The River, the Clouds and the Flowers


I know you’re probably expecting something to do with the Queenship of Mary today. Or the election. Or any number of prescient issues aside from photography.

But I’ve had zero time to devote to photography lately and just have to get it out of my system, darnit.

And look at that river! And those clouds! And that sky!

Ah, the river… the clouds… the sky…. things to gaze upon and give thanks to God. And certainly to give thanks to him for the Queenship of Mary, who no doubt would gaze upon this peaceful scene quite lovingly, while perhaps being thankful that one of her Priests was photographing the scene for the enjoyment of others.

But, I’m concerned that I haven’t really made any strides in my understanding of exposure.


Hence this strange shot of the clouds.

One thing I do understand is that digital photos have a limited range of dynamic contrast, which is why some areas of this image are darker than they should be. The light is too strong in the clouds, and too dark on the river.

Overexposed Clouds

Still, because I had a fascination with the image when I took it, I tried to manipulate it in photoshop. But it never turned out right; it always turned out sort of like this. Well, perhaps not as strange, but I’m not out to win any contests here, just to demonstrate the dilemma of trying to work with a lousy photo which could have been, just hazarding a guess here, a very good photo.

Some areas of the clouds take on drama, and you can make out the storm in the background, but the river itself looks grainy, and the whole thing looks fake.

So sad.

river bw

Putting the whole thing in black and white… well, it’s the same issue ridden photograph in black and white.

Maybe someone with better photoshopping skills could get this to look better. But a better photographer would have taken a beter picture in the first place, and wouldn’t even be having this conversation because the photoshopping would have been at minimum, the picture would have been great, and that would be that.

Or, he or she would have just deleted the photo outright.

So, moving on from this, the photo itself seems like it could have been really cool, but I need to learn and practice, some more skills.


It’s either that or stick to flowers.

But hey, that’s what hobbies are for, to find some spare moments and spend them productively, learning and practicing something enjoyable. And, to have time to give thanks to God for making such a beautiful world for all of us to live in; it’s definitely worth taking more pictures and trying to get it right.

Life at St. Jane's

St. Jane de Chantal Church

Yes, you guessed it: I’ve been walking around with my camera again.

And then going for that startling, vibrant look which is so ‘in’ in photos these days.

Oh, wait… you’ve not been seeing startling and vibrant photos which look quite like these?

Well. On a separate note, we really need to do something about these power lines in front of the Church, like run them underground.

That’s a joke by the way.

On the right side of the choir loft is a little belfry type room with windows; the first Pastor used to spend his nights there. I guess he more or less lived in the choir loft, which no doubt made for an interesting life. (I used to do that, but I was an organist.) The little room is about ten feet by eight feet, at the most.

And that’s no joke.

St. Jane's

The rain here has been amazing. The dry, dry earth from the past few years has been soaking it up, and everything is green as could be and beautiful. Lots of dramatic clouds, too.

One of my seminary friends (now Dr. Jerry Harrington,) took up the photo a day contest that I bailed on recently, which inspired me to get back to it. Why not give it a try… what could happen?

Px, out.

Confessions Tonight

Blown out Black and white

I confess.

After our amazing and uplifting, and incredibly beautiful two hour marathon of Confessions, I came back here and got ready for bed by playing around with Photoshop.

The fact that the above photo, and it’s processing, are so overblown doesn’t surprise me, as I was trying to highlight the amazing and dramatic clouds.

…it was an amazing night, I tell you.

What does surprise me is that I was standing there taking a picture while the clouds were gathering so bizarrely.


Playing with these photos was inspired by a photo I posted the other day of this rainstorm over the river down my Fort Jackson, which I really like. These were just not meant to be.

Lesson learned: since you can’t write about much of anything after a Night of Confessions, you may as well relax and play with Photoshop for a few minutes before going to bed, no matter the outcome.

And that’s that on that.

But it was an amazing night, I tell you. God is absolutely amazing.


The Rev. Kenneth Allen