Archive for the ‘church’ Tag

Divinity   3 comments


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St. Philip’s Church, Charleston, S.C.

On a beautiful night in May, we had dinner at one of Charleston’s fine restaurants, Tristan, now closed, sadly. (Charleston is noted for being “food obsessed”, an obsession that works out particularly well for us.) Afterward, we wandered around the downtown area looking for interesting photo opportunities.

Although the wind was high that night, the church stood still long enough to capture some interesting frames, with a beautiful ice-ringed moon as a backdrop.

Built in 1836, St. Philip’s Church features an imposing tower designed in the Wren-Gibbs tradition. St. Philip’s is the oldest religious congregation in South Carolina, having been established in 1681.

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Heads (Not Talking)   2 comments


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Heads (Not Talking)

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Time for a little Halloween fun. Creepy enough for ya?

While walking around the grounds of the medieval German church shown in Here’s the Church; It is in Stiepel, we stumbled upon a curious art installation tucked away in a corner of the property. All of the heads seem to be looking directly at the church.

The fact that the installation is not far away from some ancient headstones makes it all the more oogie.

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HDR processed from three hand-held exposures, processed with a combination of Nik/Google’s Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Viveza.

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Kirche Sankt-Georg   4 comments


St George wm

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Nothing straight, here…

The St. Georg Protestant Church is located in the historic city center of Hattingen, Germany. Of all buildings in Hattingen, it is surely the one most noticed from afar.

The church was built in 1200 from local Ruhr sandstone. Remains of a Roman pillar base and two column bases from the period after 820 were discovered in 1972 during excavations inside the church.

Since the building anchors the town center, there are many good approaches for a photo, but I think this angle shows it best. The rough cobblestone street and the crooked medieval buildings give a sense of disarray to the scene, so although I straightened up a few lines here and there, it is difficult to find a good point of reference for vertical and horizontal lines. I thought it was better to have a sense of crazy angles in the scene.

Lest you think I went too far with Photoshop’s puppet warp feature, the church’s steeple is truly tilted to one side. Evidently this is one of about 90 listed (and listing) church steeples with this attribute. Some theories suggest that it was built this way deliberately, so that if a storm took down the steeple, it wouldn’t fall on the nave. Others suggest that it’s due to the revenge of an underpaid carpenter. The way I see it, if you put all that slate on a skinny little structure, it’s going to start leaning at some point.

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O’ Little Town of Hattingen   2 comments


O' Little Town of Hattingen

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From high up on the tower of Blankenstein Castle, we looked down onto part of the town of Hattingen, Germany. The castle itself was ordered built in 1226, and is a prominent feature on the landscape. (More pictures of the castle soon.) Although these houses don’t show the classic framing style of the old part of town, the place is rather old and adorable.

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Here’s the Church; It is in Stiepel   10 comments


Here's the Church; It is in Stiepel.

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“… We would have gone in, but there were too many people.”

We recently did a three week trip to Germany for medical purposes**. Since we were rather engaged with that whole process, I didn’t have too many opportunities to shoot. Priorities.

The weekend after surgery, we had a few days of downtime, so we just started driving around on small, local roads, knowing that we could plug our hotel address into the car’s SatNav for the return trip, a process made significantly more challenging in that the SatNav only spoke German. We don’t.

At the top of a hill in the village of Bochum-Stiepel along the Ruhr River, we found a lovely church and decided to poke around a bit. Good angles were complicated because a young couple was getting married in the church, and they seemed to have a lot of friends. Also because of the wedding, we couldn’t go inside for a look. After doing some research at home, I regret not having access, as there are frescoes inside that date from the 12th and 16th centuries.

It’s almost unfathomable for an American, but this building dates back to the year 1008 AD, when it was a small single-nave church. Around 1150 AD it was rebuilt into a Romanesque basilica. The single-bay center aisle and the three-bay transept still exists today. During the last quarter of the 15th century this basilica was enlarged to a late Gothic hall church. The surrounding church yard is worth being seeing (and you will.) Its oldest tomb stone dates from 1600 AD and the walls and main gate are even older.

Not bad for a stumble-upon.

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For those interested, but not aware of the details, we went to Germany so that Susan could get spinal surgery. (All ahead, Pucker Factor 10.) Her C6/7 disc was just gone, C5/6 would follow soon, so she needed a two-level cervical disc implant – two artificial replacement discs and plates.

Although the implant technology is made here in the U.S., the FDA only *very* recently approved two-level implants using obsolete technology, which means there is little experience among the docs here in the States. In Germany, surgeons have been doing this for many years, and they have state-of-the-art devices available.

If you or anyone you know has spinal issues or degenerative disc disease, DO NOT accept the “standard of care” here in the U.S., which is fusion of the spine, as your only choice. Fusion produces terrible results – neck collars, pain, immobility, certain future surgeries, etc. – yet that’s all we can get here. Compare that to the fact that Susan and I walked into town for ice cream TWO DAYS after her surgery.

If interested, hit me up and I’ll tell you how we went about this.

Linzee’s Window   13 comments


Linzee's Window

Located at St. Saviour’s Episcopal Parish, Bar Harbor, Maine.

This church is definitely worth a stop if you’re in Bar Harbor. Although on the small side as far as churches go, it’s adorned with dozens of beautiful stained glass windows, with ten of them by Tiffany. I was particularly attracted to this one for it’s rich color and depiction of the local scenery.

From the St. Saviour’s web site:

Elizabeth Linzee: Designed by Denby of New York, made in Boston in 1937. It depicts St. Elizabeth with the child Jesus and St. John the Baptist. Note the hills of Mt. Desert Island in the background and the Trinity depicted with three gulls. Miss Linzee was an active supporter of the Jesup Library during a lifetime of summers in Bar Harbor.

More information on the church’s windows can be found here.

Because of the low amount of available light in the church, I shot this as a bracketed set in order to capture all elements of the window. Turns out that I needed them all! Nine exposures at 26mm, f/2.8, ISO100

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Toad’s Penultimate Shot   6 comments


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The brightest mirror is the one that reflects our own worthiness.  Who among us could keep from looking?

Without question, Scott Johnson (Toad Hollow Photography) is that mirror for many of us in the photo community. Or, rather, he was. As most of you reading this will know, Scott was presented with an opportunity too good to pass up, and he’s putting his photography aspirations on hold so that he can concentrate on his new endeavors. The outpouring of sentiment and affection for Scott after his announcement was both incredible and expected, and while we all understand and will support him in his new venture, we’ll miss him terribly.

Why?

No one seems to doubt that Scotty was the most energetic supporter of photographers on the social media sites today. His enthusiasm and energy were the likes of which we might not see again until his return. He collected the best of the web each week for Light Stalking, viewed and commented on countless photos each day, and served as a friend to everyone he met online. As if he had any time left after that, he still managed to put out a daily blog of photos and text highlighting his gorgeous corner of the world.

All that is incredible in its own right, of course, but I think the thing that set Scotty apart from the rest is that he was brilliant in affirming our own efforts in photography.

Face it: Often when we go to publish an image, we’ve been looking at it so long that we don’t know if it’s any good. After posting, sometimes all you hear is crickets. (At least that’s been the case for me.) Without fail, Scott would come along and write – in his unique and enthusiastic way – about the positive aspects of the image. He would then go on to re-Tweet, re-share, and otherwise promote the virtues of whatever you had done.

This is affirmation. It’s validation. It’s an acknowledgement that we’ve been seen. It’s a reflection of our own efforts as seen through the eyes of another. In that, ‘Toad’ provided what we all sometimes need – confirmation that we’re doing the right thing, and that our hard efforts have not been wasted. And nobody did it better than Scotty.  (To see more about why I feel this reflection is important in social media venues, later you could read my older post “Reflections: Narcissus.”)

So, needless to say, we’ll all not only miss Scott’s images and stories, but we’ll miss his very presence. There’s likely not one among us who doesn’t look forward to his return, someday, but in the meantime, we wish him nothing but success and happiness in his adventure.

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In recent weeks, Scotty and I had been bandying about the idea of doing a ‘mini-HDR collaboration’ using one of his bracket sets (where one person provides brackets and multiple people process them according to their tastes.) My initial plan was to use Scott’s images for a new video tutorial I’m working on. I had begun to wonder why it took a while for him to get the brackets to me. Now I know… he was busy setting up his new venture.

While I’m still working on the video, I probably won’t be using Scott’s image for two reasons: First, as it turns out, there wasn’t really anything to improve upon in his version! Second, I think I’d prefer to simply post his image here alongside my own version, letting this stand as Toad’s Penultimate Shot, the last before his return to the photo community where he is so beloved. (Okay, so I stretched the meaning of ‘penultimate’ just a bit 🙂 )

If you feel so inclined, please join me in wishing Toad and Mrs. Toad all the success in the world! Feel free to comment below… I’m sure Scott will both read and appreciate it. It’s a great time to reflect back a little of what Toad Hollow Photography has so graciously given us.

Godspeed, Scott. You’re one of a kind.

 

Scott’s image and processing:

Image by Scott Johnson - Processing by Scott Johnson

 

And my version:

Image by Scott Johnson - Processing by Rob Hanson

 

PS: Now that I’ve seen our ‘mini-HDR collaboration’ shots side-by-side in the preview of this post… I like his version much better. It’s more ‘natural.’  Well done, Scotty!

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