Take me to Church! Photographing Houses of Worship in some of Europe’s most amazing locations

Chapel of St. Primoz, Slovenia

Chapel of St. Primoz, Slovenia

Small Chapel, Southern Moravia, Czech Republic

Chapel in Southern Moravia, Czech Republic

Yes, I borrowed the title from Hozier’s great song: “Take me to Church.” Hard to resist!

After 20 plus years of travelling and photographing in Europe I came to realize that many of my favorite photographs feature churches as a main compositional element. For a guy who grew up doing everything in his power to flee Sunday school and suffered through hour-long sermons in a Lutheran church it is surprising that photographing churches has such a draw for me. I have come to realize that it has nothing to do with organized religion or that the churches that I photograph are necessarily of great architectural value. The fact is that I am drawn to these compositions for a very simple reason: “The locations of these churches and chapels are absolutely stunning.”

Venice, Italy

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy

Church of St. Magdalena, Dolomites, Italy

Church of St. Magdalena, Dolomites, Italy

Of course, if you think about it, the planners and builders of these Houses of Worship choose these locations with great intention. The idea was to accentuate the church and to feature it as the most important element in the landscape. Many of my photographs demonstrate how this was achieved by building the church at a high point or even on an island.

Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Church of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Church of Mary the Queen, Lake Bled, Slovenia

Church of Mary the Queen, Lake Bled, Slovenia

Many of the images in this article were photographed during the “Magical Blue Hour,” that window of time before sunrise and after sunset when the warm artificial light illuminating the church balances evenly with the intense blue of the sky. You can read more about this technique in one of my previous blog posts by clicking here. »

Chapel of Vitaleta, Tuscany, Italy

Chapel of Vitaleta, Tuscany, Italy

Senanque Abbey, Provence, France

Senanque Abbey, Provence, France

St. Barbara church, Wengen, Dolomites, Italy

Church of St. Barbara, Dolomites, Italy

All of the images featured in this article were photographed in locations where we conduct our Photography Travel Tours each year in Europe.

Why don’t you come to church with us?

 

Chapel of San Giovanni, Dolomites, Italy

J_M_150x150(1)Jim and Magrit have been photographing professionally and traveling in Europe for the past 20 years.

They started Photography Travel Tours in 2011 with the goal of educating and guiding photographers to some of the most beautiful and iconic scenes in Europe.

The tours are not just about getting great photographs but also have the side benefits of doing so in wonderful environments. Great food, wine, people, and ambiance.

Read more about Jim & Magrit and their wonderful photo tours here: (http://photographytraveltours.com/about/).

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.
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