Thursday Doors: Lesterps (Part 1)

Lesterps is yet another of those charming old villages that surround Tranquility Base at a distance of an approximately twenty-minute drive. It’s best known for its  very large 11th century church (more specifically, it’s an Abbatiale, which means there must once have been an Abbey there), which dominates the village, to the extent that it’s virtually impossible to get a proper photograph of the whole edifice. The image from Google Earth at the bottom of this post gives some idea of its relative scale.

This is the main door:

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and this is one of three substantial archways, which I think qualify as doors for this purpose:

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This walled up doorway on a building just acrooss the road from the church could well be a remnant of the accommodation of the monks who must once have lived here:

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Elsewhere, this house (also opposite the church), with its massive beam, looks like it might once have been a byre, housing livestock:

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We visited Lesterps last weekend for the Marché de Noel, so here’s something in the Christmas spirit. You’re welcome.

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And this is quite possibly the smallest door in the entire commune. It’s at about head height but it certainly doesn’t look like a shutter, and I can’t imagine it’s the meter cupboard:

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Next time, more from Lesterps – including some very strong contenders for Ramshackle Door of the Year.

Thursday Doors 22 December 2016

PS here’s that screenshot from Google Earth:

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Thursday Doors: Gargilesse

Not far from Nohant (assuming that your coach driver doesn’t get lost, like ours did – and not for the first time that day) is the picturesque village of Gargilesse, where George Sand had a smaller house, which was subsequently home to her daughter and husband for many years.

As well as a medieval church – of which this is the side door – with a remarkably frescoed crypt, the village also has a fair few, more interesting, doors.

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There are doors in there somewhere, trust me:

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These are rather easier to see. The first one is my favourite of this batch:

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More from Gargilesse next week.

Thursday Doors 20 October 2016

52 Weeks Photo Challenge: Week 9 – Patterns

The Girl That Deams Awake has set the topic of ‘Patterns’ for this week.

Most stained glass windows display overtly religious images. However, this example, to be found in the crypt of the medieval church in the French village of Gargilesse, is an interesting exception.

The geometric patterns remind me of Celtic designs (Celtic knots?). I’m also reliably informed – by Madame the quilter (a.k.a. The Best Girl Ever) – that there are very similar quilting patterns.

In another departure from tradition, the colours are far more subdued than in typical stained glass windows.

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“And his wife made this”

The impressive architecture of St Mary’s Church in Beverley, East Yorkshire includes these graceful curves, which, to judge by the words carved on the little bust (“And his wife made this”), show a feminine touch.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Circles and Curves

Tuesdays of Texture: Paint

This door – of a church on the island of Burano, in the Venetian lagoon – could really do with a fresh coat of paint.

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Tuesdays of Texture: Week 40

Thursday Doors: Le Dorat

With a name like that, this town about thirtty minutes drive from here is surely crying out to be included in Thursday Doors.

Le Dorat is probably best known for its medieval church: the Collegiale, whose stonework is mightily impressive:

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…and not just on the outside:

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There remain some other relics of earlier times, including a good section of fortified wall, as well as this impressive towered main gate:

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Outside the old and very compact centre of the town, however, there are plenty of examples of more recent and typical rural architecture:

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Thursday Doors 11 August 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

The morning sun shines through the east window of the church at Blond, in the Limousin region of France, casting this impressionistic image of the stained glass across the stone floor next to the altar.

Morning

Weekly Photo Challenge: Morning

Guiding the viewer

The latest task in Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge is to guide the viewer: in other words, to compose your image so that the viewer focuses on what you want them to see within it, rather than be distracted or have their attention drawn away from what they ‘ought’ to be looking at.

Bright Spot

Bright Spot Before

The intended subject of this image, of a church interior in Rochechouart, is the decoration on the columns and walls on the left, but the eye can’t help but be drawn to the bright spot of the stained glass window on the right: so it has to go, leaving the focus of the image as it was intended:

Bright Spot After

The S Curve

A curved object in an image is almost always more interesting and attention-drawing than a straight line and, as Cee points out, it’s a common and perfectly respectable technique in pictures involving roads. Here are two images (the one on the right is a cropped version of the first) of light trails at the T-junction. Apart from eliminating the distractions of the vehicles stopped at the lights on the bottom left, the tighter crop’s curve also takes precedence in the eye over the otherwise intrusive angular traffic-light gantries.

Flipping The Horizon

Sometimes you take a photograph and it’s fine – except that you wish it could be the other way round – a mirror image. Of course, through the miracle of editing software it’s now very simple to get the image you want simply by flipping it. The two images below (taken just along the road on a sunny autumn day last year) are identical in every respect except that one is the mirror image of the other. Can you guess which was the original and – more to the point – which one do you prefer?

(Sometimes an image can also benefit from being flipped upside down, as I did recently in my contribution to the June One Photo Focus.)

Place de l’Eglise

Just over a year ago, I bought a book* about the history of the Haute-Vienne departément of France, illustrated by old postcards. It’s a fascinating series of snapshots of life a hundred years ago and more in what is still a very rural area of the country.

I had a fancy to find the locations of, and try to reproduce, these postcard images. This project, which I rather grandly call ‘Autrefois’ (literally ‘another time’), hasn’t really got off the ground yet, although there is one post extant in the thread. However, Cee’s challenge of posting a sepia image this week gives me an ideal opportunity to double my output.

Our local village is called Mézières-sur-Issoire, and this is an old postcard of the church, reproduced from the book:

Church PC

And here is my take on it. As you can see, not that much has changed over the past hundred years or so, apart from the ubiquity of the motor vehicle and the related signage. The space in front of the church is now commonly used as a car-park, so I counted myself lucky that there was only one van (which actually belongs to one of the builders who did most of the renovation work on our house) there when I went along with my camera.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Sepia

* Fabienne Texier & Paul Colmar: ‘La Haute-Vienne Il ya 100 ans en cartes postales anciennes’

Spiral steeple

Cee’s Black & White challenge this week is anything that begins with the letter ‘S’. So how about the spiral steeple of St Saviour’s church in the town of Rochechouart? Shown against the sky.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: the letter ‘S’