From Freiburg (Germany), Martin’s Gate or Martinstor, one of the ancient city gates.

Hello everyone! I’ve just completed a few jobs that were absorbing me during the last weeks (mainly 3d animations and some electronic assembly for video recording and wireless transmission).

So…. I’m finally able to get back to MatericLook and some (art)works! Months ago I sent out a survey to my subscribers… During the next days I will implement some of the precious suggestions I received back, thanks!

MatericLook: Martinstor by Francesco Perratone, Germany Photography and art

Germany, Freiburg: Martinstor

-The Place

A few months back I visited a dear friend during a weekend… he lives in Alsace, so we had the opportunity to visit Freiburg im Breisgau, a beautiful city in the Southwest part of Germany, close to France and Switzerland. Freiburg is very nice, with a beautiful historical center. It’s the ideal place where to take a walk and have a look at the stunning squares, a merchant’s hall and various gothic buildings, and the cathedral.

-The Work

The shot I used for this work has Martin’s Gate (Martinstor) as a main subject, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings. The lovely geometries of the roofs and top floors give a nice perspective and direct the eye toward the open sky…

I started from an HDR photography (single shot), so I created a few variants, each one optimized to better present a specific part of the image, in terms of lights and shadows. I then used the various parts to assemble more (and nicer) variations.

Then I experimented on each one with some filters and digital painting. This time I used a lot of different digital painting techniques, fully manual but also automated. The latter are almost always unexciting because you have basically no control on the type of strokes and direction… generating, in my opinion, patterns too “uniform” and  uninteresting.

I wanted some specific effects I created during the painting. For example the lower parts of the buildings are “streaked”, following each building’s facade direction, to give a more dynamic shape. The sky at this point has a almost uniform “wormy” pattern. I wanted the clock face to look fragmented and a bit fluid, like if seen through a textured glass.

Here’s a detail of the final image (a bit less than half the final resolution). You can see different patterns and strokes all around:

MatericLook: Martinstor (detail) by Francesco Perratone, Germany Photography and art

I then identified all the parts I would like to have in my final image, proceeding to put them together (mostly through masking, to control how they overlap and dissolve into each other).

At this point I proceeded with the final steps… After some minor color and light corrections here and there, the lower part of the buildings needed some more darkening. I used a black painting “creeping” on them, following the painting patterns. Also the sky needed some movement through the dark/light “waves” in the middle-right. Plus some more chaotic patterns around the top and right border.

Last steps: some highlights/reflections accents on the gate rooftop. And slight modifications to all roofs’ tops to give them a twisted, more gothic and less perfect look. These also disrupt the shapes geometry and perspective alignment. I think it makes the work more interesting to look at.

And that’s all for now, I hope you’re enjoying the images and the description has been somewhat inspiring 😉


As (almost) all my works, this is available as a print on large canvas (limited to 10) or cotton paper (signed). If interested you can take a look at the shop. If it’s not available yet, you can contact me directly.

Here are some free works for download as wallpapers, as well as some animations to watch.

If you like this or other of my works, please consider supporting me on Patreon with 1$/month, or donate something through Paypal:

Thank you!



Digital Art, Photography

Germany Photography & Art – Martinstor in Freiburg


Leave a Reply