Finally! I'm getting to add something to my blog!! Last Saturday, I went on a photo safari to the Franciscan Monastery in northeast Washington. It's a familiar place to me because I've been there many times - mostly when I was younger. My grandmother used to live near Catholic University in northwest Washington so there were times on Sundays when we would visit the monastery - even though we weren't Catholic.
It's a very interesting place. It's run, of course, by the Franciscan monks. I didn't realize, though, until I went there with my DC tour guide class, that this order is responsible for the Catholic churches in the Holy Land. The monk that was our guide had just returned from several years in Jerusalem.
Inside this monastery is a replica of the Roman catacombs and the tomb in the Church of the Holy Scepulchre (in Jerusalem) that "they" think is Christ's tomb. Having been to Jerusalem (in 1963 when I was 15!!), I prefer to think of the spot that was discovered in 1948 as Christ real tomb. If you're in Jerusalem, I assume you can still go inside that tomb and see the hill nearby - called Golgatha meaning skull - where Jesus was crucified. The rock hill actually looks like a skull. The replica is behind the curved entry in the middle of the picture on the right.
Anyway, I took this class to finally learn how to use my Nikon flash attachment. Reading the instruction manual is like reading Greek!! I think the course was successful. It was the first time I'd used my new tripod so some of the pictures weren't straight, but I experimented and could see the difference when I used the flash, the flash with the diffuser, and both ways with the flash tilted up to a 45 degress angle. The ceilings inside the church were much too high to reflect the light, so those pictures turned out rather dark. We also played with having the flash off the camera and shooting it multiple times while the camera lens was open for up to 4 seconds. You can see one without the flash and one with the light under the arch from the flash pointed and set off there.
I'd really rather take pictures outside so some of these are outdoors before the class began. There was a rose garden around the church, but most of the roses had had it! I did get a few closeups that were nice.
We also tried using a colored gel strip in front of the flash to change the color of the picture. There are some pictures here of the ceiling under the dome of the monastery - one with the flash and one with the flash plus an orange gel strip.
Here are some more inside pictures - one of the altar in one of the chapels and the other is the underneath of the cover over the main altar.
I had fun, the teacher was great and funny - hope you enjoy the pictures!!