Sunday, 20 December 2009

Postcards from Church

The Red DoorI find churches absolutely inspiring. The artistry of the older churches, particularly in Europe is fantastic and affords a lot of subject matter for a photographer. Hit the jump to see my first batch of prints arranged on a "church" theme.

The first image is of an entrance doorway to St. Mary's Basilica in Halifax. The red of the door is unusual: I have not seen too many red doors in a church. The light streaming in from around the frame separated the door from the wall quite nicely.

Across town is St. George's, also known as "The Round Church". St. George's is on a hill so the entrance is below the main level. Standing inside and looking back put me above the central part of the door, allowing me to capture the wonderful, mysterious shadows that framed the upper part of the doorway.

The Entrance

Another doorway caught my eye at St. John's on Bethnal Green, in London. It seemed to beckon to the inner sanctum.

Doorway to the Sanctum

Doorways in churches always seem to be leading somewhere special and always seem to glow. This dark door lead to a small chapel in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. I liked how the darkness added to the weightiness of the steel door.

Doorway Beyond

This is a doorway of a different kind. It's the door to the vault at St. George's. The old weathered door belies its steel strength, much like the strength of the church which survived a nasty fire in 1994. The congregation, with the help of others from across Canada, rebuilt the damaged portions of this wonderful building.

Church Vault

I had finished taking the above shot of the vault door at St. George's and turned to go when I saw these wonderful vases on the shelf next to the vault.

Church Chalices

I guess pews could be considered doorways of another sort. It's not hard to tell what caught my eye here at St. George's.


This may have been a doorway at one time, but is now a cubbyhole for the nightwatchman at the Oude Kerk. I was hoping for a few people to gather around so I could make my own version of "The Night Watch".

Nachtwaker's Stoel

Pews make for lovely patterns, and in the case of Trinity in Kingston, NB, I found that the hymn books added an interesting counterpoint to the rectangular patterns of the pews. Trinity is the first Loyalist church in Canada.

Orderly Pews

I was shooting the above shot when the sun came out from behind a cloud and streamed into the church, giving the scene a very warm feeling. I quickly adjusted my position and shot across to the wall and windows.

The Spirit Outside

The golden ambiance created by the sun didn't last long. The sun went behind a cloud again, darkening the walls. I glanced up and saw these striped arches set off against the wonderful blue of the ceiling. I was amazed to have recorded three very different "keepers" in the space of a few minutes.


Not all pews are rectangular. Some are circular like these at my old church, Wesley United in St. John's. That's my mother waiting for Anne and I to finish taking pictures.

Pew Spotting

One of the photographs I took inside Wesley is this one of Anne and me, which I call "My Father's Hand".

My Father's Hand

I saved my favorite church shot for last. After attending a trade show in Harrogate, Angie and I made a short side visit to York and had a delightful tour inside the York Minster. The old Gothic church, the oldest in northern Europe, had a webbing of white supports I had not seen before. I guess they appeal to my engineer side.

Web of Support

I'm looking forward to matting and framing these prints and getting them up on my walls.

1 comment:

JayM said...

Incredible study. Love the black and white doorway to the "inner sanctum" and the many geometric abstracts.