‘God rays’ in a Godly place

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/125, 35mm, ISO 100

More pictures of the dramatic light we enjoyed on Friday’s photoshoot at St. Martha’s-on-the-Hill, Chilworth, Surrey.  My title is a little tongue-in-cheek as I am ambivalent about the expression ‘God rays’ which seems a simplification, with hints of dumbing-down, of the perfectly adequate term, ‘crepuscular rays’. I wrote a post about these rays and you can see it here.  As I discussed, one can understand why these spectacular rays have over the centuries been associated with a higher power.

Crepuscular rays

f/11, 1/8, 90mm, ISO 100

St. Martha’s is a lovely little church perched on the top of a hill with a panoramic view of Surrey.  A local ‘tall tale’ is associated with the spot, in which St. Martha’s church and St. Catherine’s chapel, across the River Wey valley, were built by two giants, sisters named, of course, Martha and Catherine.  According to the story, they had only one tool, a hammer, which they shared by tossing it across the valley.

Surrey Hills

f/11, 1/30, 35mm, ISO 100

My 365/31 is from 2009, a detail from the interior of a local cafe, Il Siciliano, now under different ownership, name and decor. The Scarface mural didn’t last long and I speculated that perhaps they’d run foul of copyright issues and had to remove it.  While I do not condone the breach of copyright, I must confess that the mural was nice while it lasted.

Local cafe interior


My 365/32 is also from 2009.  I had a lovely Sunday walk with my camera that afternoon.  The evening was bitterly cold, and overnight we had one of the heaviest snowfalls I could remember in the South of England. Needless to day, I was obliged to go out the next day and shoot the same views all over again, transformed as they were by their fresh blanket of white.

River Thames


Felicitous Friday

Graveyard and view

f/11, 1/30, 33mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad, circ. polariser

Last year, Jenifer Bunnett and I went out ‘shooting’ together most weeks and Tuesday eventually became our regular day.  This year, we have added a second day, Friday.  So far, our Fridays have proved felicitous and we have been blessed with interesting light. Today was no exception.  An early morning hike up St. Martha’s Hill brought some glancing rays and the remains of the previous night’s snowfall. The evening’s sunset at Newlands Corner yielded an interesting cloud formation over distant St. Martha’s Hill, where we had been in the morning.  As with last Friday, I have a lot of images to process and will share some more over the next few days.

Landscape after sunset

f/11, 0.8sec, 24mm, ISO 100, .6 hard ND grad

Catching up on my 365 redux project, 365/30 is a shot from this day in 2011, seeds of the wild clematis, also known as Old Man’s Beard or Traveller’s Joy. 365/29 is from 2009; the colour version was one of the first images I licensed with Getty and it has done well for me over the years.

wild clematis seeds


grave stone