Monday, December 10, 2007

Not Facebook, Just Faithbook

Maybe I’ve Got A (Stained) Glass Eye

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


From my very youngest days, I remember being enthralled by the huge stained glass window in St Nicholas, the Missions to Seamen church not far from where we lived in Calcutta. It was a few years before I realised that the giant window faced east, to catch the rays of the morning sun. I probably spent more time than the other parishioners gazing at the myriad pieces that made up the intricate mosaic of ethereal light.

I guess that explains why I always photograph stained glass windows in churches around the world. If there’s a church in a city I’m visiting, chances are I’ve been in there, armed with my camera on my shoulder and my faith in my heart. This weekend I had the great honour of photographing a friend’s daughter’s First Holy Communion.

And sure enough, in the middle of the service, I couldn’t help myself. I had to photograph the stained glass window. This one faces west and because we’re in summer, with daylight saving hours, the colours were really striking. Like so many aspects of life, I guess it all depends on whether or not you see the light.

16 comments:

Maddy said...

I used to watch the stained glass windows during mass too, but those were a bit more tradition, those are far more lovely.


This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

Seamus said...

I used to work in stained glass in a former life and much of the creative process for me revolved around whether or not it would evoke some emotional response when the light shone through the glass!

Lee said...

Beautiful image, David! I've done stained glass as a hobby and love the methodicalness of the process. It always amazes me how with a step by step process you can create the most exquisite pieces of art.

Peace!

imac said...

I've got quite a few stained windows too.

Like the round ones very colourful.



come see my walk along the canal-you may be amazed.

Cowgirl said...

Yes David, I often visit churches when on holiday and have snapped away - York Minster York, UK)is hard to beat! That's one big window. Those you have posted are lovely vibrant modern ones - full of life and light.

David said...

Great photo of the stain glass windows! We just got some installed in our church, they've brightened up the atmosphere amazingly, and they're great to meditate on too.

I noticed that advent wreath in the picture - I don't know if you've seen my purple sunday posts yet, but I've got them going on my blog for advent.

I wonder what this window symbolizes?

Cheers,

David

Melissa said...

Beautiful stained glass windows. I love to sit at church and look at the stained glass windows, of course I'm also paying attention to what the Pastor is saying, but I find myself looking at the windows more than the Pastor!

joan said...

I love stained glass. We used to live in a house that had lots of it, even in our bedroom. So pretty in the sunlight and there is a beautiful church in Paris(can't remember the name right now) that tells the Bible in stained glass. That has to be the most beautiful I've seen.

Pam said...

Absolutely beautiful David. Your pictures always tell a story worth reading.

TheBirdman33 said...

Gorgeous!

sandyland said...

most intriquing glass!!

Misty Dawn said...

My husband and I both love stained glass too. We have a really cool old barn here, and we want to fix up the loft of the barn to be a recreation area with pool table, etc. We plan on having a custom made stained glass window in the barn and I'm really excited about it.

Vic Grace said...

What a lovely example of stained glass. I have seen lots in Europe but very little here and most I don't car for but this is very tasteful.

Thanks for sharing your day.

Cariboo Ponderer

katherine. said...

I have always been enthralled by glass...when visiting in Chicago I spent two hours in the free Stained Glass Museum on Navy Pier.

My friends very patiently waited the second hour in the bar next door....laughing..

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I remember the Mission to Seamen! I don't remember the stained glass, though! I must have been too engrossed trying to belt out the hymns on ye olde organ (the kind you have to pump the pedals!) - very different from piano!!! Still, it's nice to hear about it from someone else. Some memories die hard. I also remember helping your mother with the vestments - she used to prepare them each week and on Sunday we laid them out on the altar and elsewhere. That was a cute little church. (Why don't I remember the stained glass window?? That's embarrassing! Perhaps I wasn't into stained glass then!)

Carol McFarlane

evlahos said...

very beautiful capture, excellent colors