Friday, February 13, 2015

ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH

St. Mary's Catholic Church, situated on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Port Washington, Wisconsin, is lovely both inside and out.  I have visited the church a couple of times in the past for photography, but it's been a couple of years.  The weather has been seasonally cold, and, wimp that I am, I chose to focus on the interior.

Here are a couple of wide angle shots toward the sanctuary.



The sanctuary was actually quite dark and I was able to lighten it some in post processing.  I wanted to include the pews in the shot, so I took these shots from about 15 inches above the floor.  I'm not sure that this perspective worked the way I expected.

Here is a complementary wide angle photo looking toward the back of the church, this time with the camera elevated to eye level.


One of the outstanding architectural features of the church is its array of support pillars, shown in all of the above shots.  So I took a few detail photos of them.



I liked how the ceiling features behind the pillar appear a little "softer" in comparison to the pillar in the above shot.  I converted this to a black & white  and lightened the exposure a bit.


I also took a few shots of portions of the ceiling.  The ceiling is relatively plain, as church ceilings go, but I thought the "edges" of the following shot added a little helpful context.


I also rotated the camera (sitting on the floor pointing up) to bring portions of the adjacent window and light fixture into play.


There was strong sunlight coming through the stained glass windows on the left side of the church, and I noticed that the light was creating some interesting patterns on the floor.  So I took a few shots that combined the strongly lit rows of pews with the light and shadows they cast across the church's central aisle, to create abstracts.



Like most Catholic churches, St. Mary's includes a healthy dose of statuary.  Here are a couple.



OK, I hate to say it, but Jesus and John the Baptist seem to have an even closer relationship than we had thought.

The church also includes a standard array of stained glass windows.  Here I chose to look at details rather than at the larger scene.



One of the nice features of the church is its pipe organ, which sits at the back of the balcony at the rear of the church.


Here are a couple of closeups of the organ, which make nice intelligible abstracts.



I spent about an hour in the church.  Not once during my visit did I see another person, even though the church was fully available.

John

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