Sunday November 29, 2009

LITCHFIELD, CONNECTICUT – Back to Litchfield to photograph the First Congregational Church at sunrise.  The congregation first met in 1721.  The story of the building is a bit complex.  Here’s a quote from “Historic Buildings of Connecticut”:

Litchfield’s first meeting house was built on the Green in 1723, the second in 1761 and the third in 1829. In 1873, a fourth church, in the High Victorian Gothic style, was built and the 1829 Federal-style structure, with its steeple removed as was typically done with deconsecrated churches, was moved around the corner. In the coming years it would serve as a community center and theater, known as Amory Hall or Colonial Hall. In the early twentieth century, tastes had shifted back from favoring the Gothic to an interest in the Colonial Revival. In 1929, the Gothic church was demolished and the 1828 church returned to its original site on Torrington Road and restored, complete with a new steeple (1929-30). Reconsecrated, it continues today as the First Congregational Church of Litchfield.”

I’ve taken the liberty of presenting this image in both color and black and white.  The black and white version demonstrates the power of abstraction of this medium.

This images was captured with a Leica M9 digital camera, and a fifty-year old Leitz lens, a 50mm dual range Summicron modified to mount on the M9.  The finished image was stitched together from four overlapping frames, which provides resolution similar to a medium format digital camera or 4×5 film.

The time on the clock on the steeple could either be an hour slow or perpetually 6:30 – it’s actually the latter.

First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
First Congregational Church Litchfield Connecticut
Black and white version
Black and white version

4 thoughts on “Sunday November 29, 2009”

  1. Thanks Mr Woody,
    all of your photos are like short tutorials for the younger. Looking at that photo I’m desperately trying to imagine the original four frames and the way you captured them. Could that all finally replace, accepting certain limitations and consuming a little bit more time, a view camera or the bulky shift & tilt adaptors/lens of medium format…? I am wondering…
    giannis
    kabul airport waiting for my flight to greece

  2. I’m glad you included both versions of this one. The black and white is very powerful, and adds a timeless quality befitting the structure. However, the color version I think better represents the wonderful quality of light at the time the image was made. It really is quite beautiful.

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