Darkness Dies

Dan Jurak, fine art, fineart, long exposure, blacka and white, church, darkness, Alberta, landscape, Brush Hill, church


In Immortality’s Light,
Darkness dies
Infinity’s Smiles,
Eternity cries.

– Sri Chinmoy

I went out yesterday with the intention of photographing this old church. It has seen it’s better days. The chimney bricks are falling down. The steeple is disintegrating. After years of vandalism the front doors have finally been boarded up and the only residents now are the pigeons who flutter around the church to stretch their winds and coo quietly when inside.

Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn like I usually do when shooting color I have found mid-morning or mid-afternoon are best for these black and whites.

This church like me is getting older and one day the only thing left of us will be memories. While driving for an hour to get to the church the mind has time to wander and imagine. I got to thinking that over forty years ago I would be up before the crack of dawn with one of my brothers or a friend, lunches packed, thermoses filled to the brim with hot coffee and driving down this same highway to go duck hunting. I haven’t touched a rifle in all that time and hunting like this old church is a distant memory.

The air was fresh and cool, just above freezing when I finally arrived at this spot. As I walked around the church the silence was peppered with the distant pop pop pop of hunters. Duck or goose hunting I am guessing. It seems that almost no one hunts anymore. There was a time when every pickup truck seemed to have a rifle rack above the seat against the rear window with a few shotguns in it. Store flyers would have shotgun shells on sale and we’d make our way to Woodward’s (a long gone department store in western Canada) to stock up on shells.

Times have changed. For better or worse? I dunno. Like this old church nothing lasts forever and sometimes all that’s left are the memories.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on October 26, 2014.

12 Responses to “Darkness Dies”

  1. You’re right, Dan, nothing last forever, better take advantage of what we have today. 😉 Wonderful atmosphere!

  2. Reblogged this on Today Eye Found.

  3. @ Anne, thank you. BTW, the weather here is quickly changing. Soon we will be covered in snow. Hopefully not before the kids get out for Halloween. 🙂


  4. Oh, I hope so too! 🙂

  5. Amazing!

  6. I like the photo and remember as a kid going for walks and picking up discarded shotgun shells, red and blue ones.And have visited old churches like this when they were full of the people that travelled for miles to get there for community gatherings and worship.Yes, enjoy the moment..

  7. @ Jane, I too remember looking for expended shotgun shells with one of my brothers. It seemed then that everywhere you went in the country you would hear the sound of shotguns firing in the distance. On this day I only heard that at my first stop. How things have changed.

    It’s a shame about these old places. Being constructed of wood their many of them are in a state of disrepair. Since I started photographing the prairies, I see less and less of these wooden buildings. If they don’t fall over in the wind the property owners push them over to make room for crops. Kinda sad to see our heritage disappear.

    Thank you as always for visiting and commenting,

  8. Just some incredible detailed motion in
    the clouds – more great work Dan

  9. @ Ray, thank you. It’s interesting that the conditions under which I would NEVER take color photos work out better as black and white and vice versa.


  10. just had a better look now that I am home – really is a great shot
    -the off kilter of the church ads some hallowe’en spirit – he said looking over his shoulder

  11. Ray, this church has really seen better days. It wouldn’t surprise me to see it being reduced to a pile of wood after a few more hard winters. This is the prettiest church that I know of in Alberta. It has a great Gothic, haunted silhouette doesn’t it? 🙂

  12. Reblogged this on Le Plaisir d'une photo….

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