Saturday, February 02, 2008

The gravedigger's door

click photo to enlarge
"As one door closes, another opens", we say, and this was metaphorically and literally true for the parishioners of Swineshead in Lincolnshire. For a period of a hundred, or maybe even two hundred years, as the door of life closed on a person, so the door of this churchyard shed opened, and the gravedigger brought out his tools to prepare a burial place for the deceased.

Today the building is more likely to contain a lawnmower and a few other tools for maintaining the grounds of the ancient church. But it may still hold the gravedigger's tools for those parishioners whose final journey doesn't include cremation. Whatever its present purpose, it still stands, castellated above, repaired and extended with different bricks, and sealed with its old pointed door in its old pointed arch - the builder's idea of what is appropriate for a churchyard.

I'd gone to Swineshead to photograph the lovely church tower and spire with its corona base, and came away with a number of images that I'm pleased with. This is one that I didn't look for - it just, serendipitously, presented itself. Of all the shots I took on that bright, windy afternoon, this is my favourite for the combination of colours, shadows and texture.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (32mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/125
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: Off