Someone once suggested that “Countless unseen details are often the difference between the mediocre and the magnificent.” When I teach photography, this is one of my many mantras: what helps our work rise above all of the billions of photos being taken is our close attention to details and our true understanding of what those details are.
This photo is not presented as an example of the “magnificence” but this detail of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City is. If you look at a broader view (click), you will will find that while the figure of Jesus is the centerpiece of the this facade of the cathedral, it is only one small part.
And I can assure you that the architects and sculptors did not intend for this statue to be seen with a telephoto lens attached to a high resolution camera as you are seeing it.
So why are the edges of the pages of the book so carefully rendered? And why is there so much detail in the face and hands of Christ that would not be seen from a distance?
The answer is simple: these were all done in a quest to create something that was truly magnificent.