Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is an elegant and very large Church, one of the ten-largest in the world in fact. Interestlying, it is “Romanesque-Byzantine in style and its construction is entirely of stone, brick, tile and mortar—without steel structural beams, framework or columns.”1

I was able to visit this Church a few months ago whilst on a visit to DC.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The most striking part of this church is it’s size. It’s the largest Catholic Church in North America. Although there are more beautiful churches, it’s size and stateliness give it an appeal all it’s own. If I remember correctly, this picture was taken about half-way up through the Church, which might give you a sense of how truly huge this building is.

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Swirling Sky, Remastered

Former film-maker George Lucas used to be a sort of hero of mine.

Unfortunately, he ceased to be a real film-maker about half way through the filming of Return of the Jedi. (Why Ewoks? Why?)

He may have realized he was out of ideas, and for a time he did everyone a favor by not coming up with any new content, a rule he broke when he produced the train wreck colloquially known as the Star Wars Prequels.

Indeed, prior to the aforementioned prequels, rather than have original ideas or do anything creative, George made money by re-releasing his movies both in the theatre and for home viewing.

He sold the original Star Wars Trilogy on VHS, the THX Trilogy on VHS, the Special Edition on VHS, the DVDs, the Star Wars Trilogy Theatrical Edition, the Original Trilogy on bluray, the Prequel Trilogy on bluray, the complete saga on bluray, etc. He also released the movies in the theatre when they went to the special edition, and most recently, in 3D.

If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll be releasing a 3D bluray complete Star Wars trilogy for $100+ in the near future.

He is a master of getting people (like me, until the prequels) to buy the same thing over and over again, without adding any real value.

Now stay with me, this relates back to photography!

I remember before one of the Star Wars VHS releases, probably the Special Edition, there were some interviews in which George, in an attempt to justify going back and monkeying with the original trilogy, states, “A movie is never finished, only abandoned.”

When I was in Jr. High I thought, this is a pretty cool quote, George is so deep and awesome.

I recently learned that George actually stole this (without attribution) from someone who did have creativity and origional thoughts.

It was actually Leonardo da Vinci, who shared this wisdom some 500 years earlier: “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

And now we come full circle. I find myself going back to my earlier photos, and seeing how I could have processed them differently, or composed them differently. Now I can’t always go back and retake a photo, I can go back to the raw images and reprocess them.

Part of me rails against it, but part of my perfectionist side demands that I go back and “fix” them.

But don’t worry, I’m still taking new photos! In fact, I have a photo from Washington, DC that I’ll be sharing this Tuesday (email subscribers will hear about it first). But in the meantime, here is a photo that I recently “remastered.”

Swirling Sky

Swirling Sky

Do you want to learn how to take HDR photos, like the one above? Check out my HDR Tutorial by clicking here.


I don’t care for the winter. It’s not bad up through Christmas, but once New Year’s is over, I’m ready for spring.

In Central Illinois it is cold and cloudy and dark. I still go out and travel around and find new shots, but last weekend I was hunkering down, and I took some indoor photos.

These aren’t going to be breathtaking, but I think they provide some interesting subjects, and helps me to branch out a bit into a sort of minimalist still life.

But don’t worry! The HDR photos aren’t going away.

In fact I’ve got some great shots coming up, should be posting those later this week or next.





Back to the Sixties

Back to the Sixties