From an early age I have always been fascinated by churches and churchyards with their gravestones and crosses. I guess this interest was instilled in me by my parents when I was a small child. My father would want to stop and visit every church we came across, particularly when we were on holiday visiting a new area. If there was time he would want to do a quick pencil drawing of the church in a sketchbook, something which he always carried with him. He would note down the colours and when he returned home he would get out his brushes and water colours to paint the scene he had sketched, but also the one he remembered in his mind’s eye.
I am no different except I paint with light, using black and white photographs instead of some paper, pencil and paints. I will capture the scene and then in post processing apply the appropriate treatment to the image. It’s a creative but arguably selfish process, as first and foremost I want the result to please me but I always hope it may give some pleasure to the viewer as well, but primarily it’s my interpretation of a visit to a particular location.
The subject of this entry is the churchyard of St Thomas a’Beckett Church in Warblington, which dates back to Saxon times. It is situated in the Parish of Emsworth on the borders of West Sussex and Hamsphire, within just a few minutes walk of the sea,. As you might imagine the area is popular with walkers and those visiting this lovely church. The churchyard is about an acre in size and there is a much larger adjoining cemetery, so there is plenty to explore. Inevitably many of the inscriptions on the headstones have been worn away, now covered by lichen or ivy. Apparently the oldest memorial dates back to 1707. One of the most striking is the gravestone of William Palmer (above) which depicts the sinking of his ship, mast first, in Dublin Harbour in 1759.
I fully accept the subject of this entry will not be to everyones liking, but as I have already said these are fascinating places. They are a reminder of lives lost and the lives those people used to live many generations ago. Walk along the pathways and between the headstones and your mind starts to wander as you try and imagine what life must have been like for the people of Warblington in days gone by.
There are eight more images in this post ……… so do continue scrolling down.
All the photographs in this entry where taken with a Leica M Monochrom and 50mm Summilux lens, often shot wide open at f1.4 to give a very narrow depth of field. They were all processed in Lightroom and then imported into Silver Efex for some final treatment.
Please click on any of the images to view a larger version.