We’ve sought solitude and balance at places of worship for millennia. Sometimes it’s the complex symbolism, the deep rooted beliefs, the sense of dignity and reverence. Place and structure are important aspects. Sometimes it’s just a place to be, to be mindful, to think and create.
Last night I went out to photograph in the mist. I found myself in the churchyard, senses heightened. The mist had largely disappeared but left a damp and slightly comforting scent of air and earth, tasting fresh and free. There was silence. I’ve been out on winter nights so silent I could hear shooting stars. Not last night, little disturbed the silence but the curlews’ call adding to the feeling of slow life. Above the church, stars haloed the steeple, difficult to see against the Christmas-lit stonework, but worth working to discern. My camera was very cold, icy to my touch and keeping the steam from the glass required careful breathing, deep and slow and directed exhalation, away from the lens. A total sensory experience that left me cold and longing for more
To be geeky for a moment, the viewpoint was very carefully chosen to be in shadow of the spotlights. There is a lit tree, but I wanted a timeless image, not a Christmas scene, so care was taken to hide the beautiful tree. The image is actually five images consolidated to bring out the stars and balance the bright stonework. The longer images were exposed for 30 seconds, so the digital noise was reduced. I’ve rendered the colour balance rather cold, to suit the scene, though out of the camera the tungsten light was very warm. I’ve cropped square for Instagram, a creative decision I might reverse.
I hope you like what I’ve done.
Aberlady Kirk, East Lothian.
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