Wednesday, February 09, 2005

On Assignment: Franklin, North Carolina-Day One

"Cornerstone" by Wes Aldridge

The assignment this week is in North Carolina, very close to Cherokee National Forest. It is beautiful here... minus the totally engulfing dreary weather. It will be great when the sun finally shines here. I have my eye on some sunrise/sunsets from high vantage points looking into mountain valleys.

This shot was from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin. I was making this shot about 9 p.m. in the rain. Headlights came from behind the building and who was it? None other than the pastor of the congregation. He stopped for a brief inquiry. He said he really would like to see the shots I was doing. I started to feel uncomfortable, kinda glad he left after a few minutes. Not sure if he could have appreciated the artistic nature behind this depiction of the cross.

Anyway, this shot was fun. I tried several different ways of shooting it, zooming in and out, panning, shifting, many different ways. This particular shot was possible because of my Canon L series 70-200mm f/2.8. It has a tripod collar that allows the lens to spin 360-degrees in a circular pattern. This exposure was shot at f/32 for 20 seconds at ISO 100. I focused on the center of the cross and let the exposure go for about 8 seconds (to make the cross appear solid at the beginning of the exposure) before I started spinning the lens ever so slowly, but evenly and fluidly. The gray cornerstone at the bottom made the gray semi-circle across the left side of the frame. The cross at the top of the frame was on the church's steeple. It almost looks like it flew out of the cornerstone.

Well, I think this one is neat. Pretty hard to find something to shoot after dark in a tiny town, especially one I've never been to before now. I just saw this cross beaming light from the side of the highway and had to go find it. Glad I did.