The Last of Christmas

Holy Cross Catholic Church in Champaign is my parish, and I’m right proud of it. We have a strong and welcoming community with a gorgeous church and a talented organist, all guided by one of the Diocese of Peoria’s finest priests. We like to decorate big for Christmas, and things just get bigger when the Magi arrive.

Omnes de Saba venient

Sadly, by the time I was able to take these pictures, the top half of the left-hand tree was no longer lit. I was not about to muck with the tree, so I turned to The GIMP when I got back to my workstation:

  1. Select the areas of interest in the right-hand tree and columns.
  2. Copy it and flip it horizontally.
  3. Paste as a new layer.
  4. Use the perspective transformation to make the corresponding geometry match in each layer.
  5. Smooth the outlines and transitions with a layer mask.

I’m proud of what I did, anyway.

Ecce Agnus Dei

This is my favorite of the images I took. When you place your creche under the church’s main crucifix, you’re almost hitting the congregation over the head with the link between Christmas and Good Friday; with this combination of lamb, poinsettias, and tree, I attempt the same connection but in a much more subtle fashion.

I find devotional photography a stimulating challenge, because with it I can pray and make images at the same time. I didn’t do as much of it last year as I would have liked; God willing, this year will be more fruitful.


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