanks for stopping by ! No I didnt print it, but the duotone is probably good for printing (and the size of a vertical pano from 4 landscape formats is nice for a large print). My printer is not high-quality, and I will have to find a good shop for a hardcopy

Paula Grenside
Amazing shot perfectly rendered in perspective and tone. I thought of the city of the future before reading the caption.

Carsten Ranke
Henry, d?accord. I live in a small town with 1000 residents, and this short visit to Berlin was impressive for me, you can imagine. But I feel quite more comfortable in my home town...

Henri Manguy
Really impressive. And I don't know what impress me the most, the photo or the architecture. The 10 mm (or 16 mm) lens is great. Your composition is great. And this immense dome above the buildings is great (even so I generaly hate the modern architecture).

Regards, Henri

Peter van Nugteren
A piece of art Carsten!

Jana Vanourkova
Woouw, so different from your nature photography, but so good ! cheers Jana

Anders Hingel
Carsten, I joint the others in congratulating you with this photo which is simply amazing. If one should mention some reservations, we are here to criticise and not only tap you on the back, I would mention the limited variation of tones of grey and almost nothing really black or white - or maybe my screen is playing me a trick. If I had a photo like that I would go into photoshop and ensure greater pan of BW tones (threshold, curves and eventually the gradiants). Another critical comment could be made to the overall composition. Although most of the structuring lines and forms in the scene are leading they eye towards a the central dome, the tall white building in the background stands out as a competing point of focus. But, as mentioned, an all together very impressive photo that should be a serious candidate for a POW. Anders

Carsten Ranke
Anders, thanks for detailed comments. Thats what PN is meant for, I appreciate all constructive critique. If you look at the histogram, you will see a quite uniform distribution from black to white, with a slight shift to the darker tones. I have tried a dozen different B&W versions, and stuck with this one but there also many other possible variants of course. For comparison, I show the color version. The tall building in the background is pointing to the same point as the other lines, IMO


Bram Meijer
maybe a bit late But beautiful, Regards, Bram

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke This image has been selected for discussion. It is not necessarily the "best" picture the Elves have seen this week, nor is it a contest. It is simply an image that the Elves found interesting and worthy of discussion. Discussion of policy, including the choice of Photograph of the Week should not take place here, but in the Site Feedback forum.

Before writing a contribution to this thread, please consider our reason for having this forum. We have this forum because future visitors might be interested in learning more about the pictures. They browsed the gallery, found a few striking images and want to know things like why is it a good picture, why does it work? Or, indeed, why doesn't it work, or how could it be improved?

So, when contributing to this thread, please keep the above in mind. Address the strengths, the shortcomings of the image. It's not good enough to like it, you should spend some time trying to put into words why that is the case. Equally so if you don't like it, or if you can't quite make up your mind.

Let's make sure this forum is a wonderful learning resource for future photographers!

Thank you and enjoy!

Will King
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, Congratulations on being selected for POW. I remember seeing this photo a couple of weeks ago and thinking how fabulous it was. Excellent job with post processing. It looks seemless and the tonal range is superb.

Bill Foster
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Damn! Now that's a POW photo. This is the first one in a long time that I have no quibble or qualm about at all. This is a solid 7/7 and just a great photo. Why? First I love the format. Panoramas have, of course, become increasingly popular in the digital age, but vertical panos from landscaped photos still seem somewhat rare to me and it gives this a really fascinating, different look. Second, I admire the technical difficulty in doing a panorama with this kind of lens distortion. I've tried this and haven't even come close to a useable result (what is your secret Carsten)? Next, I love the composition of this. There is a beautiful line that draws the eye upward from the center building to the center of the dish, but it's a parabola, not a straight line. There is just enough sky to be fascinating. If I had to find a quibble, then I'm not sure about the B&W. I think the conversion is great. On my monitor it seems to have good shadow and highlight. The duotone gives it an almost infrared look (which is what I thought this was at first) and the colors give the whole thing that Fritz Lang Metropolis look we talked about a few weeks ago. But, I still think I prefer the color. I like the modern (versus futuristic, if the difference is clear) of the color version. I love them both and they are both different, but if I hung one in my office, it would be the color one.

Brad Bradley
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Hello Carsten, this is an awesome capture and I am glad you included the technicals, lense and all...helps understand how you pulled off such an incredible wide angle shot. I'll come back in the later part of the week for a little more...not that I can offer more than has been said already, I think it's really successful as a toned B & W. Technically, all photos can be improved in some way. Well done dudeman. Best Regards, Bradley

Daniel Rice
Nice use of fisheye Nice shot. I don't know if I care for the B&W treatment. Having seen the color version, I think B&W is a good way to go, but as is the shot look unreal to me. Still, this shot is a fantasic use of a fisheye lens.

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Wow, a great honor for me ! Thank you all for comments and critique here. Bill, the lens distortion is indeed a problem with stitching wide angles, but this EF-S 10-22 lens has virtually no barrel at the wide end. And the case of colr versus B&W, I had a hard time to decide what I prefer but decisive was for me the tall building that is not so well defined against the sky as in the duotone. I liked how all the curves go towards an imaginary point in the sky, and the building contributes better this way, IMO.


Will King
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Of course B&W seens unreal since humans see in color. Personally I prefer the B&W version over the color only because of the near perfect post processing conversion Carsten did. It gives it a cold steel industtrail look that I find fanscinating in this image.

Bill Foster
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I do agree with Will about the futuristic look of the duotone. I guess it's a question of whether one prefers a more realistic (color) or surrealistic (duotone) image. While I prefer the color, it's by a very slight margin. One thing I did notice, in the color version one can really see the sky through the tent-like structure at the top of the photo. But, in the duo-toned version, you lose that blue and the tent (umbrella? What the hell is that thing?) appears a lot more solid and weightier.

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Daniel and Will, it is kind of unreal if you consider the B&W workflow, you see a blue filtered building against a red filtered sky... So what ? Those photographers who have seen a lot of B&W could feel uncomfortable with such manipulations putting various filter effects or channel mixer settings into one shot. But I love the almost unlimited possibilities of color to B&W

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Bill, the awning and sky tones are less separated in the B&W, the price for the red filter - like sky toning I had to pay. In color, the roof looks probably better but all together the B&W conveys the atmosphere of this place better IMO

Nanette Samol
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Beautiful lines, tones and comp. Very deserving to be POW. Berlin is such a fantastic city for architecture. Thanks for sharing this and the colour original but B&W really makes this image. Congrats!

Greg S
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Great use of super wide angle and post proc treatment = very futuristic looking result. The contrast was really punched up for this and it works. -Greg-

Jan Symank
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Very good wide angle perspective was choosen here. This fits very well to the subject ! Congrats !!! Jan

Jim Dockery
Fantastic - especially hand held! Great pano work - especially hand held. This might be the first such pano I've seen - shot with such a wide lens - creates an amazing perspective in the right hands. Great shot with depth, detail, amazing tones, and eye catching interest.

Kah Kit Yoong
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Congratulations on a well-deserved POW Carsten. Your duotone treatment really pops and gives the impression of a futuristic urban landscape. The composition and your technique are flawless. This will look great printed LARGE.

Bill Tate
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke This is not the sort of picture one wants to glance at -- it needs to be studied. At first I thought there was just too much in it for a single image, but the more I studied it, the more I wanted to continue looking at it. You do wonderful skies, and this picture is a good example, although the sky is only a small portion of the total photograph. I think the tones are about perfect for this architectural image. I really like it, but I keep wondering if there might just be TOO much in the picture. (That is more of a concern rather than a critique.) Glad yours was selected for POW, and I enjoyed looking over your portfolio--great skies!

Ray Richards
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke For me the colour version has nowhere near the same degree of impact as the duotone rendering. Fantastic job.

Christopher Walker
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, I've come back to look at this photograph about 15 times in the last two hours. At first it seemed incredibly busy, but I was repeatedly drawn to it. I can't tell how how amazing I think it is. This is a photograph I would gladly purchase and hang on my wall, and I don't have any photographs hanging on my walls! May I ask how you accomplished it? I'm still very much an amateur in this world, and can't begin to fathom how you got the results you did.

J. Knight
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke WHOA!!! I was IMMMEDIATELY drawn to this when the page came up. Excellent "titanium" futuristic feel to it. Excellent tones, composition, just everything. I dont think i could find much wrong with this, if any at all...WOW WOW WOW! Congrats on POW!

Diane Fields
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I had an immediate 'wow' response when the page opened. I prefer the mono (duotones) process since its so surreal as it is. The 10-22 pano, knowing that lens, is quite something. Congrats on POW--this is the first I've been really enthusiastic about for several weeks. Diane

Linda Keagle
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, I agree with Diane. I hardly am ever impressed by the POW, but this is really different, and extremely well done. Congratulations on such a fine picture and the recognition it (and you!) deserve.

Sean Depuydt
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Very well put Chris.

John Seward
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, You deserve every accolade you recieve for this. My question is, at what moment did you see the potential of this shot, and was it something you had previously thought about--in otherwords, did you have a plan? The reason I ask is, as a relatively inexperienced shooter, I know how important it is to have some kind of feel for what you want to convey. I haven't reached that stage yet, and am constantly wondering if I'll ever have the vision such as you've demonstrated. Does the shooting environment dictate the plan, or the other way around? Were you after this kind of shot in particular, or was it one of those chance encounters with the moment?

Mona Chrome
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I have come back here to look several times today, and I think that generally the comments here are right on. This is a very nice photo, graphic and yet rich with details to wander through to see what might be discovered. The wide angle distortion creates a movement that pushes the eye around always to come back to the circular canopy overhead. Altho blue can sometimes diminish depth, there is enough red in this blue to counteract this and still allow for a nice sense of depth. The overall tonality of the photo is very nice and does not seem to have suffered from the upload. All this said, there is one problem that is bothering me quite a bit. I like photos that are canted, shot off axis, but they need to "be" off axis. Here, there is a noticeable and, for me, quite disconcerting counterclockwise tilt to the photo. I am all for things that are disconcerting in good ways, but I don't think this is. There aren't a lot of straight lines, but the buildings tops at the bottom and the central buildings vertical are what creates the "lean" here. Since there is already distortion in the image, I think a suitable correction could be made through the transform command without losing too much of the image. These types of little, maybe nit picky, things are what differentiate a very good photo from a great photo.

Paulo Pampolin
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Well, looking to this image and remembering POW from last week is possible understand in this site, now, photoshop is most important than pictures.

juyt huyt
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Hi, every body, this is a cool picture to view and congratulation to Carsten Ranke for his POW. Now I ask to those how present here is we losing our compatibility to create a cool image with out the help of PS? I�m very much agreeing with Paulo pampolin and others Why don�t we try something normal? Thanks to every one.

Chris Hughes
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Reminds me of this one which I also love:

Marc G.
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke "I love the almost unlimited possibilities of color to B&W" - Carsten Ranke. So do I. :-) Kudos also to Chris Fraser for his post regarding the double-focus composition. I think Carsten�s POW is a great opportunity for many of us to learn something. Learn about the art of achieving great Photoshop conversions from color to bw. And learn about panoramics and stitching method with ultra-wide lenses. I know virtually nothing about stitched panoramics, but I believe I�m in fact using exactly Carsten�s method for bw conversions. So I�ll start with a little study about the POW�s channels, and end with a few questions about the stitching method. At the top of my attachment, you�ll find Carsten�s POW (an artistic interpretation of reality), together with a standard greyscale conversion (which I obtained using the color image, and which is the �natural� or �realistic� conversion). Compare these two before looking at the other pix, and here is what you will notice: 1) In the POW, there is a lot more contrast between the two buildings on the left side. 2) Sky turned almost black, which makes the far tower stand out and creates a �hole� in the center of the picture. 3) A bit more contrast in the buildings at right. 4) Quite a bit more contrast in the circle at the top of thecomposition. All this means, that Carsten controled SEPARATELY � and DIFFERENTLY � various areas in this picture. And he has reached a much more spectacular tonal rendition than the realistic conversion would have allowed. How did he do it ? He selected some parts of the image in each channel and made up a puzzle ofall pieces, that would givehim entire tonal satisfaction. It seems he took the sky and back glass tower from the red channel, and darkened them even further. Buildings at left were probably copied from the blue channel. Etc. And after assembling all parts, it seems Carsten may have added even more contrast to several parts of this image, or perhaps to the entire image again. Please note that some of my �guesses� may be wrong, because many things can be obtained in slightly different ways, but that�s more or less the METHOD used here, and I think that�s the best possible method for digital conversions. Especially knowing that each layer , taken from any channel (or portion of a channel), can be set to any desired opacity. (As a side-note, I�d be interested if Carsten could let us know, whether he ever found any trace of a description of this method anywhere on the web - I never did -; and whether he knows people using this method besides him�) My only minor critiques regarding the tones would be the following: 1) Perhaps a tad less contrast overall would give a little more realism to the image, while maintaining more unity � whereas a very strong contrast tendsto isolate many small parts in an already busy picture. 2) I�d have used the blue channel for the extreme lower part of the photo, which I don�t find really interesting, and which I�d therefore like to darken a bit � although some may prefer cropping it... I�ve added an amended version - the last frame of the attached file. As you�ll see, the amendment on tones is really minor. You�ll also notice, thatI ended up cropping just a tad at the bottom, in order to get rid of the �cascade� of white tents. All else is fine for me in this picture, and now I�d like to understand what this exactly means: �handheld landscape formats stitched vertically�. You took horizontal format pictures and stitched them to make a vertical frame, is that right ? But then why not shoot vertical frames - that�s what I don�t understand since I don�t shoot stitched panoramics ? Another request: would it be possible for you, carsen, to include in this thread the various images used to build this one � i.e. the unstitched photos�? Thanks, and congrats for this spectacular picture. For once, this may be Photoshop, but it�s Photoshop used in a smart way in order to create a great angle of view and enhance the tones. This picture gains a lot from the Photoshopper�s cleverness and skills, and that�s fine by me. Regards.

Marc G.
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Sorry for all the question marks instead of ' or " or -... That happens each time I type in a text editor using a French keyboard... :-(

Jean Pierre Romeyer
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Hello Carsten...congrats for this excellent shot and your deserved place here! I am 100% for the B&W choice that gives, imho, far more strength to the image. Furthermore post treatment is excellent. The high distortion caused by the wide angle is part of the final result. Far from bothering me, it gives this "unreal attractivity" that provokes the eyes. A rectilinear view would have had quite less energy and interest. Concentrating precisely on this "surreal result", we could imagine to crop the lower part of the image, to offset the last links with reality, and choose a square frame that will come in perfect opposition with the circular dome and distorted buildings...something as attached... What do you think ? Is it relevant ?

Jean Pierre Romeyer
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Technical is my attachment (I hope...!)

Anders Hingel
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Congratulations Carsten, you deserve it fully. This is a very impressive photo that already has been subject to extensive discussions in your portfolio. Now that it is a POW I would repeat one of my initial comments after having expressed my admiration on the general quality of the photo. However, if one should mention some reservations, we are here to criticise and not only to tap Carsten on the back, I would mention the structuring lines, forms and spaces in the scene that all lead the eye towards a the central dome, but the tall white building in the background stands out as a competing point of focus in the BW version because of its light tones of grey. It is after all not only the lines and spaces that construct a composition but also the play of colour or grey tones. When Cartsten initially answered my remarks he showed the colour version of the photo and in my eyes that version does not have the same problem and the lines and forms play fully the composition as intended. Carsten, can we have the colour version in this threat also because I think it is important for this discussion. This is the first time I see the selection of a POW that also I had discovered before. I even recommended it as POW ! ! Anders

Jean Pierre Romeyer
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke last try !

Tom Leech
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Outstanding shot. Great tonality. I prefer your duotone to the alternatives Marc suggested. Yours gives this surreal image an almost futuristic sense that is not present in the straight B&W. Composition, wonderful as it is, has been covered by many of the previous posts. If a diagonal line makes for an interesting compositional element, then the curves of your building all spiraling and pointing inward make an even more striking statement. The only nitpick are the bright shapes at the bottom, I would clone them out or darken them.

Patricia Minicucci
Marc G. "(As a side-note, Iýd be interested if Carsten could let us know, whether he ever found any trace of a description of this method anywhere on the web - I never did -; and whether he knows people using this method besides himý) Marc, excellent post! While I surely do not speak for Carsten, take a look here (http:// for JP Capnigro's conversion technique. You've nailed the essence of it. The only twist is that his approach also utilizes the Lightness Channel from LAB colorspace. I think there are also a number of PS plugins that will set up channels as layers for tailored conversion work.

Patricia Minicucci

Petra Reimann
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Hello Carsten, Is this real? I mean the REAL image how you have seen it? No photoshop manipulation like adding a building and all that kind?? If so, I compliment you on an EXCELLENT shot. I admit to prefer the colour version. Berlin has so many new buildings now since it became the main capital, that it must be a photographer's paradise. Well, at least to those inspired by the theme. Once again a compliment to you. Happy shooting from Petra

Carl Root
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I like this a lot . . . it's a perfect use of fisheye distortion. I wonder if there's any chance of seeing the four horizontal shots that you took to create this shot. It almost looks like it could have been captured in one exposure at the wide end of the zoom, but maybe my comment makes it obvious that I don't own one. Tokina just came out with a DX version which I'm now considering more seriously. Thanks for the inspiration.

Pawel Czapiewski
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Kudos to Carsten for seeing this opportunity and elves for digging deeper than TRP. I've addressed the crop previously and there seems to be a slight lean as Mona mentioned but its just nits. Outstanding job Carsten.

Marc G.
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Patricia, Thanks for the link, but for some reason, it doesn't seem to work, and that's quite frustrating, since I'd gladly read this... :-) Tom, "I prefer your duotone to the alternatives Marc suggested." The "alternative" - no "S". There's only one alternative - the last in the row. The second pix is a standard conversion by PS. The others are simply the channels found in the color file attached by Carsten. I should have explained that I erased all color toning for all the pix I posted - which may have caused some confusion, sorry for that.

Mathieu Landry
Escher-esque! I've made it through the re-iterations of "Wow. fantastic. Good Job." and I agree that it is a nice piece of work. I agree with most that the Photoshop work really enhances the presentation. I think it's as close a photograph can come to emulate the drawings of M.C.Escher. Which is something difficult to do!! However, Marc G. touched on something of interest when suggesting the crop at the bottom. It greatly enhances the image IMO.

Patricia Minicucci
Marc G.

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Sorry for the late response to your comments, thank you all for comments and discussion.
Christopher, I posted a short description of tech details with the shot , but this is not visible here in the POW discussion: duotoned B&W of a pano, from handheld landscape formats stitched vertically (@10 mm, that is 16 mm in film terms. If you just start with digital processing, this should be explained more detailed. My EF-S 10-22 mm zoom lens on the 300D is equivalent to 16 mm at the wide end in film terms, about 100 deg field of view. But I am nuts about wide and wider, so my goal was a field of view of more than 100 deg, impossible to get with my 300D (this focal length is the wides rectilinear lens available). You can stitch landscape format shots vertically with special software, I use Panotools with a graphical user interface, PTGui. Normally, you should use a tripod, but with a bit practice you get decent results from handheld shots. Important is a debarrelized shot, and the EF-S is fortunately very good, almost free of barrel distortion. Also important is manual exposure for equal tones in the single shots, or correction afterwards in RAW format derived shots. The vertical panorama was converted to B&W from the Red, Blue, Green, and LAB lightness channel, with PS and layer technique for masking unwanted tones, kind of patchwork, with some manipulations of the channels like soft light and multiply blending to enhance contrast. Patricia has posted a link with a good description. The duotone or duplex technique is described elswhere, there are some PS tutorials in the net.
Chris, your remark on two focal points is interesting. I have the impression of a convergence of curves somewhere in the sky above the roof in a single point.... Anyway, I was really happy about the distortion after stitching (I will load the raw shots, later. Not at my base station at the moment).
John, you ask whether I had a plan in mind. No, this was a short visit to Berlin. You must know, I come from a smal, thousand people town into this Metropolis, the first time at this (new) place and was impressed, least to say. Daughter and wife patiently waiting in a cafe, I made a few dozen shots, all for later stitching to get the feeling of this place in one image. Our eyes are wide-angles optically, with unsharp periphery but the wide visual field has an effect on our perception in such sceneries.
MOna Chrome, the tilt does not bother me so much, with lot of distortion and curves it is not essential to rotate, IMO. But thanks for your observation !
Paulo and Subhasish, there are POWs without PS enough, but, admittedly, more with PS manipulation than without. I admire those photographers who can live without PS today ! PS can save a bad shot, can improve an average shot, and can make the best from a good original. No problem for me if I dont see the manipulation at the first glance.
Chris, thanks for the link to the other shot, nice to see a variation of this motif.
Marc G, what an excellent comment - you hit the nail with your idea. The bottom does not contribute so much, could be darker but with the umbrella as counterpart for the roof. Perfect ! And BTW you guessed right, see my tech decription above (thanks to Patricia for the link, I was not aware of this description, collected my tech here and there in the net, a lot from PN members like Pat and Chris. You ask why not shooting vertical and wide, easy: I am nuts about wide and wider, as said above. Have no fisheye, my rectangular wide zoom would give me a FOV of 100 deg vertically maximal. With vertical stitch of four landscape shots, almost fisheye FOV vertically and 100 deg horizontally. The fisheye distortion came from the stitching process.
Jean Pierre the crop for a square is too much for my taste, I would go for the suggested version from Marc (and later Tom).
Anders, you are a prophete ;-) Or an elve ? I will post the color version here later, not at my own PS now...
Patricia, thanks for the link ! I have learned a lot from you, there are few people with such skills in B&W technique !
Petra, no buildings added, but heavy PS. See the alternative versions from Marc
Carl, no fisheye. The scenery was impossible to get into one frame even with 10 mm and crop factor 1,6. If my chief financial officer agrees I will buy one...

Biplab Sikdar
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke good use of fisheye ... interesting capture ... I am a novice and hence not sparing any more words ... learnt a lot from the discussions ... cheers Carsten ... greetings from Kolkata, India ...

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke PS, here the color version for comparison

Naftali Raz
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke an impressive way to summarize an architecturally very dense site. the building in the gap (DB headquarters?) makes the shot for me compositionally. i like the toning but tend to agree with the suggestion to darken the lower strip (some not very relevant objects there distract me as a viewer). all in all a strong entry as a POW. congratulations!

Mona Chrome
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I thought I would have a little fun and give CR what he might be looking for, and at the same time just show, via the color version, what a slight rotation might do for the image. I still feel that the tilt adversely affects the photo and maybe this will help demonstrate how it might be improved. Disclaimer: if you don't like the color blame CR

Mona Chrome
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I guess we're on slightly different trips, I pushed everything, but I wont go where I wouldn't go!

Jos Van Poederooyen
Eye Catcher that Reels in the Mind . . . Intriguing and well worth the stare time! Well Done, Carsten! It's very well seen and excellent follow through. I like both the B&W and color, the tones and shades are excellent however, WOW, the dance of lines and the whirl of the buildings all around the image, it's FULL of action...heck, the sky seems like it is the most stable thing in the mix. It's captivating and so very interesting to gaze into which is what some photographs are simply meant to be. Most of all, I am pleased that you have the very deserved honor of POW. Cheers to You!!

Marc G.
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Thanks for your very complete reply, Carsten. It helped me realize, among other things, how much I have to learn about the modern way to use very wide angles and stitching methods in architecture photography. This passion for ultra-wide angles to represent a site is a passion I do not share, but I have to admit, such angles really give a great sense of the entire site, and are very spectacular. I forgot to add that my favorite is still BW over color for this particular image. Simply because colors pull me away from what's imo essential here: the great graphics that are all over the frame and somehow "surround" the sky. Congrats again, and best wishes for your future 10mm lens purchase. :-)

Anders Hingel
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Now that Carsten has introduced the colour version maybe it is relevant to go back to my only critical comment to this marvelous photo. I know it is difficult to appreciate the full scene on a computer screen, and I might be wrong, but it is my feeling that in the BW version the white tall building in the lower centre of the scene is competing for attention with the centre of the compositions lines and spaces, the centre of the dome. In the colour version this competition of attention is not present. I therefore prefer the present colour version of the two. One answer to this might be to darken the light grey of the building. Anders

dave collopy
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke First of all congratulations Carsten on your well deserved POW. Most all of what I really like here has already been covered so I won't waste space. I would only add that having the "umbrella arm" exit the top center of the image was a spectacular choice setting the tone for the rest of the image. So any resulting tilt is no problem for me, rather it is a masterful composition choice. Generally speaking I like straight shots that are very busy, but I like composites to be simple, seamless. But this really isn't a composite, at least not in any traditional sense. This is something new. If I understand Carsten correctly, software handled all the stitching. I personally find that fascinating. Last night Nova did a program on a hundred mile race through the Mohave Desert in which all vehicles were manned by computers and software had to handle decision making on the fly.Some of the vehicles performed spectacularly. A few did wonder off into the desert. Anyway, I should probably mention a couple architectural anomalies I find distracting, the result of the stitching. One is the right side of the white building which has one more floor on the top than the left side does. I think a floor could simply be added to the left or the top floor removed from the right to correct this. But all in all it is a really excellent image.

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Anders, this is a good point. Now that you mention it, I think that a bit darker tone there would not hurt. All together I like the B&W more, however.
Dave, see the 100% crop of the top of the building from a single shot before stitching, you see that it is not from stitching, obviously the architect of the DB building (you guessed right, Naftali) was a bit eccentric.

Tim Park
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Let me add my name to the long list of people who are blown away by this image! It has such a futuristic look. I love it. The second I saw it, it captured my attention!

dave collopy
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, maybe you could post the rest of the shots before the stitching. I think people would find it interesting to see how the software redrew the lines to pull this image together. I think it would also be interesting to compare this with a typical fisheye shot because this is handled completely different. The more I think about it the more significant your image becomes. People typically use Photoshop to emulate the darkroom process or correct issues that couldn't be corrected in camera. But here we have something that couldn't be achieved in camera or created in the darkroom or pulled off in Photoshop. You've combine various tools to create a very unique kind of image. Or at least I don't know anyone else who is doing this kind of thing.

Bill Tate
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Yes, by all means, please do give us a view of the original shots before stitching. I'm sure we all would love to see them. I keep going back to this page over and over to view the image. Just wonderful. I like the colored one too, but I think the B/W is just overwhelming. I think there has been more interesting comments on this POW than any in recent history. We have all learned a great deal.

Jan Olof Härnström
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I think the aestethic impression is really good cause you have choose a tonal range and composition that actually appeals. It's not about channels or black&white points etc. It's more like how an artist choose to work with a palette and brush or knife. (I think the picture is tilted a slight to the left and some details on the ground is a bit disturbing. But it's not a problem) It sure is a very nice photograph and high class work. Congrats.

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Dave and Bill, here are the single shots as requested (already by others). I stitched actually three TIFFs, in 16 bit per channel, with PTGui. As you can see there is more overlap than usually nessessary, but for the wide angle distortion this works better IMO. And, another variation from the rules, not in M mode, but in AE mode, to get better shadow detail in the base shot, and for better highlights the series was with -0.6 EV underexposed (1/125 sec f:6.3, 1/160 sec f:7.1, and 1/200 sec f:8 with ISO 100). The RAW to TIF was done with CaptureOne DRebel ed., a program that allows selective matching of exposure with selections of overlapping regions and matching the histogram there, same thing is possible with white balance.
Even the rectilinear lens shows some curved lines, and this was accentuated by stitching. Sounds complicated, but is done automatically with the actual version of PTgui.

Mary Ball
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Moderator note: Just as a reminder - Images should be uploaded to show in the forum rather than in link form... Directions are there on the page where you upload them. One thing people forget to do is type in a caption. You must size the image to 511 pixels or less and fill in the Caption field for the image to show up as an image. Thanks

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Sorry, didnt know about the caption issue

Georgios Chaziris
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Very Powerful. Puts you on the spot

andrea gerosa
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I went there, I liked it and took some nice shots too. But what a dramatic effect you obtained! I couldn't imagine it could appear in that way.

Jay Patel
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke HI Carsten,

This is such an great shot...The perspective is excellent The composition superb and the exposure is perfect. Well done. Glad this shot was choosen as POW.

Kim Slonaker
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke It's great when there is an actual "discussion" on a POW instead of either the "wow's" or general negativity without constructive critiscism. To see all the different versions of this shot and to read all the technical details is quite interesting. This is what a POW should be! Congratulations, Carsten! I like the shot as posted and can't add anything to what's already been discussed - just enjoyed reading it all.

Tom P
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Great shot of a veery challenging site! I went there last year and walked around with my camera for an hour and gave up. I think the colour version captures better the post-modern feel of the site.

Dale Mellor
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I too prefer the hard colour versions, much more contemporary with the subject. I wonder if it would be better if the top was lower, only showing half of the dome - the geometry gets overstrained right at the top and I find it both distracting and, at first sight, very confusing. Thanks for letting us in on the technical secrets, though! I really thought it was a single image done with an actual fisheye lens.

Marc G.
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke "a POW choice should take us deeper into our selves with ambiguity and an unknowable mystery attached to it" - C.R. HIPS Mr.Hips, I'm not sure if you can actually find an architectural photo that would achieve what you request... Can you...?

Robert Pastierovic
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I think that the picture has it's potential to be remarkable and memorable one, though after a couple of looks you see some flaws. At the first sight I was much confused looking at the picture and I believe that it was the main purpose of making it. I've never seen a better success on this theme (confusing urban place crowded by tall buildings, that are almost falling on you).
PS: I would crop the bottom, which slightly distracts from this. :)

Carsten Ranke
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Thanks to Mr. Hips starting a debate on emotional content of this photo. Hard to say if any architectural shot has a potential for unknowable mystery, as Marc pointed out. But at least for me there is a message beyond technical witchcraft here. As mentioned earlier, I felt deeply impressed by this futuristic scenery, new for me, being a country bumpkin ;-) Discussants made associations about Escher figures and Metropolis: Robert P. said it nicely, it is about feeling small and mediocre in a futuristic, confusing urban place

Mona Chrome
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke For my two cents, I think the dynamics of this shot held peoples attention a bit longer than possibly your average architectural shot. In fact, I am not sure I would totally categorize this as architecture, altho a dominant element to be sure. The introduction of a human might have "loaded" the photo is some way, but it would not have been what it is now. But a photo like this, and many others that are certainly valid expressions, don't necessarily need to go into the deep realms of the psyche to be worthy of our study. On the other hand, they will not provide the basis for a lively discussion for a week either, but maybe that is ok-at least once in awhile. For me, I do think a photo like this would have a life on a wall, it does not challenge on a daily basis, but it does provide some imbalance if not alone for its scale and dynamics. I don't think every piece of art needs to be in our face, but we don't want it to recede into being wallpaper either.

Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Carsten, excellent work. Stiching the photos together made for not only a visually stimulating photograph, but one that draws the viewer in to a different world. Nothing like simulating a super-super-wide angle!

Charles Carson
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke I think the main reason that the technical seemed to dominate this week's discussion of Mr. Ranke's very fine image is because he has been so generous in providing the background behind it (from b/w conversion and duotone techniques to stitching methods to even the posting of the original unprocessed captures). So often in these POW discussions, questions are raised as to technique, but they don't get very far because we never hear from the photographer himself or herself. Mr. Ranke should be commended for his active participation in the thread this week. While I, like everyone else, was very curious as to the technical details, I think the root of this curiosity lies in the almost primal emotional impact that the image has on us. The phrase "urban jungle" is an overused one, but here the umbrella-like structure that overshadows the entire image looks forever like the canopy of a tree. We not only see the urban jungle here, but we feel it as well because of the viewpoint - we're inside looking up, trapped by it. Thus, for me, this image -- enhanced by its monolithic blue steel tone -- perfectly captures the look and feel of our present-day (and expected future) human habitat, generating all sorts of thoughts about where we've been and where we're going. For me, that's the staying power of this image - not the technical wizardry that went in to creating it.

Rajeev Thomas
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke again...I am late here to comment but I love it...great composition, nevere seen and angle like it, all the elements up above adds to the picture, making in to a complex photograph, well seen, regards, Rajeev.

Iren Nagy
Response to Berlin - Potsdamer Platz by Carsten Ranke Hi Carsten This photo is dizzying and dazzling! Well captured.Kindest regards, Iren

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