National Cathedral-Take 2

I found myself not far from the National Cathedral again on Thursday, the day after I had been shooting there on a ticketed early morning Photography Tour (see the post here).  And unlike the previous day, the sun was out and it was mid-afternoon. The nave was still without chairs and I had my camera with me.  So why not?

National Cathedral 09

Afternoon Light, National Cathedral

My main goal was to get an image of the Rose Window with the light passing through, as if “painting” the walls.  While I was setting up, the Cathedral Choir began a rehearsal for an upcoming performance and the music, perfectly selected for the classic acoustics of a great cathedral space, filled the nave as I worked.  Only a few others were there.  It was as close to a perfect situation as any photographer could want.

National Cathedral 08)

Reflections, National Cathedral

National Cathedral 06 copy

South Side Archway

26 thoughts on “National Cathedral-Take 2

  1. Stunning! I love stained glass and, although I am an amateur, I know how difficult it is to get the exposure right on photographs of stained glass. Your photos are just perfection. Each image made me think “wow!”

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    • Thanks very much, Laura. Yes, stained glass windows can be tough. I usually check for “blinkies” on the LCD display on the back of the camera to make sure they aren’t blown out. But then, as you already know, one has to worry about the darker areas being too dark. This time, however, the amount of light wasn’t overpowering so things worked out.

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      • Yes it is underexposure of the darker areas that is my more common problem. It can be corrected a bit with editing and that saves some photos but I keep trying to get it right in camera.

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    • Thanks very much. Yes, it was a good time. There also are other times when you can expect good (but different) light. For example, in clear days in late fall, around 10-11 AM, the sun comes streaming through the stained glass windows on the building’s south side and can fill the interior walls of the south archway with a luminous multi-hued glow. In late November through the Christmas season, there is a startling effect known as the “Christmas Angel.” For a few minutes around 11:30 AM the sun directly illuminates a single statue of an angel high on the interior’s back wall.

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      • I have the feeling that it requires time to manage to get a perfect shot. You have to study the place, the light. You have to be patient. I’m always impressed by these people that go back to the same spot over and over and managed to get such wonderful images !

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    • Thanks, Mitch, Yes, it was pretty cool, having the place all to ourselves for about two hours. And the photographers all took care not to get in each other’s way. I’m pretty sure they plan on continuing this so mark your calendar for next January to check on it.

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