Making a Better Bartlett Woods Auditorium Photo

Making a Better Bartlett Woods Auditorium Photo

Recently, I felt it was time for a new photo for the Bartlett Woods Church of Christ website, just to spruce things up a bit. And then last Sunday afternoon as we were about to head back to the church building for the Sunday evening service, the sun and sky looked to be just right, and I thought we would be arriving just before the sun started to go down, so I grabbed my camera on our way out the door, hoping to be able to capture something good.

When we got there, the sun was a little lower than I had hoped it would be, making the trees across the street from the auditorium cast some shadows on the front of the building. But I decided to go with it anyway, thinking that maybe they would add some interest along with the golden tones of the setting sun.

After walking around near the front of the building for a few minutes looking for a good spot, I found an angle that I liked and shot from there. And this is the result, which you can also now see on the church website. I did have a specific look I was going for, and this ended up really close to that look. To read more about how that was achieved, see the “About the photo” section down below, in case you don’t usually bother to read all of that. Because this involved more than just a quick press of the shutter button.

Of course, I should probably get another photo when the summer comes, so that the grass is green and the non-evergreen trees have leaves. Because some people seem to prefer that sort of thing. But this is good for now. And seasonally appropriate, too. Hmm, a different photo for each season? That might be a good idea!

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. - Colossians 3:15

About the photo: I had gotten out of the practice of shooting multiple-exposure HDR-type photos, but I thought it would work well for this photo, due to the shadows from the trees, as well as the sky. I set my camera to its bracketing mode, and it shot 5 exposures. But instead of using Photomatix to process the photo as I have in the past, I did it all manually in Photoshop, using the different exposures as layers and masking out what I didn’t want. I was able to bring out some of the detail in the shadows on the face of the building, reduce the brightness and show more detail in the steeple, and bring out the color of the sky a bit as well. It took a little longer to do all of that, of course, but I think it was worth it. I also went with a non-traditional crop here, not exactly a square but close to it, to get rid of the power lines and such at the right and focus more on the church building itself.

Photo: Five exposures (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2), merged and processed in Photoshop. Read more about the photo software and gear I use at the camera gear page.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: January 3, 2015
Location: Bartlett Woods Church of Christ, Arlington, Tennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.