Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Krzeszów

Easily one of the hardest buildings I have ever tried to photograph, the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a very special place to me, as it was here that I was recently married. Yes it beats the local village church! Or I should say an English village church, because Krzeszow is only a small village, and this is how they do their churches! Ok that's not really true, it is indeed a rarity to have a Basilica this massive in a small Polish village, but sometimes that's where these grand holy places turn up. The area itself has switched hands a few times between Poland and Germany over the last 1000 years and I believe this Basilica was part of a Germanic state when it was built between 1728 and 1735. There is an old painting inside of the virgin Mary that dates back to the 13th century and is a holy relic.

As I said at the beginning though, photographing this building is a real challenge. I had a DSLR with my last year when I visited and didn't get any satisfactory close up shots. As you maybe able to tell, getting the whole building in the picture is very far from easy. I was lying down on the ground, nearly as far back in the grounds as possible to get this evening shot and you can still tell the distortion and warping issues you have (after correction I should add). Although I shoot with a full frame camera now, the only way you could make it easier is to shoot with a 14-24mm lens but I still think the distortion and warping issues with that must be immense. There are many single shots like this I have been working on with this church, and I'm sure more will appear but the thing I actually most like about this picture is the person you can see at the bottom and to the left of the Basilica. It gives you an idea of the sheer size of this building, and it was a joy to see my English guests for the wedding completely overwhelmed at the first sight of it.

One thing I did not picture and do not intend to, is the inside of this Basilica. Ok so you aren't supposed to take pictures inside, but nevertheless many people do. It's amazing outside but inside it is simply one of the most stunning buildings I have entered and though I am a photographer, I do not believe a picture could even nearly do it justice. I was delighted to see the photographer Jeremy Cowart express a similar sentiment on Twitter recently, that he couldn't bring himself to picture a sunset he was witnessing, because it was too beautiful and he couldn't hope to do it justice with a photo. That is how I have always felt about the inside of this building and it's great to know I'm not the only one thinks like that!

News Update!

Ok so it is not my intention to brag about any accomplishment I achieve within the photographic world, but like the Grass Snake I spoke about on Sunday, something happened yesterday that completely made my day. My Justice for the 96 picture was selected as the lead photo in an article by Liverpool Football Club entitled 'Eleven Stunning Pictures of Anfield'. This means that my photo is currently appearing on the front page of the website (see picture below)! It never bothered me, but I always thought it would be great recognition to get a photo of mine on the Flickr Front Page but to be honest, appearing on the front page of my beloved football club's website I will take over Flickr any day of the week, month, year and so on forever!

Here is the link to that article http://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/latest-news/eleven-superb-anfield-photos


  1. Congrats on the photo on the LFC web-site! Real cool!

    Love the light on this shot of the Basilica. Looks an awesome place to visit and photograph. Fully understand your sentiment to capturing the inside.

  2. Thanks for your thoughts and comment Mark!