Introducing leggings. You’ll never run out of inspiration.

*A rumble from the mountains far
Tell of the storms approach
As lightning leaves it’s burning scar
And darkness does encroach

So high above the valley lake
The castle does stand proud
Built to withstand the thunder’s quake
And rains from thunder’s cloud

It’s turrets standing tall and lean
Their tips the lightning sears
Many storms the castle’s seen
Over a hundred years*

This artwork was inspired when I found a very old photograph of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany in the public domain images at the US Library of Congress. It is an old photochrom print that was taken between 1890 to 1905 (exact date unknown), that was taken shortly after the completion of the castle. The shot location had a wonderful and unique perspective, unlike any other that I have ever seen of the castle. This is the same castle that the Disneyland ‘Magic Kingdom’ castle was modeled around by Walt Disney, and is probably the most famous castle in the world.

The public domain image was badly aged and damaged, as well as, scanned very poorly by the Library of Congress, so the first step in creating this digital painting was actually a photo restoration project. I spent many hours removing scratches, dust, hairs, and painting back in areas where the emulsion had peeled away. I rotated it to straighten it back up again, as this was thrown off not by the original photographer, but rather by the sloppy job of scanning the image at the Library of Congress.

Next I color-corrected the image and enhanced the contrast and details. I dropped in a sky from one of my own photographs, as the original sky was just to damaged and faded. I resized and cropped the image, applying the rule of thirds to the castle, as well as giving it a better dimension for printing and framing.

A lot of time and care went into this restoration, so much that I was able to bring it up in size almost 50 percent from the original, while retaining decent print quality. I have a thumbnail of the original photo before the restoration work below, as well as, a thumbnail of the finished restoration. Clicking on the thumbnail of the original image will link you to the image source at the Library of Congress, should you get a hankering to give this wonderful image a shot yourself.

Neuschwanstein Castle Source Image – US Library of Congress

Final Restoration of Neuschwanstein Castle Image

The digital painting was then created using the restored photo. The restoration work, composite work, and the digital painting were all done in Photoshop. The original is 4800 × 4200 pixels at 300 pixels per inch. Because the original is so large and difficult to see over the internet, I have included a couple of detail cutaways below.

I am an artist, a photographer, a writer, a musician, a composer, a craftsman, a designer, and a programmer. I have been recognized for various works in all of these areas over the last half century.

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  • Gramia97
    Gramia97about 6 years ago

    beautiful indeed – standing the test of time

  • Thank you, Debbie! I wish my fortitude was as great as this old castle! LOL

    – ArtByDrew

  • CanDuCreations
    CanDuCreationsabout 6 years ago

    Excellent work

  • Thank you so much, Thea!

    – ArtByDrew

  • LjMaxx
    LjMaxxabout 6 years ago

    So much detail to look at here. Beautiful to see this.

  • Thank you so much, LjMaxx! I wish I could visit this exact location and take my own picture, as it would be really cool to have two images over a hundred years apart with the same shot.

    – ArtByDrew

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyabout 6 years ago

    This is a wonderful photorestoration!
    You have truly perfected this, so much so that it appears as a current digital image. Beautiful work and I very much enjoy your wonderful descriptive commentary!!

    I lived in Munich five years during the era of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I have toured and explored this beautiful castle, “Schloss Neuschwanstein”:
    (New Swan Stone Palace)

    There is an excellent writeup on Wikipedia and this original image appears there as well.
    And when you select Photochrom
    and then select the image “1890’s Photochrom Print of Neuschwanstein Castle”:
    you will navigate
    where it states: “photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany taken as few as ten years after the completion of the castle’s construction.”
    Original image: Photochrom print (color photo lithograph)
    Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Photochrom Prints Collection, reproduction number LC-DIG-ppmsca-00179
    Exact date unknown. Between 1890 and 1905
    Author is Unknown. LOC information includes “Detroit Photographic Company, 1905”

    It is an extraordinary view from the balcony on the opposite side as well. I can visualize myself standing there at the gate gazing toward the perspective point from which this photo was taken. I wonder who the original photographer is.

    On Wikipedia where this image is posted it states
    “This image might not be in the public domain outside of the United States (this especially applies in the countries and areas that do not apply the rule of the shorter term for US works, such as Canada, Mainland China (not Hong Kong or Macao), Germany, Mexico, and Switzerland). The creator and year of publication are essential information and must be provided. See Wikipedia: Public domain
    and Wikipedia: Copyrights for more details.”
    “Whether or not something is copyright-free in some country depends on the laws of individual countries.”

    Here it states
    “This is a featured picture, which means that members of the community have identified it as one of the finest images on the English Wikipedia, adding significantly to its accompanying article. If you have a different image of similar quality, be sure to upload it using the proper free license tag, add it to a relevant article, and nominate it.”

    To protect yourself sweetheart, if I were you, I would certainly not offer your beautiful derivative photo restoration for sale on the internet. It is simply a word of advice for you which I hope is well received for I have your best interests at heart.

    I wish you a bright and beautiful day!
    Aloha e Malama pono,


  • Thank you for your comments, Sharon.

    First, I have been in the photography and graphics arts business for over forty years, and am well studied on copyright and intellectual property laws. I studied this in great detail for almost two years when I first started becoming a web designer, with the bulk of my study resources were coming from Yale and Cornell universities of law.

    Now that said… let me explain why you have a misconception as to the rights on this image.

    Most important… my source image, along with the documented rights on the image, came from the US Library of Congress (see my provided link above in the description)… not Wikmedia Commons. The US government itself has released this image to the public domain from it’s own archives. My source image is the original scan done by the Library of Congress. This in effect doubles the public domain status, as any image created by a federal employee while performing his duties as a federal employee makes that image public domain by federal US law. My source image is a derivative of the original, as it is a scan of the original photo by the Library of Congress.

    Next… the image resource you show above IS NOT from the Library of Congress, but rather a derivative work of the poster at Wikimedia Commons. The image you link to above has been cropped, rotated, and slightly enhanced… making it a unique derivative work of the original source image obtained at the Library of Congress (if that is indeed where the poster obtained his source image). That means that the rights to that image on Wikimedia Commons actually belong to the creator of the derivative work (in this case I will ‘assume’ it is the poster of the image. Just because the author of the work has posted it on Wikimedia Commons, DOES NOT mean that image is public domain!

    Now some friendly, old-timer, in-the-know advice to you about a couple things. First, I would steer a wide berth around any images at Wikimedia Commons. If you use Wikimedia Commons to search for images, then make sure that the image that you obtain is from the quoted source of the image… and not Wikimedia Commons. Even if the work is stated under a Creative Commons license. Using any images posted at Wikimedia Commons itself is gambling at best.

    Second, in your own photos you have many images with people’s faces shown. Are you aware that you need a ‘model release’ from each person in each photo? They have really tightened up the laws on this over the last ten years, and what used to grant rights to the photographer on recognizable shots of people under ‘incidental’ clauses in copyright law for publicly acquired shots, now requires a ‘model release’. You may notice even the large media networks, such as national news, blurring out peoples faces in video. They do this because they do not have a model release for these people, and would be liable for infringement under new international laws on copyright and intellectual property.

    If you are counting on the ‘Well, their my friends… so it’s OK’ type of protection from infringement prosecution… then think again. Even the best relationships may sometimes sour, and those old images of faces in your photos may come back to haunt you. Bottom line… if you don’t have a signed model release… then don’t use the image.

    If you ever have any questions regarding intellectual property or copyright laws on something in the future, then please feel free to bubblemail me with the question. Because of the constant changes in this type of law, I continually keep abreast of the current laws as well as upcoming changes.

    The Shawn Bently Orphan Works Act is the latest thing going on right now with intellectual property law, and it could very well change what all we artist do in regard to posting any type of artwork over the internet. Here is a link that will give you a very basic primer in regard to this act, as well as provide many other links for further information.

    Shawn Bently Orphan Works Act

    – ArtByDrew

  • BigD
    BigDabout 6 years ago

    There is a challenge running in Rural Around the Globe you might be interested in entering this image in. BigD

  • Thank you so much, Big D! Have to go take a look at that challenge!

    – ArtByDrew

  • BigD
    BigDabout 6 years ago

    Congratulations you have been featured in Rural Around The Globe. BigD

  • WOW!! Thank you, BigD! Makes all those hours removing the mass of scratches, hairs, dust, and other boogers from the original worth the time.!

    – ArtByDrew

  • Heloisa Castro
    Heloisa Castroalmost 6 years ago

    great image

  • Thank you so much, Heloisa! I am really pleased in how the painting came out… such a long way from the original photo!

    – ArtByDrew

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyalmost 6 years ago

    Aloha Drew,

    I just discovered your comprensive reply after all these weeks. Mahalo for taking the time to answer with so much valuable information for your viewers. ’Ae, of course I am aware of model releases and international copyright and intellectual property laws. Also, I only use my own images and resource websites for research and information. I own full copyright on all of my work. A hui hou. E hana me ka ha`aha`a, E pili mau na pomaika`i ia `oe….

    Aloha e Malama pono,


  • He lawai`a no ke kai papa`u, he pôkole ke aho;
    he lawai`a no ke kai hohonu he loa ke aho
    Ua ola no i ka pane a ke aloha
    malu :)

    – ArtByDrew

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyalmost 6 years ago
  • Kulia i ka nu’u !!

    Thank you!!! I just love learning about different cultures!

    malu :)


    – ArtByDrew

  • GailD
    GailDalmost 6 years ago

    Fantastic job. What a brilliant place this is. Well done.

  • Thank you so much, Gail!! I would love to romp around this place with a camera myself, but I believe that it is a private residence.

    – ArtByDrew

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