Ah, no. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a tourist attraction that throngs of people can walk through. Sure, some are actually praying at a pew or lighting a candle over to the side, but the rest are walking around with their point-and-shoot cameras pointed at all the photographic bits of interest in the place. Make no mistake about it, there are a million great pictures to be taken there. I just didn’t think it was necessarily “right” to take them.I didn’t plan on taking pics, but seeing that nobody else would notice amidst the sea of flashes going off, I felt more comfortable. I didn’t use my flash, though. And those pop up flashes on the point-and-shoots weren’t lighting up the stained glass windows a hundred feet away, but good luck explaining that to Joe Tourist.
This was the very definition of “run and gun.” I wish I had more time. I wish I had a tripod. I wish there wasn’t a current of people pushing through in tight quarters down the middle of the church. There’d be some amazing shots to take. Instead, I tried to frame up a few shots as quickly as possible and keep moving, stopping only so very briefly along the way to let the shutter snap. Stand still for longer than 1/60th of a second and you’d be run over. Yes, even in a church. Gotta love New York City, eh?
I was travelling light that day. I chose to take my Canon 60D with only the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens on it. I didn’t want to tote around a heavy and expensive bag of gear in the packed city streets during the holiday season. It was one camera, one lens, and a strap to hold it over my shoulder. There were definitely times I wished I had my 70-300mm or my 17-35mm lens, but photography is all about the compromises, right?
It was darker in the Cathedral than these pics might show. I was shooting at a high ISO and letting the natural low-light abilities of the 60D do its work, combined later with NoiseNinja or Lightroom3.
At the end of the day, I like my pictures of the Cathedral far more than the pics I got of the tree in nearby Rockefeller Center.
Click on any picture to see it larger.