This photograph started out very differently from the image that ended up as one of the signatures of the project. The priest Steve was photographing had taken us through the motions of the Mass, step by step, starting with preparing in the sacristy--and including a brief discussion of the attributes of sacramental wine. When he got to the elevation of the Cup, Steve took the shot from several angles. One included the nimbus of light from a sconce on the wall that, from the proper angle, looked like light emanating from the chalice. Right from the camera, it was a distance shot, in color and impressive enough to my untrained eye. Steve fretted that the image was too complicated, and the purple chasuble in one corner of the frame and a doorway in the other took away from the power of the shot.
My groom has an artist's appreciation for the picture-in-the-picture; he sees not only what is, but what can be. One evening, we went to our respective computers after dinner, he to work on photos, I to work on a book I was in the process of writing. He cropped this image, softened the edges, took away the color and sent it down to my desk. It took my breath away when I opened it.
I'm no intimate of the processes of the digital darkroom, but it seems that wresting this beautiful picture from its less impressive source is a bit like growing in the spiritual life. Start with something good, as we are created, but a work in progress, needing an Artist's touch here and there to be what we are meant to be. Get the right perspective on things, focus in on Jesus and remove distracting details--it's surprising what can emerge.