An expert portrait photographer – primarily weddings and seniors – Amy Feick won a Sunset Print Award at the PPA Northeast District competition for an image outside her expertise.
Feick, owner of Twin Shutterbug Studios in Port Huron, Mich., successfully translated her eye for the human portrait to a portrait of the interior of an abandoned church in Detroit. The title of her image of the crumbling edifice, As Long as One Man Believes, references the lone chair set in a cavernous background; a reminder that this once beautiful church housed hundreds of worshippers.
“I think it’s the emotion of a place falling apart that should be sacred, but it’s not. I looked online after the photo shoot and saw what the church looked like prior to its abandonment, and in less than five years it had been scavenged and stripped out. In general, that’s what’s happened in much of Detroit,” explains Feick. “I was there with a group of photographers, one of whom is an urban explorer, and there happened to be an opening at a door that someone had broken down, so we went in. I liked the angle of the inside of the church and shot on a tripod I lowered to the floor, using a wide-angle lens to capture both the floor and the ceiling.”
Feick used only natural light coming through the windows and processed it using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro and did some dodging and burning to bring some areas out and dampen down others. “It was sort of monochromatic anyway, but in black-and-white it’s very simple and pulls you toward the lone chair in the middle, which kind of got lost in the color,” says Feick.
The final touch was the presentation on Sunset Photo eSatin Paper, printed with Feick’s nearly brand-new Canon iPF6400S inkjet printer. Since it was printed on Sunset inkjet media, Feick receives an iPad Air, in addition to the Sunset Print Award trophy, pin and gift certificate.
“I’ve been printing my own work for about two months. I was against doing my own printing for years because I didn’t feel like I could create the right color and look. A friend convinced me to try it, and I like it better: I like the saturation, color and detail I get printing my own work,” explains Feick. “I love it; I can send it to the printer and someone can pick up their print in five minutes.”