Photography Allows You To Look Closer

A beautiful gold and silver tabernacle, surrounded by candles, in a country church in rural Austria
A beautiful gold and silver tabernacle, surrounded by candles, in a country church in rural Austria

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 70-200mm f4 L series lens @ 155mm. Exposure Details: 1/25 second @ f5.

Silver and gold is beautiful to behold and, when organized into a composition that makes sense, great subject matter for the photographer. I've long approached places of worship with a sense of awe. Regardless of the religion it's hard not to be moved by the beauty of the architecture and the sense of connection with the sublime in these places of worship.

Mind Your Step

The above photo is a detail from a lovely church in rural Austria. Even though the church was open to the public and their were a number of tourists wondering around I know enough about such places to respect the churches more sacred areas.

It is not good form to walk up onto the altar area without permission. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away I operated a wedding portrait studio. I would often position myself in front of the congregation so as to be able to make photos of the bride and groom, often with the congregation behind them, during important moments in the service. Likewise I'd often walk up onto the altar to photograph the bride and groom signing the register (actually a posed photo, rather than an action image). But I never did so without first clearing it with the priest or minister in question.

We All Choose What We See

This image is curious in that, as well as being a close up of a catholic altar, it contains both beauty and more morbid subject matter. You'll notice the lovely tabernacle and surrounding candle holders. A closer look will reveal some unexpected elements in the shaded areas around the edge of the image.

I've long been interested in dualities and many of my photographs seek to explore the notion of combining opposites within the same image.

I guess this photo is a good example of the need to look more closely at the world around you. There's what you see initially and there's what will only be revealed through a more intense or critical examination of what's in front of you. And such an exploration is indeed well suited to photography.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru