I decided it’s time to get better acquainted with the area around where I now live, so I took my camera out for a walk on this crisp sunny winter’s afternoon and stumbled upon a hidden treasure.
St John’s the Baptist is an 11th century church in Inglesham, which is no longer used for religious services but is still consecrated and open to the general public. Although a little tatty in places, it had oodles of charm and I felt like I was stepping back in time when I walked through the door.
The boxed-in pews, each with a small door to enter each compartment, reminded me of a similar design in an old stave church I visited in Norway last year. Even down to the ‘back row’ which was not enclosed with it’s own doors… I wonder if, like it’s twin sister in Norway, this row was reserved for the ‘unclean’ (women who were pregnant or had recently given birth).
I bet this organ has provided auditory accompaniment to many a hymn in its time.
Following a period of heavy snow, a recent bout of mild weather has allowed the snowdrops to lay their carpet around the church.
Given the opportunity to spend some leisure time taking photos, I’m not sure many people would list their back garden as their number one destination, but I can always find something to shoot in a garden. Two weeks ago it was bees, today it was spiders and brightly coloured leaves!
As I was looking around for something emotive to shoot in Mark & Audrey’s garden in Wimbledon, I combined Halid’s words of wisdom with those of James Christie*, another pro photographer whom I met in Edinburgh, which were:
Look for the small picture in the big picture
There are photographic opportunities all around us if we look for them.
He taught us not only to look, but to see. When walking around don’t just look ahead at where you’re going, look up, look down, look around. Look for the small details. Even if you walk the same route every day, keep your eyes open and you will see new things every day.
And he’s right. Here’s the garden that I spent the best part of an hour and a half wandering around in this morning:
When I took the time to stop and look closely in the garden I saw raspberries ripening, I saw sunlight shining through the leaves of an acer tree, I saw a bush budding with new growth, I saw a dog rose pointing up to the sky, I saw a lone rose that had climbed up in the middle of the acer tree, I saw the tendrils of a vine reaching out across the void, and I saw spiders – lots and lots of spiders. So much in such a small space!
But the best bit was seeing a spider eating her lunch – having caught a small fly in her web, she wrapped it in silk and spun it into a ball, carried it back to the centre of the web, ate the silk off it and then proceeded to dine at her leisure.
Fascinating to watch, I felt quite privileged. It’s something I’m sure that goes on every day, in every back garden. But how many people have actually seen it unfold?
So my advice to you today is: Take the time to look at what’s around you – you don’t need to go somewhere spectacular to see something spectacular.
See the rest of the photos from today’s garden shoot in the Photo Gallery here.