Photographing church banners

I was hired by Jim White in February to shoot forty-four church banners made by him, his wife, and the women of Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church. I took my tripod, camera, a remote trigger, a gold reflector, and two variable LED soft box lights. I recently finished editing all of them and also included a few outside photos of the couple, which wasn’t part of the original plan. The main shoot took five hours. After I got the lighting and camera positioned as needed, we went through each one. My tripod is heavy and I was able to position the camera eye at midpoint with the height of the banners so the image would not skew. I took anywhere from three to eleven photos that were focus merged into one photo using RAW files. As the shots were taken, I moved the focus point around the banner especially on those with text. I used a pancake lens so I could shoot closer to the banners but this left a soft edge around the photo. Then in Affinity Photo, I applied 50% clarity to sharpen the image and bring out the details on the bricks to have more contrast, then duplicated the main layer and painted out the dust spots, dirt spots, stains, and shadows wherever it didn’t look good. Jim wanted a six inch crop around the entire banner and even the string holding it to the wall. He’s going to place these in a book. With his permission, I’ve picked four to share with you that I like.


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