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Photographing Stain Glass Windows

 

Leica M6 Camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron Lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Leica M6 Camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron Lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film

Stain glass windows provide the photographer with rich and vibrant color and, due to the characters and narratives portrayed, a great way to study the Human Condition.

Some say that by photographing artwork you’re really just copying it and, therefore, have no claim on the image you make. There might be something in that statement if your photograph was a straight copy of the artwork. You could, at best, consider it a good photographic reproduction of the original.

For the image to at least feel like it’s yours it’s important to remove it from its context. This makes the artwork less recognisable and can separate it, at least in part, from the artist’s intentions. Actually it’s not unlike photographing a building or bridge, the most beautiful of which are works of art. By using scale, perspective, extreme viewpoint (e.g. birds eye or worms eye) and abstraction you can render the structure in a way quite removed from its original intention. A very emotive image can result by simply moving or zooming in and concentrating the viewer’s attention on important elements like faces, hands or the relationship between characters.

I love the stories depicted in stain glass windows. Sometimes based on religious and/or historic motifs, and often epic in nature, they depict grand themes and events both earthly and supernatural.

Usually light reflects color off the surface of a subject back towards the camera. Unfortunately some of the color’s purity, or saturation, is lost in the process. As light passes more directly through glass color saturation is retained. Perhaps this explains why the color in stain glass windows is so rich and beautiful.

This image was shot with a Leica M6 camera and Leica 35mm f2 Summicron-M Aspherical lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 Extra Color film. I was particularly drawn to the dynamic relationship between the blue and yellow complimentary (opposite) colors that, together with the expressive nature of the subject depicted, determined my composition.

Copyright All Rights Reserved

Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography 

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