“cold chastening rain” – Autumn / winter haiku

cold chastening rain
the new shriven trees begin
their winter long fast

“From the dim woods an” – Autumn haiku – Forest Park, Missouri

From the dim woods an
Unechoed echo; hooting
Of a great barn owl.

Glorious Ruins – The Story of a Church, an Image, and a Song – Bethlehem Lutheran – St. Louis, Missouri

Glorious Ruins by Larry Byars and Nicci Womacks from Pied Beauty Photography on Vimeo.

If you follow this blog you may be aware that on occasions I have collected some of the images and put on an exhibition. From these exhibitions, occasionally a signature image will emerge which several people will want to purchase. The characteristic that these images share is that they  each evoke a strong emotional response from people. The image of the crumbled Bethlehem Lutheran Church which was being carted away brick by brick was the latest image that met with such a response.

Last Christmas, a customer bought it as a Christmas gift for a friend. Then she was so moved by the image herself that her husband was compelled to contact me secretly to have a bigger image of it printed and framed for her. Being a part of the secrecy and surprise of that story was a joy in and of itself. Then a little while later the story got even better as the husband told me that he was writing a song based on the image. How wondrous strange!

Several weeks ago, when Larry Byars sent me the audio for the track which he wrote with Nicci Womacks, I collected some images and produced the video above. It was all accomplished relatively hurriedly on my iPhone so it is not the most dynamic video you will ever watch, but combined with the lovely melody and lyrics of the song, I think it is pretty effective. A friend did ask why I chose to use other ruin pictures during the bridge, given my repeated expressions of my reluctance to take and glorify pictures of ruins which is detailed here. In truth, the answer is simply because I did not have enough images of the church to sustain an interesting video. Even so, I hope that you may enjoy watching the video. I recommend watching it full screen and clicking on HD to get the best effect.

Also, if you are further interested in the story of this church here are several links:

The King of Love My Shepherd is – Woodwork and Stained Glass – New Perfect Peace Missionary Baptist Church – St. Louis, MO

This album is a bit of a proof of concept as I shot these with a 50mm lens. I would really like to shoot with these with a zoom lens sometime and from a more perpendicular perspective and a tripod. The styles of these windows vary. Some are quite extraordinary.