Saturday Morning at Shove Chapel

| February 28, 2010
Shove Memorial Chapel at Colorado College

Shove Memorial Chapel at Colorado College

After hearing my wife’s sister sing for the Colorado Springs Vocal Arts Ensemble at the Colorado College Shove Memorial Chapel last Christmas, I have been wanting to make the short trip to downtown Colorado Springs to capture the beauty of the Chapel’s interior. In the depths of the Great Depression, Colorado College built this long-awaited Chapel that is considered one of the finest examples of Norman Romanesque architecture in Colorado. After stopping to grab a cappuccino Saturday morning, my best friend Ric and I were lucky enough to slip into the Chapel about an hour before a wedding party arrived. The Chapel is quite beautiful and meticulously maintained. The basic lighting allowed me to take nine separate exposures for each picture. I am quite happy with how they turned out and they really do give an accurate sense of the mood in the Chapel during the shoot! I honestly believe that HDR photos can serve as excellent references when taking larger plein air work back into the studio for finishing.

The pipe organ at Shove Memorial Chapel

The pipe organ at Shove Memorial Chapel

The chapel received the 40,000-pound Welte-Tripp concert type pipe organ shown above in 1931. A representative of the firm once stated that the instrument was the “finest organ ever built by our organization.” It was crafted “with emphasis on features of tonal and physical beauty to coordinate with the new Colorado College building.” It looked quite majestic in its setting an provided an awesome focal point of the interior photos.

Shove Memorial Chapel Exterior

Shove Memorial Chapel Exterior

As fate would have it, my son is planning to get married here is just over a year. Considering that, I am sure we will have a few more pictures of this beautiful building before we are done!

Historical content provided by Colorado College.


Category: Colorado, Photography

Comments (3)

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  1. Perry says:

    Really nice shots again, Lee. Can I ask if you use a tripod for your interiors?

  2. Chris Wray says:

    Lovely photos! You’ve captured the essence of Shove’s elegance. Being a Colorado College grad and having performed in Shove as a member of the CC Choir, I have many fond memories of this grand institution. I hope you will share these beautiful architectural portraits with the College.

    Technically speaking, do you think you could have captured the subtle lighting contrasts with only 3 or 5 exposures, or was a composite of 9 exposures required for an optimal HDR photo?

  3. Lee says:

    Thanks Perry. Interiors are really fun to shoot. Multiple exposures for HDR photography require good tripod support. It adds an element of hassle to travel with extra equipment but the results are so unique that I feel it is totally worth it. I have seen some of the most amazing things inside buildings during my travels. I am actually getting to the point that I use a tripod for everything inside and out – especially when I think multiple exposures will really enhance the image. I have actually gone to using a remote release and mirror lockup to eliminate vibrations as well. I recently invested in a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod too. It weighs about two pounds and fits in my backpack. Crazy, I know, but really fun!

    Hi Chris, Even though I took all nine exposures, I dropped the top two so the upper windows would not get blown out. I like having all nine in case I need them while processing back at home. Five would probably cover 99.9% of all situations. You can always eliminate them later if they are not needed.