08-06-12 The Painted Church

Photo by Watertown, South Dakota, photographer Scott Shephard

The Painted Church, aka St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church, is officially in the town of Captain Cook, though I remember it as being somewhere on the side of a hill away from any kind of urban features. From the outside it is fairly nondescript. But on the inside it is beautifully painted, thus, the name “Painted Church.”

Rather than talk about the church I want to talk about photography. First, this is a hand-held exposure at 1/15 of a second. I don’t travel with a tripod and for interior photography in dimly lit spaces, you have to be lucky to get something acceptable with that shutter speed. Thank you, Image Stabilization!

I took this photo in 2008 and at the time, I don’t think I knew what HDR was. But but this scene begs for HDR treatment – not to make it seem someone surreal but instead to do a better job of exposing the who scene, including the windows, which are clealy blown out. “Blown highlights” is photographer talk for bright parts of a photo that have no detail because they are severely overexposed. If I had had a tripod, I would have taken one photo that properly exposed for the windows and one photo that exposed for the interior. And then in software, I would have combined the two into one well exposed photo.

Like so many other places I have travelled to, I need to go back to the Painted Church and do it right (or at least better). . . .

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