We call them pitch-ins here in Indiana. I guess people in most of the rest of the country call them potlucks. When people from out of state visit our church and we announce a pitch-in, the “hunh?” look on their faces always turns to an “Oh!” look when we say, “That’s what we call a potluck.”
Whatever you call them, I’m sure they’re a staple of churches near you, too. My church had one not long ago. I brought my Pentax ME, sporting the 50 mm f/2 SMC Pentax-M lens and some Kodak Tri-X 400, hoping to get some good candid shots. But I was pressed into service in the buffet line placing turkey on everybody’s plates, leaving less time to photograph people than I had hoped for. I did capture part of this family. The dreadlocked fellow and his similarly dreadlocked wife have something like seven children, all remarkably well-mannered and -behaved.
I caught this happy lady mid-laugh. I’m still getting my sea legs shooting people, and am learning how to be unobtrusive while recognizing and swiftly acting on the right moment to click the shutter. I hit it just right here.
I hung around to help clean up, giving me a chance at this shot. The light from the fluorescent tubes disproportionally lit an otherwise dim space and I wondered how my camera would capture it. I kind of like the mood here, with the blown-out-bright fluorescent tubes that don’t quite light this shot all the way, leading to shadowiness at the bottom and a stark overall feel.
All day long I shot this lens wide open or nearly wide open because I was working with available interior light, shooting handheld. That was more of a challenge after the pitch-in when I went up into our worship space because there is so much dark wood in there, especially the pews. My depth of field was very shallow. And of course the windows ended up blowing out with the afternoon sun streaming through them. Still, I liked how the line of the balcony’s underside harmonizes with our curved pews.
This shot shows the curved pews even better. The floor slants toward the altar. I shot so the pews appeared level, which threw the windows off level in the background!
I have a thing for church cornerstones and photograph them whenever I can. (Check out my church-cornerstone gallery.) The main part of our building, including our worship space and a few rooms, was completed in 1909. An education wing was completed sometime during the 1920s.
The building has been well used over the years and while it’s far from dilapidated, it could use more TLC than the coats of paint its interior has received recently. I’d like to see some restoration work done, especially around the interior’s delightful tall woodwork and wood floors. But we’re not exactly a wealthy congregation; really, we’re doing good just to meet somewhere structurally sound!
A church I once attended found a time capsule in its cornerstone. Check it out!
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