Washington Old Hall~July 2016 part 3

Part 1.  Part 2.


Technically speaking these shots are from the Holy Trinity church right next door to the hall, but we did it on the same day so I’ve chucked it in with the Hall report. 🙂

The History Bit

Holy Trinity Church is known locally as the ‘Church on the hill’ and has been central to Washington’s large parish for centuries. The oval mound on which it stands, once within a rounded enclosure, suggests the re-use of a pagan site. Rounded churchyards usually have Celtic origins. Unfortunately the Domesday Book (1086-7) excludes places north of the Tees and because of this the church’s earliest documents belong to the 12th century. In 1112 the area around the church was mentioned as being part of Bishop Rannulf Flambard’s lands. Again it is mentioned in 1149 as being part of Bishop William of St Barbe’s estates. The next bishop, Hugh of Le Puiset (1153 – 1195) decided to re-organise his estates. In one of the areas to be changed he required more land to build a castle and to make a new borough. This area was known at the time as Stockton and Hartburn and was held by William of Hartburn. William exchanged his lands and by 1180 William had settled in his new lands and was known as “de Wessington” from which the name Washington derives.

Some really old graves to be found

and also some new ones

theres always a spider

We did go inside..

In 1832 the old church was demolished and, sadly, it is likely that many historic objects disappeared. This included the Saxon (or early Norman font). However, fortunately, the font was later found, being used as a water trough, and returned to the church where it still stands.

and that’s the end of our day out in Washington. (UK…Not where Trump works 😀 😀 )

(info @ http://www.holytrinitywashington.org.uk)










Gothic Exercising.

The theme for my photography challenge this weekend was ‘anything gothic’! I acquired some gothic jewellery dirt cheap on amazon during the week with a view to photographing it fetchingly against some black velvet or whatever plush fabric I could come up with, but by Friday had decided it would be much more ‘gothic’ to wear it and shoot it in a graveyard. I worry about myself sometimes. Anyway it became apparent that I would need help mainly to get the bloody hand piece and the gothic choker done up as I couldn’t manage it myself :D! Hubby was working Sunday so I sent out an SOS to my pal ‘The Rev’ and he said ‘That sounds like fun,’ so we met up on Sunday and first went to the pub to discuss the shoot.  Eventually we decided the best cemetery would be a fairly deserted one down in Escombe, about 3/4 hr drive, and off we went. The weather was just right, dark grey clouds with rain when we set off.  The 1st inkling that things were not going to go as planned was the cemetery seemed empty of graves! Am sure I remembered loads more when last I visited!! Found a suitable one though after tramping through mud and grunge towards the back of the cemetery.  My first idea was to shoot myself with hands around a grave as if I was a vampire arising, so I set up my camera on a low POV using a gorilla pod for stability.  Except the ball shaped feet of the Gpod and mud didn’t really equate to stability!  Then I did so many test shots trying to get the exposure right and the camera angle right that my flash unit sucked up all the juice of my camera and I was left without any power to take any pictures! Bliddy marvellous, my spare battery was on charge at home, (note to self- organisation is the key to skill and efficiency!)  So thankfully Mike had his camera with him, but it’s different to mine, so I ended up being creative director, and Mike the camera man. Of course just to throw another spanner in the works, the sun broke through just as we began the shoot!  I did a fair few of my self in a long black cape looking mournful and hugging trees, and some of myself crawling out from under an overgrown monument, but these shall never see the light of day 🙂 but I did manage to get the ‘hands around the grave’ shot and one of the gothic earing, both of which are below.


The processing involved reducing the exposure to kill the sunny day sky, and then into Nik FX pro to add some graduated fog and a very small amount of detail extraction.  Then back to lightroom for some final tweaks and a medium vignette to help with the eerie light feel.


For this shot I went straight to Nik FX to add a vintage film filter and then to PSE 11 for spot removal of my worst wrinkles 😀 and to add a dark centre to the red blobs of lippy that we used to make the puncture wounds. I did try the skin softening filter but that just looks quite false even at low opacity so left it alone. All in all a fun day out trying something very different, so a good exercise and a challenge met. Thanks to The Rev who is a most excellent photographer and chum, Next time though I’ll just get out the velvet……