Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cades Cove Methodist Church - The Living and Enduring Word

I've been slacking.  I haven't written anything about the photos in my 2015 calendar yet this year.  And February is almost gone!   As I write this our third big snow storm of the month is rapidly approaching.  I think I'm ready for March and the promise of spring.

The photo for February was taken from the pulpit of the Cades Cove Methodist Church in the Smoky Mountains National Park.   John D. McCampbell, who was a carpenter and the pastor,  built the church building in 1902 in 115 days for $115.   How's that for a church building campaign?

The building featured two front doors, a common feature of architectural feature in the 1800s, which allowed men to enter and sit on one side of the chapel and women and children on the other.  In a move that may have raised some eyebrows at the time, the Cades Cove Methodist Church permitted its congregants to sit where they pleased instead of separating the men from the women..

The church was affected greatly by the Civil War.  Divisions among the congregation during both the war and Reconstruction resulted in a church split and the formation of the Hopewell Methodist Church, which not longer stands.

Today the Cades Cove Methodist Church is visited by hundreds of people every day.  We were there on a cold early Spring day and pretty much had the church to ourselves.   With no light other than what came in through the windows, the photos required a long exposure time.  However, those long exposures meant everything outside the windows was completely washed out.  I created a High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo by combining 7 different shots with exposures ranging from 0.4 seconds to 30 seconds.

I wanted the words in the Bible to be clear and even readable in the photo.   I also wanted the back of the church and the trees outside to be in focus.  To get that extreme depth of field I used a very small aperture of f/22.

All this photo needs is for the pews to be full of people in the clothes of hard working farmers from the early 20th century.  They might have been listening to a sermon on perishable vs. imperishable seed.   The Word was on that pulpit in 1902 and it's still there today.

The wide photo at the bottom of the calendar page for February is also from Cades Cove.  It was taken from the loop road looking across the cove to the mountains to the south.   You can't find a prettier place in the park.

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