A Very Sociable Weekend

17 06 2009

I had not been to Lechlade before and knew little about it (including where it actually was until I put the postcode into my sat nav) but, if the weather promises to be good and we are camped out in a field with friends then it’s all good to me. As we drove south and entered into the Cotswolds it become immediately apparent that you have entered into a beautiful part of the country, the houses are built with a different material to houses by where we live and it seems to give even the plainest street some character.

Once everyone had arrived, tens been erected and kids put to bed we settled down and opened a few bottles of wine, (I had had a beer or two in the afternoon anyway, always better to have a bit of alcohol in your system to put a tent up I find) The light was fading quickly so I had a bit of a play taking some candid shots but eventually gave up when I was getting shutter speeds of 1/13 at f/1.4 and ISO-3200, with the combination of alcohol intake and slow shutters there was no chance of any decent shots anyway. This was probably the last of the night.

Martin, Elizabeth and Jon

Martin, Elizabeth and Jon

Saturday morning saw me up pretty early as the sun hit the tent at 8am and the room warmed up quickly leaving me in certain need of a shower and a walk with Jack. I usually try and have a good look round for any nice scenes to photograph whilst out with the dog but unusually I didn’t take my camera with me this time. I did however walk far enough to get to a rather pretty house set on the river with willows reflecting in the waters……..more of that later.

After breakfast the group decided to go for a walk and visit a pub in the area called The Trout Inn which had a good reputation. I had only taken my 50mm lens with me so the following view of St. Lawrence Church from the opposite side of the Thames has been cropped down a touch.

St. Lawrence Church - Lechlade

St. Lawrence Church - Lechlade

The rest of the day was mainly spent drinking, lounging around, playing football, getting sun burnt and doing the usual with disposable barbeques and a load of meat. Lorna and I have actually vowed never to use disposable barbecues again, too hot, and they gave a real ‘fire lighter’ smell to the food……..not good.

On Sunday, I again got up relatively early and set off to photograph the house on the river that I mentioned earlier. I didn’t have Jack with me but as usual I got talking to someone with a dog on the way and during the conversation he mentioned that if I liked photography then I really should visit an old abandoned church not far away. He reckoned that he had lived in the area for 25 years and never been to it until a week or so previous. I’m a bit of a church fan so I asked directions and planned to walk there after taking the shot below of the round house from the wooden bridge that crosses the Thames at it’s last navigable point for motor driven boats.

Lechlade Camping 067 copy

The Round House - Lechlade

I fiddled and diddled with this one in Photoshop to get that kind of ‘chocolate box’ feeling to it. The main process used was the

Orton effect, with a bit more messing with curves and levels.

After I had taken a few snaps around there I made my way to the old church which was about 15 minutes walk away. Again, I got chatting to someone with dogs and this time it was an 83 year old lady who asked for my help to get her over a bridge, she was fit as a fiddle apart from this and she came to the church with me as she also had not been despite living in the area for over 40 years…..amazing.

The graveyard was over grown slightly, but as promised, the door was open. I was kind of surprised to see no signs of vandalism in the building, no graffiti, nothing broken or ripped apart, just a simple church with box pews and some wonderful light coming in through the still intact stained glass windows. In the church there was still an old chair, a piano and some old bibles as well as a visitors book which I duly signed. I guess that the caretaker locks the place up at night.

Having an empty church, with a few chairs, great light and the time to think about things really floats my boat photography wise so I looked aorund to see what angles I could possibly get, what light was about and where, what ‘props’ I could use. After a few attemps to set up a picture I took the following photograph which I am very pleased with. I love the textures on the wall, the areas of darkness and of course, the light.

Church Chair

Church Chair

There are a couple more pictures on my Flickr stream which is linked on the right of this page.

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