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Wee Bit Of History
Posted By: Kerrowdown, 07-08-2018, 07:42 AM

A grave slab found inside the North Transept of St Clements Church, Rodel, on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles. It is dated 1725 and came from a caibeal outside near the tower, the initials probably stand for Roderick Campbell and his wife Ann MacSween (Campbell may have been a former Chamberlain of Harris).

I remember it being really quite dark in there and with my "Special Lady” (Pentax-A 50mm F1.2), I was on the limits of my hand holding capabilities. I was kinda stuck here, small building, short on time, no flash and tripod rules, just had to go with what I had available, breath slowly, lean on a wall and squeeze one off like a marksman.

The emblems of mortality and immortality were seldom used after the 18th Century, but I am able to give you a wee bit of insight into them...

Left Top, Coffin - The shape was usually realistic and is normally recognisable, in 18th Century as here, one coffin was often placed in a row of symbols.

Middle top, Death's Head - The skull was used to represent death, a reminder that death comes to everyone. Its is often shown as here, with deep eye sockets and triangular nose.

Top Right, Hour Glass - This indicates the passing of time and can be portrayed either vertical or a horizontal position. It is usually carved realistically and it's plump shape lent itself to carving in high relief.

Lower Left, Bones - These often accompanied the Death's Head (Middle Top) and were shown like this crossed.

Lower Middle, Deid Bell - The Deid Bell was rung to give notice of funerals and at the funeral itself.

Lower Right, Sexton's Tools - The spade and the turf cutter, the latter has a triangular blade and very often the tools are shown crossed, as here.

Hope you find this additional information interesting.

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Last edited by Kerrowdown; 07-08-2018 at 11:20 AM.
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07-08-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
A grave slab found inside the North Transept of St Clements Church, Rodel, on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles. It is dated 1725 and came from a caibeal outside near the tower, the initials probably stand for Roderick Campbell and his wife Ann MacSween (Campbell may have been a former Chamberlain of Harris).

I remember it being really quite dark in there and with my "Special Lady” (Pentax-A 50mm F1.2), I was on the limits of my hand holding capabilities.
But not beyond the limits.

You, the lens, and your K-1 certainly came through with this one.
07-08-2018, 09:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
You, the lens, and your K-1 certainly came through with this one.
It was a close run thing, I was starting to look around for level surfaces.
07-08-2018, 12:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
caibeal
Well, this has been an interesting trip to the Internet. Who knew there was a Gaelic Wikipedia? Interesting (to me at least) that someone worthy of having a skillfully carved grave slab would be immortalized (three centuries is close enough to eternity for me) for his work looking after a graveyard.


I suppose I should comment on the photograph. You have successfully tested the K-1's shake reduction capabilities, but if you were not so dogmatic about using ISO 100, you could have utilized a much faster shutter speed. or perhaps you are more experienced at slow speed hand holding than you are letting on? The lighting is excellent as usual and I really like how putting the slab almost all the way to the left with progressively darker stonework to the right makes the wall look like it is fading away in the distance.

07-08-2018, 02:57 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Who knew there was a Gaelic Wikipedia?
Quite useful for Gaelic speakers which number some 57,375 according to the 2011 census. The highest percentage of Gaelic speakers reside in the Outer Hebrides, but there only about half of speakers were fully literate in the language.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
I suppose I should comment on the photograph
It's not compulsory...

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
You have successfully tested the K-1's shake reduction capabilities, but if you were not so dogmatic about using ISO 100
Aye, but when it all changed from ASA, that was me just knackered.

QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
or perhaps you are more experienced at slow speed hand holding than you are letting on?
What can I tell you.
07-08-2018, 03:33 PM   #6
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very interesting! quite the marksman by the way!
07-08-2018, 03:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by françois Quote
very interesting!
Thank you.

QuoteOriginally posted by françois Quote
quite the marksman by the way!
That's the way I was taught years ago, long before any in body or lens stabilisation had been invented.

07-08-2018, 05:25 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Imagine what the people from back then would think if they knew we could be looking at this grave marker from anywhere in the world...and actually have someone like you to tell us what it all means! Really good photo and education!
07-09-2018, 12:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToddK Quote
Imagine what the people from back then would think if they knew we could be looking at this grave marker from anywhere in the world...and actually have someone like you to tell us what it all means! Really good photo and education!
I never really thought of it that way before, the folk I guess would have quite amazed.

Thank you for your kind words.
04-02-2021, 08:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
A grave slab found inside the North Transept of St Clements Church, Rodel, on the Isle of Harris in the Western Isles. It is dated 1725 and came from a caibeal outside near the tower, the initials probably stand for Roderick Campbell and his wife Ann MacSween (Campbell may have been a former Chamberlain of Harris).

I remember it being really quite dark in there and with my "Special Lady” (Pentax-A 50mm F1.2), I was on the limits of my hand holding capabilities. I was kinda stuck here, small building, short on time, no flash and tripod rules, just had to go with what I had available, breath slowly, lean on a wall and squeeze one off like a marksman.

The emblems of mortality and immortality were seldom used after the 18th Century, but I am able to give you a wee bit of insight into them...

Left Top, Coffin - The shape was usually realistic and is normally recognisable, in 18th Century as here, one coffin was often placed in a row of symbols.

Middle top, Death's Head - The skull was used to represent death, a reminder that death comes to everyone. Its is often shown as here, with deep eye sockets and triangular nose.

Top Right, Hour Glass - This indicates the passing of time and can be portrayed either vertical or a horizontal position. It is usually carved realistically and it's plump shape lent itself to carving in high relief.

Lower Left, Bones - These often accompanied the Death's Head (Middle Top) and were shown like this crossed.

Lower Middle, Deid Bell - The Deid Bell was rung to give notice of funerals and at the funeral itself.

Lower Right, Sexton's Tools - The spade and the turf cutter, the latter has a triangular blade and very often the tools are shown crossed, as here.

Hope you find this additional information interesting.
Very good photo, especially in the circumstances! And thanx for the interesting info accompanying the photo.
04-02-2021, 08:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thinus Quote
Very good photo, especially in the circumstances! And thanx for the interesting info accompanying the photo.
You're most welcome... I'm glad you enjoyed reading and viewing my post.
04-03-2021, 09:20 PM   #12
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A wonderful photograph, taken under difficult conditions. In fact IMO, the less than optimal lighting has contributed to the aura of the subject.

Thank you for the thorough history. As a history enthusiast I appreciate the detail you provide when explaining the back stories of your historical photos.

I'm a Canuck and happy to be one, but I do envy those who live in Europe with so much accessible history to explore, take photos of, and learn about the past and from the past.
04-03-2021, 09:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ToddK Quote
Imagine what the people from back then would think if they knew we could be looking at this grave marker from anywhere in the world...and actually have someone like you to tell us what it all means! Really good photo and education!
Your comment made me think about how much I enjoy watching moving film documentaries or still photos , from say around 1920 and further back. To see people who were living their life, 100-120 years ago, especially during world events, some happy, some tragedies such as the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906...to mention an example.

I've often thought it would be fascinating to see events such as early explorers, meeting First Nations people in North America in the 1600's....or further back...the Battle of Hastings in 1066, as some other examples.

Of course, unfortunately the technology did not exist to capture these events so long ago. Does make me wonder, what people, say 500 years...or more.... from now, will think when they see old photographs, documentary films from the past century and current years.
04-04-2021, 03:23 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
A wonderful photograph, taken under difficult conditions. In fact IMO, the less than optimal lighting has contributed to the aura of the subject.

Thank you for the thorough history. As a history enthusiast I appreciate the detail you provide when explaining the back stories of your historical photos.

I'm a Canuck and happy to be one, but I do envy those who live in Europe with so much accessible history to explore, take photos of, and learn about the past and from the past.
Thank you... history is also important around here and needs to told to our future generations.
04-04-2021, 08:51 AM   #15
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Great shot and some fascinating history.

Jer
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