Another one of my old pictures. This one was taken inside the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Asheville, NC. In a previous post, I have mentioned about this beautiful minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church.
It was quite a visit and still gives me the jitters. It was my first visit to a church when I carried along a tripod. And I was kind of wary of the looks I might get from other patrons. Fortunately, there were very few people around when I entered the church. The priest was a very nice man and just smiled down benevolently at me. Inside the church, Ela and I spent some time at the altar and then went around admiring the beautiful stained glass windows and other artifacts.
Apart from the well-known stained glass windows, the inside of the church is also adorned with exquisite statues of saints imported from Italy. These include St. Lawrence, St. Cecilia, St. Rose of Lima, St. Patrick, and St. Peter the Apostle. The high altar is made from marble and is decorated by a fresco painting of the Last Supper. Above the high altar in the sanctuary, there is a Spanish wood carving of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John, the Beloved Disciple, mourning at the Crucifixion of Christ. Behind the wood carving are polychrome terra cotta ornamental partitions of the Four Evangelists and two of the Archangels, St. Raphael and St. Michael.
After completing a round, I then started setting up my tripod to take a few pictures of the interior, the beautiful dome and the stained glass windows. For some reason, the tripod decided to give me a bad time. It was making awful noises that seemed to reverberate in the silent building. It reminded me of the sound you hear sometimes during change of gears in heavy vehicles like tractors and trucks. Couple of patrons turned around to look at me. Ela inched away and kept as much distance as possible from me giving an impression that he wasn't with me. Feeling very conscious, I continued with my work and finally managed to set up the tripod with my camera on top. I breathed a sigh of relief!!
I focused on one of the glass windows, made some adjustments and then pressed the shutter. And immediately almost jumped out of my skin. The shutter sound was magnified multifold and sounded like shots from a gun. I realized, I had set it up to automatically take 3 pictures at different exposures. In the silence of the church, it sounded like the staccato fire of a machine gun. Gulping down, trying to give the appearance of a diligent photographer, I turned the camera to capture a few more pictures before silently exiting the building with Ela following me at a discreet distance. Phew!!