The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

Churchyard Chuckles

Well I did previously allude to having done a few scary things whilst on holiday, and here’s another… although it wasn’t scary for me, more so for my daughter… lol… which is ALWAYS amusing… ;)

Churchyards in the dead of night are great places, I think… It’s no wonder people are dying to get in there.. *groan* !!… Sorry… lol…  I do love them though, and have spent many an entirely comfortable hour in them with the camera… (and sometimes without.. lol)… more worried about being arrested than anything else… One of my goals whilst away though was to follow in Mrs A’s footsteps, and get me some star trails… so off to the nearest churchyard I headed (what better place is there to not be disturbed)…

The previous night I’d also tried my hand at some star shots at the beach (those to come later), and my daughter wanted to accompany me, given her new found interest in photography (and the opportunity to stay up extra late !!). Well I agreed, as it’s always good to have a buddy at night… plus I find you appear much less suspicious when with your daughter, should anyone call the police about the crazy person creeping around in the dark… lol…

Well this night I asked her if she also wanted to come to the churchyard with me… and you could literally HEAR the turmoil going on in her head… ANOTHER extra late night, and some more photography, and time doing fun stuff with dad… against the thought of going in to a churchyard, in the dark… late at night !!!… LOL… Her first response did make me laugh though, as she responded with “But won’t there be real living ghosts in there ??”… Real Living Ghosts !!!… Hahaha… How about that for a contradiction in terms… Well after some reassurance about ghosts, she agreed… We arrived at the church, and I opened the gate, and she exclaimed “Are we actually GOING IN !!”…. Ummmmm… YES !!… lol… So we entered the churchyard, and had a walk around to find the best spots, and as we rounded the corner of the church (with her leading), we disturbed a tree full of starlings… and they weren’t best pleased judging by the noise they made.. LOL.. You should have seen her jump, and the accompanying squeal was hilarious.. Yeah I know, I’m mean.. ;)

Anyways… Enough words… Here’s the important stuff… The resulting pictures…

These were both shot fully manual at ISO 100; f5.6; 10mm and each a single 15 minute exposure…

I also did a little bit of light painting with the torch in this one, to illuminate some of the foreground and church a  bit..

Another amusing incident was with a black churchyard cat… a particularly noisy churchyard cat.. lol… Whilst we were round the darker backside of the church, we heard some rustling in the bushes… Well I knew it would be an animal of some description, but my daughter wasn’t quite so convinced… and then the glowing eyes appeared, accompanied by the loudest and strangest meowing… lol… It was a constant almost monotone me’eeew me’eeew me’eeew me’eeew… Scared the cr*p out of my daughter until I shone the torch on this little black kitty bounding through the long grass… ;)

Oh… and lastly… and entirely unrelated to this post… Here’s a link to a page of posts for Karma’s Scavenger Hunt for April…


28 responses

  1. How fun that your daughter wants to go on shoots with you! It would be nice if someday, one of my boys will pick up an interest in all of this. Those shots are really cool – I love how the long exposures make the stars look like they’re shooting through the sky!

    April 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    • Thanks Holly… My main concern is more about when she’ll STOP being interested… lol… as she goes through phases of interests like I go through.. well.. yanno.. ;)

      April 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm

  2. Good story, Brian. …and beautiful shots of cemetary and church at night. Hope that kitty has a home. Sounds as though you two scared it, more. Love the glow on the trees in the background on that second photo.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    • Oh the kitty looked happy and healthy enough for sure, and I think you’re probably right about who was scared the most, but I think my daughter came a very close second.. lol.. Thanks Leslie..

      April 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  3. Hmmm…not sure if I’d have been that brave at your daughters age. Really cool shots B. Have yet to find a decent location with any foreground interest for star trails round these parts. Both images turned out really great! ;)

    April 25, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    • Well, she was with me, so what could possibly have gone wrong… Yeah ok, don’t answer that.. lol.. Anyways, you don’t need a decent foreground always, I also took one looking out over a flat estuary, and it still looks real nice… Just go for it, and you’ll be amazed.. :)

      April 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

  4. Amazing as always, sir! Such wonderful ‘frozen’ motion/rotation! I’ve never been able to successfully do this – without a few too many drinks, that is (although that causes the whole ‘shot’ to spin, not just the celestial parts)! Seriously, though, spectacular photos – I really dig these! :)

    April 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    • LOL.. Well maybe that’s the far easier solution, and you can even do it without leaving the house… Thanks SIG… :)

      April 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm

  5. Beautiful pictures!
    What a funny story… I like messing with my kids, too. Made up this whole elaborate story about going in search for the Easter bunny yesterday, until that darn husband opened his big mouth and told them where we were really going (he didn’t do it on purpose, but still!).
    Or when I told them on Saturday that we wouldn’t dye Easter eggs because they were already dead… cooked them the day before. ;-)

    April 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    • Haha.. Yeah that’s what they’re there for surely !!!… What fun are they if you can’t mess with them… Not sure I’d have been able to convince my eldest about the easter bunny though… lol.. Thanks Michaela.. :)

      April 26, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  6. Those are some pretty neat shots – and wow, what a wide angle. Would that be considered a fish-eye lens?
    Always great fun to mess with the kiddos!!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    • Nah that’s just my normal Sigma 10-20mm wide angle that I normally use for landscapes… It’s not a fish eye, but it sure does capture a lot… Thanks Karen.. :)

      April 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm

  7. I especially like the first one. Light and shadows reflecting in the walls, and the completely bizarre sky)) well, looks like an alien-conspiracy heaven!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    • LOL… I’d have liked to set it for an even longer exposure, to capture even larger star trails, but we’d been there a good hour or so, and I could see the little lady was getting tired… so called it quits at 15mins…

      April 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm

  8. Jayne

    Star trails are definitely on my list of photo tasks to do. Thanks for listing your camera settings. These are great. Did your daughter manage to get any good shots? Poor girl – I see there wasn’t too much sympathy from Dad. I watch Ghost Hunters so I’d have probably been uneasy in that setting too! :)

    April 26, 2011 at 5:44 am

    • Haha.. No no, defo no sympathy from me.. ;)
      Yeah you’ve certainly got to give them a try Jayne, as the results can be real interesting… Another setting tip though is to switch to manual focus, and set it just shy of infinity to get clear star trails… Surprisingly this still keeps most of the foreground in focus too when the exposure is complete… She didn’t get any shots herself though, as we only had the one tripod unfortunately..

      April 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm

  9. Fantastic shots

    April 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  10. aswirly

    Oh Brian, don’t lie… you KNOW that you were the one scared!! I bet it was you, and not your daughter, squealing the whole time ;) hehehe… Seriously though B, I love these shots and I am soooo happy you got some star trails whilst away. What clear skies you had! It sure sounds like you had a fun time and your shots are fantastic!

    April 27, 2011 at 4:03 am

    • Haha… I was SOOOO not scared… No no no… Not me… :P
      Thanks A… Real glad you like them, and I just hope I get the opportunity to do plenty more at some point… :)

      April 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

  11. Wow! Those are really cool! This on my which list… you know, i which i can do that some… night. ;)

    April 27, 2011 at 4:15 am

    • Thanks so much Anne… I’d have to recommend anyone tries them at some point… Night photography is such a different process…

      April 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

  12. Thanks for your comments! Love your work!

    April 29, 2011 at 1:28 am

  13. Kieran Hamilton

    Awesome shots, especially like the first one, I want to get out and do some manual star trail shots myself but no remote cable thingy :(

    May 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    • Yeah that would make it a tiny bit tricky without a remote thingy… lol… BUT, you could always do a whole series of 30sec exposures, and stack them together in photoshop…

      May 21, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      • Kieran Hamilton

        Ah, good idea! I only tried out image stacking the other day for a macro shot, never though of using it for a shot like this.

        May 21, 2011 at 11:53 pm

  14. I still remember how my baby sister used to refer to cemeteries as “where the dead people live!” Since I just learned cemeteries have real living ghosts – maybe she was right!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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