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Epiphany service

January 12, 2011
Candles at Epiphany Service

Candles provide light and symbolism during an Epiphany Service in The Dalles. Photo by Mark B. Gibson/The Dalles Chronicle.

I rarely photograph the spiritual aspects of American Life. I don’t work Sundays, and so rarely find myself working in a church. This service was midweek at an Episcopal church. It was technically a huge challenge to shoot: I decided to go with available light, no flash, and so was shooting as “rock solid” as possible and composing with as much light as I could find… which wasn’t much.

I’m using a very wide lens for this picture… the front element of the lens is maybe 18 inches away from the candle and man. I find most people observe you, then studiously ignore you, when you get that close. It’s uncomfortable to make any sort of “eye contact” that close, at least in American culture. But I didn’t want “eye contact,” I wanted atmosphere and story.

This is a digital photograph, taken in color. I am running this in black-and-white because…. well, I don’t really know, it looks good in color to. Except that the web people always nag me for color if I give them only a black and white image, which is very irritating if a picture happens to work better in black and white. So probably this is my O.D.D. symptoms cropping up again. (O.D.D. stands for “oppositional defiance disorder, or ODD, according to the psychologist types. I’ve never been diagnosed, but sometimes I wonder if I’m not, in layman terms, “acting like a two-year-old.”)

So… Is black and white as good as color? Better? Worse? Less? More? All or none of the above?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mint permalink
    January 12, 2011 03:13

    There is always a place for black and white – To see a good picture in black and white is a jump to my past and a memory for tomorrow.

  2. May 13, 2011 08:37

    I like the black and white aspect of this photo. The contrasts work well. I was so taken by the picture, that at first I didn’t realize it was in black and white. Then after I looked for awhile, I realized there was no color.

    This is a great photo.

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