Orthodox Priest

The town of Lalibela, Ethiopia is well known for its churches which are carved out of solid rock. Typically, these churches have little if any electricity and are usually lit by window light and candles. This photo was taken in a very small church outside of Lalibela where the priest consented to having his photo taken in the only room with a window. In this photo, I have cropped a window in the upper right which let in the light. In a reply below, I have posted the original photo. Which if any, do you like?

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any and all.

Any pertinent technical details:

Olympus E-M1.2 and 12-100 at f/4, 1/20 and ISO 800.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

This is the original photo.

Both work really well, but I much prefer the uncropped version. I am not religious, but the symbolism of “the light from above” works. Or for the jaded among us (just maybe me), the window resembles prison bars and is completely different symbolism. No matter what is means, the window really adds a lot to the image in my mind. The cropped works really well, but seems to tell a little less of a story and is more of a portrait. Excellent work however you crop it.

1 Like

I have to go with the window as well. For one thing it’s beautiful and for another it makes the composition a bit richer.

The one with the window, it was an instant choice for me. The light on the priest and his shadow on the wall are magnificent, and to me they cry out for the source of that light.

The window is an integral part of the scene, as it tells us what the light source is. Also, on the original you might consider doing is a slight crop from RHS, but not enough to lose all the rock wall over here.


Both are excellent. for me, the first cropped rendition is more of a portrait. The uncropped version tells more of a story. And both of them open up nicely revealing detail in the shadows.

Well done.


Congratulations on the EP, Richard. The lighting is fantastic here.