Photographing Our Beautiful Stained Glass Windows
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Suzanne_Vandegrift/176623]Suzanne Vandegrift
Very few things can surpass the beauty of a steepled church with beautiful stained glass windows. Taking pictures of these beautiful treasures used to be left only to the professional photographers. Some of these pros have shared their experience by giving tips on how to successfully photograph stained glass. That, combined with the advancement in technology that has giving us cameras with user-friendly features, photographic enthusiasts, even the beginner, can go out with a camera bag and some minimal equipment and take some great pictures of these glass beauties.
The first very important thing to remember is in regards to your camera flash. If you plan on taking your pictures from inside the church, especially on a bright, sunny day, it will appear very dark when you first enter. Your eyes will adjust pretty quickly, but film doesn't. Your camera will see the need for a slow shutter speed or the flash will fire. And, you never want to use a flash when photographing these windows. It will not only cause intense reflection, but it will greatly reduce the beautiful fire in the colors of your subject and cause them to loose their luster. Remember, if your camera has a built-in flash that is going to turn on automatically, turn it off before entering the church. Slightly overcast days are ideal for photographing stained glass. It let's the light in without too much intense brightness.
You can display the wonderful pictures of your stained glass windows in many different ways. They can be framed and put in a grouping on your wall. You can develop a beautiful book of all the different shots to be placed on your coffee table. These stained glass window images would also make beautiful greeting cards. All you need is a card stock of your choice, plain or a pattern to compliment the stained glass window image you'll be using, and you can make a one-of-a kind, gorgeous card to send to family and friends. Remember to get information about each stained glass window you shoot so you can include a footnote about the window in all of your displays or cards.
Because cameras are so technically advanced in exposure metering, low-light photography is not the problem it used to be. And the need for bracketing, taking several shots at different exposures to ensure a good one, is almost never necessary. And, many beginners use a digital point-and-shoot which allows them to immediately see if the picture is a keeper. Taking several shots to get them at different angles and views is still a good idea, since it will give you more images from which to choose. All of this makes photographing stained glass fun and relatively easy.
Stained glass windows come in all sizes, from the huge to the very small. Fill the frame with just the window if you can get close enough and/or the window is large enough. Set you zoom lens at the wider angle if your camera has that capability. If it's a small window that's far away, and your camera has spot-metering exposure mode, use it to get a good shot. If you are photographing a very large window that is in sections, photograph each section and when you display the images, place them together showing each piece as it is sequenced in the actual window. This will make for a very interesting display
Churches and cathedrals are the first structures that come to mind when thinking of stained glass windows. These windows are, however, found in many other locations. Restaurants, private homes, Bed and Breakfasts to name a few. One incredibly gorgeous building that falls in this category is the Wedding Cake Mansion located in historic Savannah, Georgia. This mansion is aptly named. Its stained glass windows are set in a white bay window decorated by ornate iron work. It's cherished by Savannah residents who have long agreed it favors a beautifully decorated wedding cake. If you get to Savannah, don't miss the opportunity to take your camera bag over to the Wedding Cake Mansion and photograph a unique structure, including their beautiful windows.
Before heading out to start your quest for the best stained glass photographs you can take, make sure your camera bag is complete with all the accessories you may need. Extra film or memory cards, extra batteries, extra lenses, and by all means a tripod. Any camera shake will cause picture distortion of those beautiful glass treasures. A user-friendly camera bag with top-loading features that you can easily use in a dimly lit church would be a good choice. One that has a lens cradle for your delicate lens and several pockets to hold all the accessories separately and safely.
Suzanne VanDeGrift has developed this article for M-ROCK.COM, manufacturer of [http://www.m-rock.com/]exceptional quality camera bags, with user-friendly features.
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Photographing-Our-Beautiful-Stained-Glass-Windows&id=1418184] Photographing Our Beautiful Stained Glass Windows