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Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Fog in the Church

Winter has arrived, all at once. On Friday we had anywhere from six to eight inches of snow, good snowball-making stuff. Yesterday morning I ran out to my car to go to my eye appointment to find it covered with a dusting of snow over a layer of ice. And today the trip to church was delayed slightly by the need to clean another inch of snow off the car.

While I was driving my mom's car (and my mom) to church this morning, I made a point to stop at my car and retrieve the camera that I had left there overnight. I had a dollar-store tabletop tripod in my pocket, and I realized that the snow on the ground might be just the thing for getting better-lit pictures of the Northern windows at the church, so I wanted to be prepared just in case the midday sun broke through the clouds.

I got to the church and broke out my equipment to test it. As the lector approached the lectern to deliver the first reading, I snapped the photo above. Unfortunately, I had not realized the effect of exposing my very cold camera lens to the relatively warm, humid environment of the church. The lens fogged up immediately, and I got the fairly cool sepia-tone image (oddly reminiscent of a certain image by Andres Serrano) shown above. I then broke out a convenient poly/cotton cloth to clean the lens (OK, I used the sleeve of my shirt) and got this version of the same shot:

After Mass I ran down to the center aisle to re-shoot the Northern windows, using the folded tripod as a stand to stabilize the camera on the pews. Not all of the new pictures came out as well as I would have liked - I will definitely need to bring in my real tripod to get properly sharp images of some of the windows - but most of them are definite improvements over what I had before. (On the left is the original handheld image; on the right is one using the dollar-store tabletop tripod.)

So now I can do a few more installments of The Stained Glass Project using halfway decent images!

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