I am planning to visit the Cambridge American Cemetery again soon and as part of that, I was looking through some photo files that I shot this past winter. One of the features in the cemetery is its Walls of the Missing that have 5,127 names on it. It’s an interesting structure in that there are places where you can walk through and it operates as both a barrier to the outside, but also an entrance and exit between the cemetery and it’s exterior. So it’s both a wall and a door. It’s imposing, yet delicate; Both personal and impersonal. During this particular photo editing session, I was working with images that included the Wall:
These first images are ones that I shot on my iPhone using the app Hipstamatic. One of the features of that app is “randomize” which means you shake your phone, take your photo, and the app applies a random selection of filters. I created a series of those over the course of my visit.
I also brought my Canon 80D:
These two photos I edited in Luminar 3 with an eye to accentuating the warm but quickly fading light of a February afternoon.
It was an interesting work session, and I was giving some thought to how different the lighting conditions will be since my next visit will be in July. In that vein, I think it is nice as a photographer to have the experience of shooting the same place at different times of the year. It’s a good exercise in thinking through things like light. It’s also interesting to then have the time of year be part of the narrative of the image.
Do you have a place like this, that you visit regularly over the year in part just to see the changes? What do you think of my various photos, is there a particular one that speaks to you? Feel free to comment below.
Just for fun, this post is a bit different from my usual posts where I talk about photo editing. This post is about a day trip in the country where I am currently living, England. Somewhat ironically, July 4th was a day off and therefore an ideal day for a short road trip. So this is how I spent July 4th in England.
I have a lot of favorite things about England, but one of them is English Heritage, which cares for more than 400 sites of historic significance. You can visit and pay for site visits individually, but for a history
nerd enthusiast, really a membership is the way to go. We have about one year before our next country move, and our English Heritage membership will run out in the Spring, so the clock is ticking…
Our first stop of the day was to the Eleanor Cross in Geddingon.
It’s in the middle of the road in the middle of town, so hard to miss, but pay attention if you are trying to take photos! This cross is a memorial to Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I, who died in 1290.
This is a George V postbox. Not part of English Heritage, but if I am out and about and there is a postbox, I’m taking a photo.
From there we were on to Kirby Hall:
Originally built during the reign of Elizabeth I, a visit here includes an interesting audio guide about the history and architecture of the house. Also on site:
You won’t be able to miss these guys and girls, particularly if you are having a picnic lunch. While they would love for you to feed them, staff on site would ask that you not do that.
From there it was on to Lyddington Bede House:
This shot from the interior eludes to the religious history of the site. The house has had several functions over the years, and signs around the property fill in the story for visitors. Here is a shot from the front of the house:
The church in the background is St. Andrew’s Church and here is a shot of the graveyard:
The church is not English Heritage, it is an operational, and very lovely, Church of England Church. Like postboxes, if there is a churchyard nearby, I am there taking a photo.
Our last stop of the day was to Rushton Triangular Lodge:
A really interesting folly built in 1593. It has its own blog post here.
I hope you have enjoyed this little detour road trip style post. My cameras for this outing were my Canon 80D and my iPhone. All the photos have had at least minor edits feel free to leave a comment or any questions below.
Photos of my travels are likely to turn up in my Instagram feed, as that peacock did, so feel free to follow me there:
Written in response to Lens-Artists Challenge, A Country that is Special to You.
Added to One Word Sunday, Relax.
Sometimes things are complicated:
This is Rushton Triangular Lodge. The fact that it’s a folly is the simplest part of the story. A folly is generally speaking an outbuilding on the property of a large estate. Generally defined as a costly ornamental building with no practical purpose. The first one I ever saw in person was actually built as a fake ruin. I read about the one pictured above and really just wanted to go see it in person like maybe it would make more sense that way.
This lodge was built in 1593, by Sir Thomas Tresham, who interpreted three knocks he heard as God telling him to build a structure to honor the Trinity. I’ll admit that part sounded a bit nuts to me. But then, looking into it a bit more, I read that he had spent 15 years imprisoned for his Catholic faith. So then, I look at this more as something he took seriously, he was Catholic and wanted a way to express that at a time when that wasn’t really allowed. He died in 1605. In that same year, his son Francis was involved and convicted of having a roll in the Gunpowder Plot. Francis, convicted of treason, would die before his execution date, he was beheaded after death and his head was publicly displayed.
The folly itself is a virtual riot of the number 3 and Catholic theology. It’s fascinating to look at from the outside, but plain and dark inside. So interesting, but I’m still not really sure about what to think about it. I’ll chalk this one up to something I still need to think about, I was glad to get to see it in person though. Have you ever felt that way, like if you go to visit a site it will then make more sense to you? Have you ever considered building an expensive building with no practical purpose? Feel free to comment below.
Added to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Letters or Numbers.
I enjoy touring churches. I find their history to be interesting and often a reflection of the people that interact with it. And then there is the view that they offer:
This photo was taken from Lincoln Cathedral in December. They offer several types of tours including the opportunity to go up and see the inner workings of the building. I have a fear of heights, but I love these types of tours. This tour and resulting photos are where I am this week in terms of editing my files. We had a lovely weekend in Lincoln, but it was December, so it was a bit grey and a bit cold. Not too bad by English standards though. The sky that day was kind of a fascinating grey. For my edit, I decided to step out of my usual “as shot” edit and try something a bit different. Here is the result:
What I’ve done here is to warm the color by using the luminance sliders. I then created another layer and converted it to black and white. Then using a brush and a mask, I erased the black and white out of the Cathedral building. Then I dropped the opacity level of the black and white layer just a bit, that’s what is causing the hint of color in the surrounding buildings.
This photo is more interpretation than fact, what do you think of it? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Do any looking online about photography and you are going to run into all kinds of information about the kind of gear you have to have. Welcome to my version of that. It goes something like this, what do you have? what are you willing to haul along? good, great, let’s go! Today it’s to the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea, said to be the oldest Greek Orthodox Church in Athens:
That’s the photo I took using my Canon 50D.
That’s the photo I took using my Canon PowerShot.
That’s the photo I took using my iPhone.
That’s right, I was willing to haul three cameras around Athens, and you bet I used all three. The Canon 50D I took with a wide-angle lens. It’s good at getting a full building shot in a city. That particular shot was taken in the RAW format which meant plenty of data for later editing. For that edit, I went with a warm vintage look in homage to the color of the stones and the age of the building.
The second photo was taken with my Canon PowerShot which is a point and shoot camera that does not have RAW capability. What it does do nicely is handle color well, even in low light situations, so I often use it when I am capturing the detail of something. In this case, it’s the radiance of that mosaic.
The third shot was taken using my iPhone. Often when I am in a new place and taking photos, I get a shot using my iPhone because I keep GPS data on and I use these types of photos later to confirm the exact location of where I was which helps with things like figuring out how to spell the name of this church.
Have you spotted the no photography sign on the church door? While I find that disappointing, I’m ok with that, so I stowed all three cameras and went inside to take a look. Sometimes just having the memory of an experience is sufficient, regardless of how many cameras you are carrying.
How do you decide what gear to haul? do you have a go-to set up for shooting in the city? Feel free to leave a comment about that or the edits I chose in the comment section below.