Second floor street scene, with sign painter

Second floor street scene, with sign painter

Uptown Westerville Amish Original Furniture sign painter

Uptown Westerville Amish Originals Furniture sign painter

I’ve a slightly long story about an AP photo stringer assigned to shoot a standalone feature photo of  windy weather on the streets of downtown Columbus.

This was quite a while ago when newspapers ran more feature photos and The AP supplied an ample stream of standalone photos for newspaper editors to use for filler on open pages or to squirrel away for the day when the paper needed to fill the news hole, usually on the same day the food advertisements ran or the Sunday paper.

Some standalones could be held because they weren’t tied directly to a news event that would be too old to use in several days. The usual fare for this type of photo were kids, animals, sunsets, weather, or just plain silly moments.

The stringer’s assignment was to find a nice feature photo of someone being affected by the strong winds bringing a storm into central Ohio. Didn’t need something spectacular although that was always the underlying and unspoken goal of any photo shoot.

“Shoot for the front page.”

After about an hour the stringer returned explaining that it was windy, but he couldn’t find a good photo. Not even a photo that might have played on an interior page. He’d failed, and was embarrassed.

To shorten the story all you need to know is I went to almost the same location from where the stringer had just left. I spent less than five minutes and returned with a photo of someone using a parking meter to prevent themselves from being blown into the street.

Now the stringer  was even more embarrassed , and I didn’t let him forget that I’d sent him out on a simple photo assignment where he’d spent more than an hour and failed.

I’d spent five minutes and shot a photo that played in every major daily in the state and several out of state dailies.

I’ve always said that I’m very luck finding more than ordinary photos in ordinary events. Today was no different. My trip to Uptown Westerville was supposed to be brief. Just long enough to check on my photos at the Ohio Art Market before traveling to St. Paul Church for another photo for the 40 Days of Lent series.

It was unusual to see several unoccupied parking spots on State when I realized they were empty because a construction van had just pulled into one of the three and had cleared the orange cones from the other two. The van belonged to a sign company which would be using a bucket arm for a painter to finish the new sign over Amish Originals Furniture Company.

It was a great opportunity for a standalone feature photo depending upon how the arm would be positioned and what part of the sign was going to be touched up. Shot outside first as he painted a lower section. When he began to move the arm higher to position it so he could paint the top of the sign I knew I’d have to run to the rear of the recently redecorated store and then to the front to have enough time to move furniture so I’d have to open a window, thrust my camera out and up as far and high as my short arms would reach for a photo. There was enough room to lean out the window, but it was just low enough that I would still have to stretch in a very uncomfortable position and get no higher than my outstretched arm would reach.

lent-stained-blass-window-2013-03-27-0114Still, in about five minutes including running through the store, I got a different angle of Uptown Westerville. Using luck and that unusual ability I have to discover these simple moments.

At right is the new stained glass window in the front of the church. Will have to wait until they change the lighting behind it or carry a strobe and remote to shoot it properly lit. It is slightly distorted because it is so high on the wall and I a l;arge hanging light makes it impossible to shoot without standing almost directly underneath it.

40 Days of Lent at St. Paul Catholic Church from the outside

40 Days of Lent at St. Paul Catholic Church from the outside

St. Paul Catholic Church exterior

St. Paul Catholic Church exterior

I’ve spent several weeks going to church every day. My mother and grandmother would be proud. My father would be as proud but wouldn’t talk about it very much. It wasn’t that he lacked faith. He was just glad to be alive after floating several days in the Mediterranean Ocean when his destroyer was sunk by a German torpedo plane. He paid back the favor of survival with good deeds, kind words, and no complaints.

My task isn’t necessarily one of faith. I’ve spent every day at church hoping to put together a series of photos that show some of the things that happen at St. Paul during the Easter season. I began on Ash Wednesday with a photo of a grandchild with the smoky sign of the cross on her forehead.

Today’s photo is an exterior to show the front of the church as it will never be seen again. At least, that’s the plan.

St. Paul Catholic Church stained glass

St. Paul Catholic Church stained glass

Workers tomorrow will install a new stained glass window in the middle circular window above the entrance. It will be dedicated to Father Lavelle who recently retired from the parish. The cost was borne by parishioners whose donations paid for the window. More than enough was raised so additional stained glass windows will be installed later.

Shot as a three frame 2-stop HDR image processed in Oloneo PhotoEngine and Photoshop.

I hope to be back tomorrow night about the same time for a photo of the new window shining brightly above the doorway.

To add to the Lenten collection, here’s an iPhone photo of stained glass from inside the church. It was shot with the Constructr app processed with Camera+.


Palm Sunday in Hipstamatic Tintype glory

Palm Sunday in Hipstamatic Tintype glory

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday at St. Paul

Today was Palm Sunday. It begins Holy week in the church. We missed the early Mass because we overslept waking up five minutes after our normal departure time.

I had forgotten that this Mass has lengthy readings covering nearly a week’s set of events and was slightly confused to arrive for Mass with a full parking lot. Not having attended the later Mass in many years I wasn’t sure if we were arriving to an already full church filled to overflowing with the faithful and a full parking lot with only scattered empty spots remaining.

The truth was that the readings kept the earlier Mass longer than normal, and now the fire lanes were filled with cars waiting until the departure of the previous celebrants.

We eventually parked close to the church filling a space emptied by someone leaving immediately after communion and bearing their selection of yellow and green palm fronds. Thank you for the hurried departure.

My Final Photo for the day is an iPhone Hipstamatic Tintype photo of a parishioner praying the rosary while holding palm fronds.