Is it overprocessed? It is, isn't it? Way too much dodging and burning. Well, let's enter it anyway!
The title refers to Imre Steindl, the designer of the Hungarian Parliament building, who went blind before he could ever see it completed. There's a statue of him in this room.
I actually saw this staircase on a postcard, before I ever visited, and immediately thought "I want to try a version of that shot!"
The reality is always a little more fiddly than the ideal, though. I had to shoot hand-held in poor light, holding the camera out above the heads of pushy tourists and composing in live view... the lens distortion required a fair bit of correction, as did my imperfect framing which left this slightly off centre; the edge of the white portions of the carpet not meeting the corners of the image symmetrically bugs me, as does the slight asymmetry in the windows, and this lens loses a lot of quality in the very corners. To be fair it's designed as a 1.6 crop lens, shooting on a 1.3 crop body, so I shouldn't complain.
Editing consisted of lens distortion correction, perspective correction, cloning out some rubbish on the stairs (they don't keep that red carpet very clean), curves, excessively aggressive dodging and burning, resize, and a teeny tiny sharpen. Lately I've been noticing oversharpening more and more on some of my older work, and the works of others, so I've been consciously trying to dial it back more. Not yet sure if this is the right balance - will have to see how I feel about it in a week or so.
Place: 4 out of 44 Avg (all users): 6.5000 Avg (commenters): 7.5000 Avg (participants): 6.7000 Avg (non-participants): 6.3000 Views since voting: 797 Views during voting: 93 Votes: 40 Comments: 7 Favorites: 1 (view)
An interesting image that contributes well to the challenge
Difficult to imagine a more appropriate image for the challenge brief. What a magnificent place it forms a wonderful setting to those impressive stairs. I can relate to your sense of frustration with the slight imperfections that you have mentioned in your write up, whenever you are trying to get a perfect symmetry it mostly eludes to a greater or lesser extent but none of this is detrimental to the end result. Your question about the processing, well the high score and result is probably the best answer to that so well done for entering it.