Walking around Sailortown today, I noticed the Flying Angel statue outside the Mission to Seafarers was just about to fall into complete shadow given the tall houses recently recently built directly opposite it on Pilot Street. This isn’t something I pay a lot of attention to, mainly because I pass it too regularly. The last of some glorious late afternoon sun was just catching parts of the statue. From one particular angle, the angel’s right hand seemed to be aflame, a nice visual metaphor of an angel burning with the power to assist.
I took out my phone camera (HTC One X) which isn’t bad but isn’t all that good and grabbed a few shots, one close in, one further back, one from a completely different angle which lost the glowing hand effect but got some of the immediate skyline including the (sadly disused) Franciscan Church of St. Joseph’s just down the street. I wonder which capture people prefer?
The first shot is taken with quite a bit of ‘digital zoom’. So-called ‘digital zoom’ is a cod by camera companies’ marketing men to trap the unwary; the sensor isn’t any larger in capture capacity and without a zoom lens there is no zoom. All this does is capture a small part of the image and make it fill your camera’s preview screen, often with attendant noise and distortion. Digital zoom can be useful in framing a shot as long as you bear in mind that doesn’t mean that you’ll get any bigger a useable image than you would just by cropping the shot afterwards… but I digress
The flying angel has been the symbol of the Mission to Seafarers since 1856, inspired by Revelation 14:6 – “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” The Mission to Seafarers is an Anglican ministry to people who work on the high seas – it doesn’t do prosyletisation, although it prays with and for people who wish its chaplains to do so. Its mainstay is providing justice and welfare services, communication with home and counselling support to people who work away from home for many months at a time, often under very poor conditions of employment, to deliver the goods which most of us consider necessary for our standard of living. Please consider learning more about the work of this wonderful organisation on its website.