Tuesday, April 1, 2014

AUSTIN: SAINT MARY CATHEDRAL

On Tuesday I wandered down to the Austin Capitol area looking for something to shoot (with my camera) and came across the Saint Mary Cathedral, located a couple of blocks south of the capitol building.  This Roman Catholic church was built in the 1870s and was undoubtedly impressive at the time.  However, Austin has grown up around the church, which now seems a bit lost among the government and commercial buildings that now overshadow it.  Even so, it is a beautiful and beautifully maintained church.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get a clear shot of the cathedral's overall exterior, so I had to be content with some detail shots, including the following.




I thought the detail on the entry columns worked better in black & white.  The focus on these shots seems a little soft, but it's not.

The church is not large, but typical of Catholic churches, its interior is ornate.  Here is a wide-angled shot looking toward the apse.


And here is another shot, looking down one of the side aisles.


The ceiling of the apse, the highlight of the church in my mind, is a beautiful blue above stained glass windows.  Following is a close-up of that area.


The ceiling also had an interesting structure, as indicated in the following photo looking toward the choir loft.


The circular stained glass window is of course above the church's front entry.  Here is a closeup of that window.


Stained glass was one of the better features of this church.  Here are a few more examples, one of a side window and two of windows in the foyer.




Even though it was a sunny afternoon, it was typically dark in the church interior.  I had not bothered to bring my tripod, so I had to ramp up the ISO a fair amount to get reasonable shutter speeds.  I also had the typical problem that churches present--an enormous difference in the level of light between that coming in the windows and that being reflected off the church's interior surfaces.  As a result in post processing I had to increase the exposure for the interior surfaces and reduce the exposure for the windows.  It worked out OK.

John

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