Reflections on the St. Paul Cathedral Project

"Wonder" Fuji X100 | 1/28 @ f/2 | ISO 3200


I have been enjoying going to the cathedral as a longer-term project.  It has sort of evolved organically, and I am by no means religious, but I have enjoyed my visits there greatly, and I am thinking of ways to expand the project beyond its current scope.  Any ideas?  I’d love to hear them!

The emptiness, combined with the size of the place, is really something.  When there are no services going on it feels really cavernous.  It is never really empty, however, since there are always visitors or tourists of some kind inside.  I respect those who are there to pray and I make sure not to disturb their reverence, or in anyway interrupt what they are doing.  I appreciate the reverence of the cathedral and its visitors, and always ensure that I handle myself as a guest in someone else’s house.  There have been times that I have come across others who are there to sightsee, and they don’t always think about anyone but themselves, and their big, noisy DSLRs on AUTO mode (with the on-body flashes compensating for their 18-200 f/dark lenses) going off repeatedly.  You know who you are…

I normally try to stay away from talking about gear as much as possible (although I do post technical information for each photograph) since that is not what photography is about.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of a gear-head as the next guy, and have some pretty bad G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome, don’t we all?), but I want the work I post here to be about more than that.  With that being said, however, when I am at the cathedral it helps to be as unobtrusive as possible, so that is where equipment really does become a factor.  The cathedral is so quiet that any noise echoes throughout and really draws unwanted attention; I used my D700 during my first visit there last November and it sounded like a gunshot.  I quickly packed it up and have since used mainly X100–which is basically silent; it makes even my M3 sound loud–to make sure I do not disturb anyone.  I used my M3 on my last visit as well, but haven’t gotten the film back yet.  I was very bold and used some slide film inside, so we will see how that works out when I get it back.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’d love to get some feedback from you all on this series, or just this post.  Please do check the older posts from the St. Paul Cathedral series if you like this one, and let me know what you think about those, too!  If you like the blog and my work, please consider re-blogging, or sharing via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, and help others enjoy it as well–links to each of those services should be just below the post, and above the comment section.

Thanks again!



  1. Thanks for a stunning set of photos. I would have to say my two favorites are “Illumination” and “Remnants.” All of them are powerful in their own way. Great post and thanks for sharing these!


  2. I love the new way of titling the photos. I like “Wonder” but that could also be because I love that child. 🙂


  3. A quick note about the blog, I’m glad you added names to the photos. It helps to add a comment about a particular shot that catches the eye. That being said, “Illumination” is pretty damn nice.


  4. Nice choice of perspective on “Idol”–not sure if the hard-core Catholics would appreciate you calling one of their saints an idol, but the perspective and the title certainly capture an image and a perception of the theme. This is a step in the artsy direction; by using the perspective to enhance the largesse of the sculpture, you are manipulating the frame like an artist. Nice piece, Trevor.


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