Pictured here is a very old table tomb in the cemetery of Skreen Church on the Hill of Skryne, County Meath.
In the distance beyond is the landscape of County Meath known as the Royal County for it once being the seat of the high kings of Ireland.
The cemetery is in the presence of a very old church which dates back to 1341 and which was built by an ancestor of Hugh De Lacy. The hill itself is 500 feet high and the west facing tower of the church is another 100 foot high making this a very imposing scene visible for miles around the area. Although the tower of the church is in reasonable condition, the rest of the building is in total ruin and the cemetery is overgrown and forlorn.
As you move around the churches ruin, the high grass and overgrown bushes hide many ancient tombstones of all shapes and sizes. Celtic crosses, broken pillars, stone and slate slabs and the one we see here which is a table tomb. This is very similar to a sarcophagus, but instead of being solid, the lid is suspended in the air by stone legs. Over time, this one here has began to tilt and will no doubt fall over someday, disappearing into the ground like many of its neighbours.
In silhouette on the horizon you can see a more traditional Celtic Cross headstone.
This is a very beautiful part of Meath and it amazes me how lonely and desolate it is here, this ancient site sees very few visitors. On the plus side, that makes it more special to visit at sunset on a warm autumn evening.
Every day, tens of thousands of people pass by here on the M3 motorway and from there the tower of the church is very visible. It seems very few of them ever wander off the motorway to explore it.
thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
Romano46 (16582) 2014-02-01 9:44
la foto č straordinaria sia per la luce che per la composizione.
Hai saputo gestire la luce in maniera eccezionale e il risultato lo č altrettanto.
Bellissimo il soggetto, tipicamente irlandese.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
carlo62 (28525) 2014-02-01 14:19
piuttosto originale come inquadratura, molto bella la luce, rende la foto molto mistica.
tyro (18958) 2014-02-01 16:48
Once again, you have shown no fear in shooting directly into the setting sun! And, again, not a hint of lens flare!
The sky might well be "blown out" or overexposed or whatever but the light on that old "table" gravestone is delightful, making it a fine foreground feature and I love the streaks of light from the setting sun as they cascade before us too.
delpeoples (52737) 2014-02-01 20:56
Dia duit dear Noel
I'm just thinking that as we sped along the highway from Donegal, through Meath and then onto Dublin, what amazing secrets we missed just off the beaten track. And your beautiful photo proves it. You really are becoming King Ghoul aka Cemetery Photography Expert. Because what you now seem to be recording is not just the graves or the architecture, but the mood, ambience and history of the place. The lighting here has changed this from being a great shot of an interesting subject into something far more important. And you chose a difficult thing to do, shooting into the sun like that. Those rays of light are absolutely heavenly...or should I say ghoulish? Great work, what an amazing place, thanks for sharing it with us.
fabbs99 (16129) 2014-02-01 22:51
Lovely shot in the direction of the sun.Nicely captured.TFS.
tenretin (2366) 2014-02-02 1:34
You did there a beautiful photo of a beautiful atmosphere with lighting. Bravo. The informative note is interesting too.
Thank you for sharing and good Sunday.
Jean Philippe TUR
snunney (79973) 2014-02-02 3:32
The golden backlight brings a spiritual feel to the scene, which is very apposite to the subject. I like the point of view and the inclusion of the foreground slabs, which make a very strong anchor point and help give the image depth.
macjake (53090) 2014-02-02 4:45
you know i have to ask...any ghosts here?
why do most of these type of photos from Ireland and Scotland have that creepy-haunted-spooky vibe to them?!
its really an added bonus that the subjects are disorganised and not neatly in perfect rows, it adds to the mystique.
interesting note about the M3 too.
keep them coming
RhodieIke (11512) 2014-02-02 6:20
A bold one here shooting into the sun, but its worked, love how the light has caught the Fg, table tombstone.
Great effect, lovely mood.
Fis2 (82540) 2014-02-02 7:57
Mysterious place, interesting stone tablets.
Difficult light and excellent colors.
Photo has climate.
marabu61 (7481) 2014-02-02 8:01
In a way it is good that most people rushing by on the highway are ignorant of the beauty of this old cemetery, in this way it lays undisturbed by human presence and can keep its beauty the longer. Great perspective framing with the slab of stone in the foreground and the beautiful celtic cross in the distance, they complete each other nicely.
have a great sunday
jcpix (11756) 2014-02-02 11:08
Well it would appear your sense of wonderment and adventure has paid off again, searching out these little gems that most people pass by without a second thought. Another scavenger hunt of the mysterious and unknown, and you've found a little treasure trove of ghoulish goodness. :) The lighting and color for this shot would be the complete opposite of the dark and spooky side though, this is alive with impact.
This would be something right out of a movie set, perfectly suited to create a horror film considering the grounds, but you've made this bright and appealing. Speaking of bright, I love the few streaks of sun rays bursting out of that golden globe of fire. The strong sun may have blown out that area of the sky, but what it's done for the rest of the scene is outstanding! My favorite thing about this shot is the Celtic cross and tombstone on the horizon, just off to the right, a solid bit of contrast and form to accent the foreground. Thanks for digging up these hidden nuggets....well, not literally of course. :) Enjoy the new week. Take it easy.
Cheers from the dusty desert,
ourania (27344) 2014-02-02 11:46
what a striking contrast between the upper and lower part of the frame, between the explosive and tremendous light in the distance and the calm and solemn foreground. The sky and the light that has conquered it are extremely dramatic, as if they were transmitting a terrible message to the earth. I don't know about the area far away but the antique cemetery still looks very tranquil. I like how only a few mild rays have reached and touched the old table tomb. You confronted the formidable light in a bold, calm and creative way achieving a remarkable result. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great evening,
omid266 (3513) 2014-02-02 19:57
** Salam Noel ,
Very nice image captured in sun light ,
This is another ancient and historic monument ,
I hope local people support their cultural Heritages,
Nice work , nice notes in text ,
Thank you friend for sharing this Heritage with us ,
God Bless ,
abmdsudi (40332) 2014-02-02 23:50
Lovely subtle soft shadows projected on the cemetery where the dominating old table tomb grabs the eye and rightly so as a very strong subject. You lighting control is again applauded, yet another -shooting into light situation - avoiding at the point of being burnt out under this light intensity but the warm tones is of great value here with the light beam is indeed awesome. Great that you managed to register lots of fine detail under the difficult condition and the sense of awe really comes through in this image, and the cross is clever inclusion ensuring view is locked within the frame. Another fine effort and tfs, Congrats.
photographer_sg (3179) 2014-02-03 11:07
A really spectacular composition with the horizon in flames! The textures and depth in the foreground is stunning. The old and neglected gravestones illuminated by the golden light have great visual impact and you have created a picture charged with feeling and emotion. Thanks for sharing.
COSTANTINO (52002) 2014-02-04 6:16
it is a different shot from the usuals
a shot divorsed into two different parties
the sky shining with a full explosion of
strong colors and the second with this
very old table tomb in the cemetery
of Skreen Church on the Hill of Skryne
lovely shot towards the direction
of the sun
have a nice
krzychu30 (15344) 2014-02-06 10:51
itīs always pleasure to look at your pictures and to see how masterfully you utilize the available light to make your scenes so moody.
Love this one!And not only because of so delightful,warm light,but also because itīs excellently composed.I like especially the proximity to the tomb in the FG.This together with some sunbeams so nicely visible in your image creates here unique and kind of mystic atmosphere.
Wish You a nice evening