All images are copyright © 2008-2013 Russ Martin,
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

St. Mark's Baptismal (A Photographer Perspective)

Saint Mark's Episcopal Baptismal program for the service.As mentioned in the previous post these pictures are from the Baptismal service at the St. Marks Episcopal Church in Sidney. I am always looking for opportunities to improve my taking pictures of people skills. I thought this would be a good chance to do just that. Also since it was in a church a chance to work with Low Light situations. I have two fast lenses in my bag. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 and the Canon 100mm f/2.8. I shot most of these at f/4.0 but it's nice to be able to open up more if I need to. All these were hand held so I made more use of the 50mm to give me more flexibility with the shutter speed. This opening shot was taken at f/4.0 1/90 and ISO 400 with my Kit lens--Canon 18-55mm. When photographing events I look for creative ways to incorporate the supporting elements. This was a one handed shot as it's me holding the program.

Wide veiw from the back of the church showing alter and priest.The church was fairly bright so I was able to use the same lens for this wide shot from the back. f/4.5 1/60 ISO 400. Any time I can shoot at ISO 400 in a church puts a smile on my face. I was given pretty much free reign to go where I needed and to use flash. I did use flash but I tried not to be too disruptive. This is an important and hard rule for me to remember sometimes. Cuz when I start snapping my brain just kind-of-tunnels in on what ever I'm shooting.

Priest pouring Holy Water into baptistry.All events have key elements that you need to capture whether its blowing out the candles on a birthday cake or the bride and groom kiss at a wedding. While not the main event one of the key elements leading up to the baptism is the priest pouring the Holy Water into the baptismal. I used my 50mm and had to open up to f/2.5 and 1/60 shutter to keep my ISO at 400. I will shoot at ISO 800 if I have to and I have shot weddings at that but If I can get ISO 400 without having to sacrifice too much so much the better. Of course it helped being able to use flash.

When taking pictures like this there is a good chance you will not be the only one taking pictures. There was a lady taking pics, who I later found out was taking pictures for the church. I thought she was a family member of one of the kids getting baptised. The church was also video taping the service from the back with the camera pointed down the center aisle. The woman and I kept trying to use the same angle i.e. we were getting in each others way. I finally found a place where I could take my pictures without too much conflict. This is not to fault the woman. She had the same right to be there as I did. The problem was that I was now in the center aisle in front of the video camera. When photographing events you have to work with such things and be conscious of your surroundings.

The pictures that follow are the Baptism, Anointing with Oil, Candle and Certificate. I am just going to post these with the camera settings.

Child being baptised.     Child being anointed with oil.

I was a little worried about my DOF at 2.5 so I stopped down to f/4.0 and bumped my ISO up to 800 for the pictures above and below.

Child receiving candle.     Priest passing out certificates.

It was a fun and easy shoot and I got three post out of it too boot. Yep, I got one more upcoming post featuring the church itself.

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