Our Lady of The Angels

Tucked away a mere 10 metres to the side of the A861 road in Scotland sits a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary called *Our Lady of The Angels*.  With the weather turning for the worse (both high wind & rain) I dashed out of the car, set up my tripod and fired a couple of frames. 

I composed this frame primarily as a landscape to ensure that the sense of place was not lost but also to take advantage of the birch trees' regular form, drawing one's eye to the lonesome statue. The sky was overcast and the tiny amount of glare peeking through the top rear of the frame was controlled by a Lee 0.6 graduated filter, producing a pleasingly even exposure which would allow for all the shadow detail to really come alive. My quandary was this - do I shot at a wide aperture or not? So often I see photographs captured at fast apertures simply to hide a myriad of background (visually distracting) elements or merely chosen to emphasise a specific focal point. 

Because Our Lady of The Angels is such a busy, yet uniformly simple frame I couldn't decide, so I shot at both F2.8 & F16, just 16 seconds apart. Loading the images into Capture One and seeing them full screen I still can't decide, as F2.8 presents a more ethereal, dare I say a slightly spooky 'feel' with F16 placing the frame firmly into a documentary, factual representation camp. 

Take a look and see what you think below. Firstly the two apertures at full frame and then alternating 100% crops. Enjoy.

Taken at F2.8

Taken at F16 

Both frames are not cropped, no artefacts have been removed and no vignetting has been applied. Both frames were recorded on Phase One's native IIQ raw file with my IQ250 + Schneider Leaf Shutter 80mm f/2.8 lens, processed in Capture One without any local adjustments, with tiny colour cast and tonal tweaks in Photoshop. These low res, quality crushing screen grabs don't (of course) display Phase One's class leading sharpness and colour rendition. 

ISO 100 F2.8 1/320 second & F16 0.1 second (producing evidence of encroaching high wind 😂)