Of all the musical instruments we use in worship, the one which I personally enjoy the least is the pipe organ. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the amazing nature of the instrument. A proper pipe organ, after all, is calibrated to resonate specifically with the structure in which it is housed. When a pipe organ is played, in a very real sense, that musician is playing a building.

It simply isn’t my cup of tea 1.

When it comes to creating an image for something you hear, however, nothing quite beats a pipe organ. The organ housed in Central’s sanctuary is a modest affair. In fact, had I more time I might have headed to Center City and captured some images of the multi-story organ in the old Wanamaker building for this particularly part of my journey. But there is something about the pipes of any pipe organ which shouts, “We want to be heard!”

This image is a 6 second exposure, with its ISO set at 250 and the aperture at f.16. Narrowing the aperture broadened my depth of field and allowed for the longer exposure without washing everything out. The camera was set on a desktop tripod, on the console bench, allowing it to look up to the instrument. I enjoy the effect.

The pipes of the pipe organ in Central's sanctuary

  1. I’m more of a piano person, though violins are up there as well. 


  1. Joe Gratzel says:

    Wes – thanks for a great photographic and mental image – I love the idea of organ pipes, by their mere presence, proclaiming that they want to be heard. I wonder who else needs to be heard, but like so many of our church pipe organs, we ignore their voice. It makes it a little ironic that the only time the organ in our church is played on a regular basis is when the man with the coffee commitment shows up early for AA

    1. wezlo says:

      Excellent thoughts!

  2. Peg Horton says:

    In the image, there are many pipes. One pipe alone may be heard but to be in concert with other pipes the message is heard. Like people of faith together the “story” is heard..

    Sent from my iPad


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