Wednesday, August 16, 2017


I bought a new toy, a wide-angle zoom lens for my camera, and took it to one of my long-time favorite venues, the Basilica of St. Josaphat, on the south side of Milwaukee.  It was fun and I was happy with the results.  Here is some of what I took.

First, a view from the back of the nave that includes two angels that offer holy water, a composition that I couldn't have obtained with my general go-to lens.

As a former government building that was dismantled in Chicago and moved to Milwaukee over 100 years ago, the basilica is domed.  My wide-angle lens allowed me to capture more of the overall ceiling, including the dome, as in these two shots.

Perhaps a little busy, but that's the way it is.

Here is a shot across the side of the nave. that also shows the central dome.  This relatively standard shot shows the perspective distortion that occurs when the camera is tilted up or down relative to horizontal.  Wide-angle lenses tend to exacerbate that distortion.

Dramatic, though.

Here is another image that was shot horizontal.

This is also an HDR (high dynamic range) image.  I took the same shot three times at different exposures and then blended them in post processing.  Sometimes this technique doesn't work.  This time I thought it actually added something.

One of the support pillars includes a fairly dramatic crucifix that I have shot before.  Here is how it looked using my new lens, incorporating more of the complex ceiling and surrounding walls.

I did take a few exterior shots as well.  The building's exterior is not particularly attractive to my eye, in part because it was originally a federal post office, not a church.  I thought it generally worked better to convert these shots to black & whites.

I liked the lines of this shot.

Here is another shot from across the street that I took in color and also converted to a black & white.  The morning sun was bathing the east side of the building in light, so I darkened the clear blue sky in the black & white version to increase the dramatic quality of the image.

The interior of the basilica is incredibly busy, a complexity that can be overwhelming and is not to everyone's taste.