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Old Feb 20, 2010, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Two Churches: Saint Francis of Assisi Church and Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral

Having been encouraged by all the comments here after taking pictures of the Roberson Mansion, I have been really enjoying taking interior shots where I think lighting is a challenge. Of course, whether I do a good job or not is a whole other matter. That's where you here at steves-digicams.com come in. Your comments and critiques are especially appreciated.

For the following church pics, C&C on all are welcome. I've included shots of the exterior and the nave for your viewing pleasure. Just tugging on the handles of the massive wooden double doors of church entrances to see if they're unlocked is a thrill in itself once the doors open. You'll have to experience it to know what I mean.

But what I'd really like to hear are suggestions on how photos in #'s 3 (tile art of the Pieta) & 7 (window glass art) can be improved, given the unaltered originals immediately following.

#1. Saint Francis of Assisi - exterior.


#2. Saint Francis of Assisi - nave.


#3. Pieta tile art.


#4. Pieta -- one of the originals, darker, and un-processed shot because I wanted to emphasize the spotlight on the statues.


#5. Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral - exterior.


#6. Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral - nave. It was very dark inside -- I'm the only one around besides a priest seated behind a desk by the entrance who told me to "Take your time, take your time," when I asked for permission to shoot photos -- and could not make out any colors. My camera compensated by suggesting an 8 second exposure, I think, and when I started processing the shots in DPHDR, the pink walls appeared. I tried to change the white balance in PSE on my first edit, but when I started post-processing my other shots, they all exposed pink walls. So I guessed the church walls were indeed painted pink and so I kept them that way.


#7. Saint Vartan Armenian Cathedral - window glass art.


#8. Glass art original and un-processed.


Thank you for looking!

Last edited by vvcarpio; Feb 20, 2010 at 11:27 AM. Reason: Added "so I" just for clarity. Thank you.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 2:19 PM   #2
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Default Good work and terriffic shots and pp - again!

# 2 is just astounding, astounding and astounding! It's so good that one wonders if going to church - and observe such divine values as you picture here show - would be the answer to it all?

All the others are good as well, but you are serving such high-profiled series almost every day now, I just cannot find the time to cc every one of them. I did in the past and enjoyed it, but you are far too productive for me to keep up with what comments I feel your pictures deserve.

Actually, they need no further comments than - astounding!

Best regards, vvcarpio...

Last edited by Walter_S; Feb 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 2:25 PM   #3
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St. francis is a church that is really tucked in by it's neighboring building. And being the little guy in the middle of the block on 31st street does not help.

I like the st. vartan has more separation from it's neighbors. It stands out better. It helps that it is a conner lot, as appose to st francis. It also helps that the 2nd ave neighborhood is in is not a built upwards as midtown

Very nice series of church shots again.
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Last edited by shoturtle; Feb 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 4:44 PM   #4
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I liked what you did with stained-glass windows and the pews... Not to be picky... but something in between the two? Great pictures.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 5:56 PM   #5
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The shot of the pink interior has an odd look to it. It seems the pews are floating about 6 inches off the floor. Some very nice shooting VV. How about coming to Toronto and we will shoot some churches there. Some nice big ones I know of.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 8:59 PM   #6
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#2 is an awesome shot. Love the low angle and everything about it.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 12:05 AM   #7
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I agree, #2 is just amazing. Very creative way of getting the important elements in the shot. Very clear and well-exposed.
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 7:59 AM   #8
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Thanks a lot, Walter, shoturtle, Eetu, Bynx, jeephotog, and The Barbarian for your very kind words!

Walter, yes, the grandeur of such places seems to suggest their objective is to keep you enraptured that you won't want to leave . And maybe as well they might. I read that back in really primitive times, people danced and chanted for days and nights on end as doing so induced feelings of inner joy and spirituality. Today, people start grumbling if the preacher talks for more than an hour because they have other plans for the remainder of what is supposed to be a day of rest.

Thank you, Walter, for your choice, kind words . I’m glad that I’m able to save you the trouble of looking up the dictionary. If you ever need more superlatives for my shots, just let me know .

Yes, shoturtle, 2nd Avenue is wide and the corner has plenty of breathing room. I uploaded a view of the Empire State Building from the corner where Saint Vartan is located.

Eetu, thanks! I’m wondering what you meant by something in between the two, though. Are you seeing something in the dark that might be distracting?

Bynx, I looked at the pews and thought -- you’re right. Even in the dark (which wasn’t total) there should be some reflection off the floor like the one under the bench second from right. I thought floating benches inside a church looked spooky.

Nowadays, whenever I see a church, I want to go inside and take pictures. I was like that when we went to Weehawken last weekend. Shooting churches in Toronto is a very attractive thought I might consider that! Don’t worry, if I do, I’ll bring some Molsons or whatever happens to be your morning beverage . Thanks, Bynx!

jeephotog and The Barbarian, St. Francis was actually nearly full when I took the picture. People kept walking in front my camera because a mass was about to start (and started while I was still taking pictures). I guess the low angle worked because without the crowd the place looked extra serene.

Below are a few more pics which I hope you’ll enjoy. I also hope they'll make the time you spent coming back here to read my responses worth your while .

#9. The altar and the faithful at Saint Francis’.


#10. Mural above the altar at Saint Francis’.


#11. Dome of Saint Vartan’s.


#12. Narthex of Saint Vartan’s. Saint Vartan’s has a different layout -- the narthex (where non-members of the congregation traditionally stayed so they’re still inside the church [and not outside in the cold] when a service is going on) runs along the right side the nave instead of at the back. The priest can be partly seen seated behind the desk.


#13. View of Empire State Building from Saint Vartan’s corner street location.


Thanks again for looking!
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 8:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
Thanks a lot, Walter, shoturtle, Eetu, Bynx, jeephotog, and The Barbarian for your very kind words!

Eetu, thanks! I’m wondering what you meant by something in between the two, though. Are you seeing something in the dark that might be distracting?

Hi vvcarpio. No, the thought of any thing being "distracting" never entered my mind... I only thought the first dark picture of the stained-glass window and pew was the best... the window was excellent, very straight... but as I looked at your following picture... I began to wonder what the first photo would look like if it was tiniest bit lighter. Again, nothing distracting, and my words words were not a criticism... just that I thought your picture was great... very eye-catching... but my mind always (being a perfectionist) wonders if something else could be done...

Thank you for sharing this picture.

All the best.

Ned
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 9:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eetu View Post
Hi vvcarpio. No, the thought of any thing being "distracting" never entered my mind... I only thought the first dark picture of the stained-glass window and pew was the best... the window was excellent, very straight... but as I looked at your following picture... I began to wonder what the first photo would look like if it was tiniest bit lighter. Again, nothing distracting, and my words words were not a criticism... just that I thought your picture was great... very eye-catching... but my mind always (being a perfectionist) wonders if something else could be done...

Thank you for sharing this picture.

All the best.

Ned
Jyväskylä, Finland
Oh, that's right -- I completely forgot I followed the edited version with the original! I should have thought of that.

I agree with you. I was using DPHDR and among its several preset tone maps, "ultra contrast" was the only one that worked right to me. The other tone maps seem to have a tendency to over-brighten scenes I guess in an attempt to show detail. Good thing there's "ultra contrast" for shots I want to remain darkly lit. But I think I over darkened #7 in my edit.

I did another (quick) edit. I like this one much better. Thanks, Ned, for pointing that out!

#14.
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