The Making of “The Prayer” by Cheryl Eagers

A decisive moment.  Two clergymen stand together, hands clasped in a candid moment in front of the historic and breathtaking Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. The burning incense adds to the scene, creating an image that brings out awe, reverence and respect for the historic religious rites practised for countless generations.

Technical Specs

  • Lens: OLYMPUS M.12-40mm F2.8
  • Focal Length: 25.0mm
  • Aperture: f/2.8
  • ISO: 1600
  • Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec
  • Metering Mode:  Digital ESP Metering
  • Tripod Used: No
  • Flash Used: No

My Thoughts

This shot did not give me the time to configure my camera settings, that’s the nature of photography sometimes.  The shutter speed was way too slow.  You need to capture moments as they happen. And in most cases, these moments will happen whether you’re ready or not!

I’m not going to boldly claim this is my most technically proficient shot – because it’s not. However, what I really love about this picture is how much I captured in this moment. And I was able to amplify and highlight these moments in post processing, bringing out the true spirit of what I was capturing.

Every time I look at this picture, I get the same mesmerising feeling I experienced within the historically famous Notre Dame Cathedral. The church itself creates such intense feelings of reverence. Every step you take, you realise just how much history this place holds.

The day I visited, there was a full church service underway with prayers being sung and all the rituals being performed. I lit a candle, saying a prayer for my father in his honour. And seeing these two holy men, in the setting they had devoted their lives to serving, moved me to quickly capture the moment.

The composition’s backdrop, with immense gates, awe-inspiring pillars and the ornate stained glass windows, adds to the reverence I felt in the moment.

For me, this photo creates feelings of power, comfort and hope – in a place that has always given that type of inspiration to visitors. In the wake of the recent terrorist atrocities in France, I feel that the power of this feeling reverberates even stronger.

I hope that my image shows the resilience and resolve of the French people – who will not bend against the attacks that have recently ravaged their beautiful country.

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