This is the main entrance to the Church of the Assumption in Soufriere, St. Lucia, with a marvelous polished stone image of a chalice set into the rougher stone of the bapistry floor. The church is an interesting combination of traditional european style and the natural and colorful design of the island. I found that the bright tropical view through the more gothic wooden door and stone arch underscored this blending of two cultures. The reflection of the flowering tree in the almost tree-shaped inlay seemed to say that the islands culture was still deeply rooted in old world religious beliefs.
This was shot at 1/200 @ f/4.5 handheld while sitting on the floor. I remember something that I read in Bob Krist’s “Spirit of Place” about finding a scene, setting up and waiting for someone to move into the picture. Outside the church was a busy street, so it was just a matter of time until someone interesting came by from the right direction.
When I turned around from this weighty and somber doorway, I saw the interior of the church, stretching away and floating upwards towards the light. It definitely shows more of the Caribbean style of design and architecture than the doorway does. The vaulted ceiling is constructed using boat building techniques and the pews are well finished but common lumber, as witnessed by the knots in the nearest bench.
The feel of the interior is open and light, with pastel colors dominating the piers supporting the wooden arches. Bright yellows and reds are the dominant colors in the windows and a tropical green drapery hangs behind the altar.
The interior shows signs of wear and tear, but is clean and seems to be lovingly attended to. And to be sure that the Word is heard by all the parishoners, there is some serious audio equipment hanging from the columns, in bright blue to match the decor.
This was a handheld, 3 exposure HDR: 1/8, 1/3 and 3/4 of a second at f/4.5. That’s pushing it for handholding (in my hands, anyway) even with the lens racked all the way out to 24mm. And although Photomatix did a pretty good job of aligning the three, there is some softness from camera movement. I tried to keep the Photomatix sliders as minimal as I could because I didn’t want this to get too much of that tell-tale HDR detail or to create too many halos. There were enough of those there already. I’m still not very good with Photomatix and even after tweaking the controls until the preview looks ‘perfect’, the processed .tiff looks different, OK, but different. It came back into Lightroom and I adjusted the brightness, saturation and contrast until it looked like I thought it did when I was there.
To give a better idea of how important audio quality is for the Word of the Lord, a detail of a speaker is included.