Thursday, March 22, 2007

The oldest stone church

baclayon

I rarely enter a church to pray, but I know how to look up and appreciate a great architecture when I see one.

This is Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon, Bohol considered to be one of the oldest stone churches in the Philippines, built by the Jesuits in 1595. This is located at the front of the Blood Compact Monument (adjacent street), a tribute to the sealed friendship of Chieftain Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.

I am into old architectures, especially those that are close to ruin. Such structure excudes so much historical value and great stories to tell. If only these walls could talk, they'll tell me everything. But I must admit, taking photos of old structures is quite difficult for me. There's this challenge of making a dull-looking building look great and alive in photos, making other people see what is difficult to see in a one-dimensional image. Choosing the appropriate angle is crucial.

Photography is just an approximation of reality, one may not show everything, but at least, showcasing its best faรงade becomes a great challenge.

I took this shot using a Nikkor AF-S 55-200 mm lens, but still got uncomfortable with the chosen angle. The church is in front of a national highway and the space was not enough to get a long shot so I crossed the street and took the shot from there.

9 comments:

Sidney said...

I also like those old churches alas it is very difficult to take good pictures of them. There is always something in the way, a car, a tricycle or a balut vendor… Mostly I get ugly distortions and it looks like the church will fall down.

Considering the above I think you did a good job. Why did you convert it to b&w?

Mike Dougan said...

I also love to take pictures of old churches however I was asked to leave St.Augustins church in Intramuros. I did wait until mass was finished then set up the tripod but only got 3 pictures before being asked to vacate the building.

Is this church open to the public or is it sealed off due to being in unsafe condition?

Sidney said...

Why is my avatar a girl? I am not a “bakla”.

I had a good laugh when I saw Mike represented as a long haired blonde…

Sidney said...

I am jealous of Pieterbie’s avatar! So punk!

my gulch said...

i get a dose of laugh myself everytime i see these avatars. i like yours Sidney, it looks like a shy, prim type of girl. it sure would fit me, don’t you think?

actually, you guys can change your avatars (just below the comment box you’ll read this line ———> register your own avatar it’s a hassle really, but if you’re bothered about the avatar that comes out, you can always click that command. these avatars are for frequent comment authors.

my gulch said...

Sidney,
i forgot to answer your first post, as to why i set the photo in monochrome. Well, I just thought it would ask a sense of “classic” touch to the whole set-up. I was looking at the image for awhile and felt that the pale blue sky really looks phony. you see the three entrance doors at the front, i really find it creepy just looking at it…as if at any moment someone or something will come out from the dark. now that is my imagination working again!

Mike,
i think it’s being sealed off. When we got there, the church is close and we’re not allowed to even enter for a short look inside. the church, although has been somewhat renovated a bit for preservation purposes, is really old. it looks creepy inside, so dark and cold. but i think it’s a good photo op for ethusiasts like you. and the fact that its located along the national highway, makes it really accessible for tourists.

pieterbie said...

Hey, Sidney is right, my avatar is pretty cool.

I understand what you mean about taking photos of architecture. I often have the problem when I’m in Italy: impressive buildings in very narrow roads.

Wow, 16th century architecture, that is some time ago.

Chris Vallancourt said...

I love churches for photography, even though I never go in them. People seem to put their best effort into building houses for god.

19 Seconds of Spring said...

Nice framing… Great tones!

Michael

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