The faces of the past

Last week, I took advantage of the cooler weather to take a long walk with the Nikon. I went to a very old church in my region called Saint Hermeland. This particular church is located in a city called Bagneux. Though I have been to this town’s center many a time, I had never visited this church.
I was rewarded by the sight of ancient carved headstones of notables and clergymen. It was a common practice to bury notables in the church at Europe at one time. It was so cool to find gravestones dating from the 1400 to the 1500s that survived up to our era.

Take a peek:

Saint Hermeland.

A priest.

Details on another stone for a priest. Noting the fancy carving on the clothing and all the elaborate decor. This priest passed away in… 1546. This is considered the most beautiful of the gravestones.

A couple with faces erased  yet in a pious last gesture.

Another couple in an another respectful posture. I know that this one features the couple’s children around them(look on the bottom). I found an online source.

Detail of the couple.

I took the advice that I found here about photographing inside churches. I used “shutter priority”. The “S”  that you see on your camera’s dial called shutter priority mode. Most digital cameras are equipped with it.  You choose the speed (preferably lower for this type of shooting) while the machine takes care of the aperture.  And you practice and do more practice…

One last image in color:

The candle one the left and the right were lit by me.

One candle for my family…
One candle for my friends…

Consider yourself in my prayers, even if you come on this blog occasionally.

This was a beautiful and significant place and you can find it in my region 🙂

This will most likely be one of my last posts up until our departure for Montreal on the 8 September.

Enjoy your week!


14 thoughts on “The faces of the past

  1. Hey there Barb~

    Woot! Woot!

    STUNNING photo captures, my friend! I love the various ‘tones’ you used. And it’s so ironic that you shared these church photos today because last week I took a bunch of church photos myself. Don’t ya just adore going into churches? There is something so sacred and peaceful about ALL churches.

    The second to last photo you shared (the colored one) is soooooooooooooo beautiful! And I know how challenging it can be to take inside, darker lighting shots. BRAVA!

    And thanks so much for sharing about the “S” mode on a camera because I have that on mine, but didn’t know what it was for.

    I bet you and D are getting so excited about your upcoming trip. And I can’t wait to view your photos.

    Happy Monday to ya!

    X to you and D!

    1. Hey the Ronnie,
      And a “woot woot” back to ya! :). Thank ya my dear. I used good old b&w + sepia. I enjoy b&w much better for old buildings. Yes, that is a coincidence that you also did church photography.
      Everytime D & I travel, we do at least one stop in a church. We are just as admirative of the archteture as their sacred nature.
      I am honored that you enjoyed the colored photo. This is actually the first that neither turned out all black or with just a itty bitty light point.

      Yes, you can go back to your manual and read all about photo modes ( like M,S,A and the pictograms). I still sometimes use them.

      The excitement is building but I am still quite calm. As usual, it will hit me the day or two before!

      Big hugs to you, my friend. Have a great week!

    1. Hi Mitsie,
      Thank you, my dear.
      It goes to show, sometimes one can find treasures near home. This is a beautiful old church.
      I highly recommend working with b&w or sepia if you photograph inside or outside churches.
      This will bring out the texture of stonework so beautifully.
      Cheers to you!

    1. Merci Zhu!
      There is a timeless element to a church that was built in the 1011(!) and rebuilt in the 12th century and of course, through the ages.
      It was very tricky to conquer the light in the church but it was good practice to choose a speed, check the screen than adjust. Because some areas are darkers than others inside.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.
      Bises 🙂

  2. Bonjour Barbara, how great to be a tourist in your own town .. sometimes we overlook what is immediately around us.. Loving your photos .. Not long now until your trip 🙂 Hugs and love to you and Didier. xx

    1. Bonjour Anne,
      How are you? I agree that it is nice just to pack a camera and a short trip to find extraoridinary spots. I am glad that you enjoyed these photos.
      Yes, so right; we are leaving very soon; next weekend! It will be fine. I always say that once you take care of the essentials, what is undone stays undone until later.
      Big hugs down to Oxford xoxo

  3. You know how I like looking around graveyards & churches, so this post was an interesting one as well as aesthetic. And I did something similar yesterday in the late summer sunshine, staying with daughter & exploring the large local parish church in her town. The graveyard had the air of a forgotten/hidden garden, with lots of ivy overgrowing the headstones, so photos were taken!

    Bon voyage – hoping the tirp is great for you & D,

    Joyce x

    1. Hello Joyce,
      It is marvelous hearing from you! How is life? Very good, I hope.
      Oh yes; I love exploring churches and graveyards. The older, the better 🙂 How wonderful to have done a nice local outing also with your daughter. That sounds exquisite; a hidden garden with old ivy covered headstones :). Tell a genealogist(note to who may not know: genealogy or family history is another one of my hobbies) “cemetery”, they will most likely say “where?”.

      Thank you for your good travel wishes. We are off next week!!

  4. Wow………

    I could wander in old churches and cemeteries for a very long time. But our ‘old’ isn’t your ‘old’…….your ‘old’ is so…..mindblowing. Truly, that part just blows me away.

    The photos are outstanding. And I’m fascinated by the artwork on the stone–and the stonework period.
    What a gorgeous, spiritual place you got to wander about in. Makes me wanna have an adventure this weekend!

    You two have a safe journey!! BE excited!
    We’ll look forward to the his n’ her photos.

    Ohhhhh…….maybe a healthy bit of competition! Same scene, different photographer! LOL THAT could be fun!

  5. Hi Mel,
    It is very nice to see you,dear.
    Yup, you are correct. The adjective “old” when applied to churches means something different in Europe than “old” in the USA or Canada.
    Thank you for your kind words. It still is all learning and in such inspiring settings. I lit the candles and made my wishes/prayers into a photo. Thinking about lots of wonderful people who surround me.
    YES!! I am exicited! Hubby is excited! That makes for two happy campers!! You are so correct to say BE. We have to be things and take advantage of the energy created.
    Oh you bet; his and her photos will be coming! What a wonderful suggestion to do a couple with the same scene but different photographers! (Jumping in my chair!!)
    I make a stop to your blog before leaving xox.

  6. Hi Michael,
    Thank you, my friend. I am still practicing in these darkened interiors of churches. A real challenge, believe me. I beleieve that you are now in Africa; we will change continents ouselves on Saturday, returning to North America for 2 weeks.
    Peace to you, Lariisa and of course, Rock! YO!

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