Saturday, August 13, 2011

My All-time Best Photograph

After Evening Chapel at the Abak Mission Hospital

More than any other photograph I’ve ever made, this represents what photography, for me, is all about – beauty and mystery.

The year was 1989 and I was at the mission hospital at Abak, Ibom Province, Nigeria, on assignment for Church of God World Missions. Chapel service had just ended as the setting sun, its beams parallel to the ground, threw a splash of flame against the chapel wall.

I seldom used auto-exposure back then, but there was no time to do anything except raise my Olympus OM2n and click off three quick shots with the lens that was on it – a Tamron 100-300 f4 zoom at the 300mm setting. I noticed that the exposure on Fujichrome RD100 slide film was 1/15th second, so I had little hope of getting anything usable. No chimping in those days!

Back in the US, when the film was processed I was pleased to find that I had one very sharp exposure and another that was usable. This is the best one.