Friday, October 20, 2006

Wither Poinsett ?

Wither Poinsett ?, originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

We're parked at the Church of the Holy Cross in Sumter County, SC, under a blazing sun. Of course, the sun's always blazing, but we don't always get such a direct burn. There was, as they say, not a cloud in the sky. If you've taken more than a few rolls of film in years past or filled even a 16MB Compact Flash card, you've probably begun to realize that harsh direct sunlight is not the shutterbug's friend.

We had not set out to wax pedantic with a lesson in primary photography. Actually, we were looking for the late Joel R. Poinsett who was born at Charleston in 1779. He was a statesman, diplomat ( Ambassador to Mexico ), author and naturalist trained in medicine, law and military science. This we knew from our visit to Steve Dopp's beautifully renovated Westin-Poinsett Hotel in Greenville, SC, and were reminded by a plaque erected in his honor here. We know that he died in 1851, but we can't seem to find his resting place.

Having failed to find Poinsett we almost drove off considering the extremely harsh light, but decided to snap a few pictures anyway. So, here's Holy Cross against a deep blue sky ( no polarizer used ). Notice the hard dark shadows on the church, at the rear of the car and from the tree. While there is texture to the surface of the church, we were taken with the way this high contrast outlines the sharp and linear features of Holy Cross. The contrast also brings out an edge of formality which is certainly part of the design and intent of such a building.

In this picture we feel that Holy Cross come across as the " Mighty Fortress " in distinct contrast to those lovely little oak shaded country churches we try to catch in subdued light. We've find that if we take, but a moment to pause, each chruch offers us something of visual value as each, no doubt, offers its members a special place of purpose.


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