My own processing of one of the pictures I took at Friday night’s installation of Fr. Jos Tharakan at St. James’.

Tonight was the first run out for the X-E3. It was either a bold or a very dumb idea.

I’ve not taken any pictures with my new X-E3, apart from a few test shots, so it was a bit risky deciding to use it for photographing the installation of a new rector – Fr. Jos Tharakan at St. James’. I had every confidence in the camera, but not quite so much in my abilities with it.

The camera is fundamentally the same, but like British English and American English, it’s the subtle differences that can not only surprise you but also catch you out. Fortunately, nothing about the camera did blind-side me. I did an excellent job of that by myself; I also decided to change the way I work. My theory was that I might as well get all the changes over in one go. So I went from shooting with one zoom lens to using a couple of prime lenses. The advantages are less size, less weight, and much better low-light performance. The disadvantages are less “reach”, the 135mm zoom lens can work from the back of an average sized church, and of course, now I have to change lenses, which also involves anticipating which lens is going to work best for different parts of the service. And that was the problematic bit.

I reverted to using the zoom for one set of photographs, where I’d have had to get right in the way to take the pictures I wanted, and earlier ‘test’ shots suggested that the primes just didn’t bring me close enough. Inevitably, it turns out that my favorite picture of the night (above) was taken with the zoom lens.

My other battle of the night was the lighting. I don’t know why, but someone had decided to light the nave with fairly under-powered daylight colored lights, at the same time retaining incandescent spots and lighting around the outside. The clash of the different light temperatures was a bit of a nightmare. Personally, I would not light a space with daylight colored lighting unless it is a workspace or display area. For example, I use daylight lighting in my office because I need to be able to see colors accurately and it makes photography easier, but not in our living areas. Daylight is also cold and uninviting.

Of course, the evening wasn’t about me, the color of the light, or my camera. My role was just to do my best at documenting the proceedings without getting in the way. The jury is still out on how successful I am at doing that when I’m using the primes. The problem is that I have to be a lot nearer to the action. For now I’m going to carry on working with the primes and review how it’s working after a while. If I can get good shots without being obtrusive it’ll be fine.

Putting my woes and photography to one side, it was a great service and evening.

Sunday afternoon I get to do it all again, only this time at All Saints’ in Nevada, Missouri.

Copyright © 2017 Gary Allman - The Diocese of West Missouri, all rights reserved.