Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Worcester Cathedral, tripods and good enough

click photo to enlarge
I've photographed in churches for forty years or so. I began with an SLR, a rangefinder camera, a variety of films and a tripod. Today I'm shooting with a couple of DSLRs, a compact camera and I rarely use a tripod. What liberation the higher ISOs and image stabilisation of today's cameras have conferred on the photographer! Not only are you less burdened by the weight of a tripod, you get in people's way much less. Moreover, in locations such as the cathedral shown in today's photograph, you don't get someone asking if your photographs are for commercial purposes.

In the minds of many the equation "tripod = professional photography" still exists. And, while it's true that many people who actively and purposely seek to produce saleable pictures do use a tripod to get the sharpest image and the required depth of field, there are many instances where that goal can be achieved with a hand-held shot. However, the interior of a cathedral during the late afternoon of a dark day at the end of November isn't one of them. To get a sharp shot with a decent depth of field a tripod is a great help. But, if, as here, you are looking for a "good enough" image, then a wide aperture, a higher ISO and image stabilisation can produce the goods. What appealed to me about this shot was the contrast between the areas of dark and light, and the different colours that the incandescent, fluorescent, LED and natural lighting added to the scene.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 640
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On