They’re Waiting For You In The Chapel

What do they want?

When you take a bus tour you don’t have control over the itinerary or the weather. We had eaten lunch at a country inn between Stratford-on-Avon and Oxford. A few snowflakes drifted down upon us as we boarded our bus to Oxford, and on the way over the hills it began to snow in earnest. Our tour guide was herself a bit flabbergasted, saying that she had never seen snow in that region in mid April (2006). It was very pretty seeing the English countryside with a dusting of snow, but of course any photos would be taken through the windows of a moving bus. D’Oh!

It was raining upon arrival in Oxford. We were led around to the usual university sites including the Latin Chapel of Christ Church Cathedral. It was dark and if the chapel was dry, we were damp ourselves. With fellow tourists meandering about, it was nearly impossible to get a clean shot of anything. I grabbed this shot since I could at least get the whole window without any heads in it, but just as I did, everyone seemed to turn to face me. I’ve never been able to figure out what to do with this shot until now.

The faces of my fellow bus-tourists were dark, but in processing I played that to my advantage. I stumbled around with various methods including making a luminance selection and jumping that to its own layer. I then proceeded to segregate out the stained glass to which a full-on 100% radial blur centered in the upper left area was applied. That layer was set to Linear Dodge blend mode, and some other burning of the lower third of the frame was done to hide the tourists’ bodies while leaving their now-ghostly faces visible.

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