Sunland, Alberta Holy Trinity Russo Orthodox Church

05/31/20 3:23 PM



There are many ways to make new friends, and sometimes it involves a visit from the RCMP. While I was out doing some nighttime photography at the Holy Trinity Russo Orthodox Church in Sunland, Lamont County, we caught the attention of a nearby resident and church member who thought we looked suspicious.

Once we were able to explain our purpose to the understanding officer, he turned his berries off and explained to our now friend that we were just taking photos and we had a chance to chat and show some of my previous time lapse photos, which usually take over an hour to capture.

With that, I’d like to thank the members of this congregation for taking such good care of this beautiful edifice, cemetery, and surrounding grounds. It was a pleasure to be there.

I took this series of images from across the road, to the west of the chapel. A bit on my technique, equipment and process:

  • I shoot with a Canon 6Dii and usually a Canon EF 17-40 mm F4 lens at 17 mm.
  • Exposure here was F4, 30 second exposure, ISO 3200.
  • My camera has an interval timer which allows me to shoot one after the other non-stop, or for as many frames as I like. I usually just let it run until I feel like going home, which is often an hour, or 120 frames. If I didn’t have this feature, I’d use my YouPro Wireless Remote for the same purpose.
  • I use StarStaX on my computer to create the effect of a trail. It magically layers each image with the click of a button.
  • I usually use GiMP (poor man’s Photoshop-ie, free) to layer a properly exposed church and to do distortion corrections.
  • I use Apple Photos for colour correction, exposure, and small touch-ups. It’s surprisingly powerful.
  • To create the videos, I use QuickTime and import the sequence of images and tell it to run at 24 frames per seconds.
  • I then transferred the video to my phone and used GifMov, a free iPhone app to convert the video into a GIF, so that they automatically run on this page.


I chose to get down low with this crazy angle so that Polaris would be as close to the spire as possible. Hard to do well. Layering the flash-exposed frame over the blended batch was tricky, because there was lots of red/blue/purple left over from the police car lights, as you can see in the GIFs.

After our friends left, we stayed a bit longer, and one of them phoned us up to invite us to ring the bells. I asked if he was sure, because it was 1:40 am! He said to go ahead. I realized that it had probably been 2 months since the bells last rang, so even despite the hour, I bet it was nice to hear them ring out. Sadly, only 2 of the 3 bells ring, as the smallest one has a crack in it and only thuds. As you can see in the video, it was really fun to ring them, and we really don’t know our way around church bells. Enjoy!

Learn more of the history of this building and congregation here.

 

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