Tag Archive: Heritage Hills Baptist Church

“Altar Call”

With over 1,000+ photos taken at this weekend’s Disciple Now Conyers 2013, it was difficult to keep up with taking, processing and posting the photos as quickly as possible.  Of the 1,000+ photos taken 110 were quick-processed and posted to Facebook.  Of those 110, one captured the scene, emotion and essence of the entire weekend.  This is the type of image photographers dream of, that one image that expresses a single moment.


Hello August led worship and Wes Springer delivered the message to over 300 students from in and around Rockdale County Georgia.  Watching these young men worship was awe inspiring.  During the final moments of Saturday night’s session, one scene began to emerge as a crowd formed around the stage just after the initial altar call.  What takes place in this image is dynamic and full of expression.  The faces, postures and reality of the moment, the greatness of God, was sealed in a single image.

[Click image to enlarge]

The image in its original form was rather unimpressive.  As I was processing images for that session, I was deleting more photos than keeping and this image was not enough of a standout to justify not hitting the delete button.  The color version was washed heavy in blue from the stage lighting creating an extremely saturated image.  The slow shutter speed permitted extreme motion blur in the images preceding and after, yet this one, for whatever reason, cemented itself.  Something inside me told me to keep pushing and see what can come from this image, there was simply too much going on to let it go.  After applying a filtered black and white process, it was obvious to me the potential.  Slight adjustments to the contrast and light balance revealed numerous telling features in the photo.  A final crop of 16:9 revealed the final product.  There, on stage, the lead singer from Hello August submits to the moment and the reaction of the crowd is evident.


Call me crazy, but I love to study this image over and over and every time I see something new.


“If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.” – 2 Corinthians 5:13



Heritage Hills Baptist Church in Conyers, Georgia hosted its second annual Scarecrows and Casseroles Fall Festival on Saturday September 15, 2012.  We were fortunate enough to photograph the event on their behalf.  For this job, knowing that there would be sun and clouds most of the day made for specific lighting challenges.  To overcome the dark shadows that can occur during midday sun, it was necessary to utilize fill-flash (or flash-fill) to compensate.  The following photograph is an illustration of how flash-fill was used on the face of two youngsters to eliminate dark shadows caused by the sun being behind or directly above them.

Using fill-flash requires setting the lighting for the existing light and utilizing just enough flash to fill in the shadows.  For most of the shots during the day I used a flash set on an L bracket with a bounce card, flash set at 60 degrees.  I manually adjusted the flash to take away the potential for the flash to flood the subject.

The above photo was on the same side as the sunlight, but in this case the primary subject (the clown) was standing in shade.  To evenly fill the light so the subject wasn’t too dark compared to the other subjects in the photo, the flash was utilized similar to above, only with a little more power to compensate for the distance.

For this photo the desire was to get the pumpkins in the foreground well-lit without flooding them out, at the same time keeping the subjects in the background evenly lit.  Unlike the first two images, all of the subjects were in the shade.  The first two attempts to get this shot didn’t go well as the flash was too harsh on the pumpkins.  I instead set the lighting for the subjects in the background and then kept reducing the flash power until it was evenly matched.

The above image was a trial in both flash-fill lighting as well as depth-of-field.  The photo was taken with an f-stop of 5 which normally wouldn’t give the distinctive shallow depth-of-field here, but was taken with a macro lens.  Here the primary subject was lit with the fill-flash, focused and the shallow depth-of-field allowed the subjects in the background to blur slightly, still showing the activity in the background behind the inanimate scarecrow.  This shot was taken during a cloudy moment and required also an adjustment to the white balance to warm up the image a bit.

Our final image is of two musicians up on the steps of the church.  It was not convenient to approach and get the image of the musicians without being a disruption to the show.  Instead I used a zoom lens to frame the shot and adjusted the lighting for the two subjects.  In this case the sun was up and to the right of the shot casting a harsh shadow on the image.  To fill in the shot I utilized my flash direct on the subjects and through a few trials was able to get the right lighting to illuminate the musicians and not wash out the tan stucco surrounding the cross.  Again, they were in the shade and I was using a flash so the trials to get the white-balance right was a challenge, but in about three shots I was able to get what looked like a reasonable blend, well lit and framed just the way I wanted it.


Pastor Marcus

See more photos from the shoot here.

Photos from the Friday Night Lights Car Show by Younglife held at Heritage Hills Baptist Church last night are uploaded in a new scrapbook.  Click on the photo to see more.

Messy Wednesday…

Mud Brothers

Tonight’s activities included finding marbles in a pile of mud, and samurai water baloons – that is defending oneself with a wiffle bat while others throw water balloons at you.  The things kids will do for fun….

Mary Alice