19 July 2007
The wheel has turned one more circle, the payload is now immense
On Tuesday night, my friend and fellow photographer Josh Harrod and I went to the opening of the Cowboy Church in Blacksburg. It was an enjoyable night--a genuinely moving experience and a chance to practice photographing people in a relatively difficult context. Rev. Ray Bell, senior pastor for Cowboy Church of Virginia, allowed Josh and I to move freely during the service, but I didn't want to be overly intrusive or to detract too much from the service itself, so taking photos required some finesse. The lighting inside the building was also an issue. I don't have a particularly "fast" lens on my camera (the aperture only goes to 3.2), so I had to shoot at really low shutter speeds, resulting in blur and odd colors. A good external flash would have helped--although it would have been even more intrusive--but I had to make do with what I have. Although the resulting photos aren't great, it was a nice learning experience.
I wasn't overly happy with the photos, so I wasn't going to post them. However, Josh started a blog today (check it out; it's listed under my links), and his first post was of his Cowboy Church images. He encouraged me to post my shots from the night, so here they are. I have to admit to a fascination with the ladies' hair in the 2nd shot. Although I can see how the photo might be interpreted as mocking, I was really just excited by their hair. As I looked at the golden light reflecting off of the hair, I thought of Samson scooping honey from the carcass of a lion. I don't read the Bible often, and I'm not sure what the overall context of the image is, but it's powerful as a singular image, perhaps more powerful stripped of context and interpretation.