Tag Archives: angels

Looking in and up: St Mary of the Angels

I guess some of the things I like about large old churches is that they invite you to look deep and high. There is a certain entertainment value here. But it’s guided. That when I get lost in thought, my eyes just bounce around and come back to where I am supposed to be, connecting with the Holy Spirit.

At St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago, their art has gone to so much work to do just that. The church has a kind of light glow that is hard to feel when there is no one there and the lights turned off. But through post processing it is easy to bring that back.  In this image you can easily make out the mural above the alter that depicts the crowning of Mary in Heaven. There is also the stained glass ceiling.  We also have murals to either side of alter, further displaying the values of the parish and their devotion to St. Mary.

I know that people that go to new churches have good parishes. But they are missing something when they don’t stuff their church with nearly so much visual goodness!

Vertorama of St Mary Of The Angels
Vertorama of St. Mary of the Angels Church in Chicago. This reveals a common stars in blue field in the ceiling and wonderful stained glass in the main dome. The crowning of mary is depicted above the alter. Then in the side alters you have depictions of people honoring the traditions of the parish.

The technical stuff: This image is a combination of six horizontal images. They were brackets of 2, 0, -2 exposure values. I combined the images into three separate  vertoramas of each exposure value and ran the HDR program in Photoshop. I then ran Adobe Camera Raw and touched up the HDR to reveal as much textures and tones as I could before converting it to what you see here.

St. Mary of the Angels Church, Chicago

Jesus and the Angel at St Mary of the Angels in Chicago in black and white.

I thought I’d try to explore a bit on my processing. I found a preset from ON1’s Perfect Effects program called Chrome that I liked. From a distant or zoomed out view, the background pops nice. But when you zoom in, this BW effect really highlights the textures of the statues nicely.

When I took the shot, I was just trying to get the tripod as close as possible to the statue from an angle as close as I could from the wall so we could see this as much from Jesus’ point of view as possible. I hope this works for you as it does for me.

This status of Jesus and the Angel is at St. Mary of the Angels church in Chicago.
This is a statue of Jesus and the Angel is at St. Mary of the Angels church in Chicago.