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Houses of Worship

It's taken many drafts and composition play arounds to arrive at the point I'm at within my Houses of Worship Photo Montage Series. Lots of deliberation, experimenting and re-starts! I've started with European churches and cathedrals. All my Photo Montages start in the same haphazard, excited, wild way. Things emerge striking and sensational, which are then controled and honed-in on in second and third drafts. I give myself rules, and see what develops. It's always an interesting a unique discovery to see what shall be left and waht shall be disposed of. Like a writer, editing his novel; what to say, and what is better left unsaid.

I discovered the desired effect I wanted through erasing the majority of the bottom of these towers, spires and steeples. I want the tops left as they are: with all the detail, tone and line. So many of the photographs are taken from the ground looking up. The perspective is one of a large base, leading up to a vanishing point at the top of the building. We look up at churches. Not too many of us focus on the bottom of a church (outside I am specifically referring to).

UK (test)

So this is my reason for the fading images; bottom to top. It is not a commentary of the declining masses attending the traditional church (numbers are rising in more modern locations. Praises!) It is also to draw the eye to the top, to the heaven-ward steeple. I also find, from an architectural stance, that the intricate, ornate stone work in plenty towards the top. No one pays attention to the bottom apart from gardeners weeding.

I love each place of worship: the different tones of stone, the styles, the shapes. Each is beautiful, a bit like us as individuals. I enjoy placing these floating, whispers of buildings (after my extensive manipulated and erasing) about the page, and forming a new, unified image. We go to each of these buildings to do the same thing: worship. Together they remind me of the body of Christ: beautiful, unique and purposeful in their individuality, but something kind of special happens when they all come together.

Europe (test)

You may notice areas that have soft erasings away, and other areas with harsh, direct lines erased away. Ebbs and flows to draw the eye around the entire image. The white areas remind me of a heavy snowfall, illuminating only parts of the church, which happens in the winter: Christmas, birth of Jesus! The makes me see the churches being covered, rather than ebbing away.

Check back with me in about a month's time, when I'll update with you the progress of Houses of Worship. Being in Japan, I've been taking lots of photos of shrines and temples. I wonder how the composition will differ to the churches and cathedrals of Europe...

Sayonara for now,


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