Old Sheldon Church – A Different Perspective

“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”

George Eliot



Earlier this year I published a post about my visit to Old Sheldon Church in nearby Yemassee, South Carolina. The church is beautiful from every angle and every perspective and I had great fun shooting it in as many ways as possible. One can imagine the scale of the graceful live oak based on the size of its single branch in the photo above.



“What you see and hear depends on where you are standing.”

C.S. Lewis

One of my favorite perspectives that early morning included a beautiful sunburst peeking out from behind the remains of the building. Interestingly, we all know the sun is far larger than any building on earth and yet in the photo it appears far smaller.  Can’t you just imagine worshippers over the years enjoying a similar view as they knelt in prayer or sang their praises to the heavens?



“As a photographer you realize how ordinary it is to love the beautiful and how beautiful it is to love the ordinary.”

Marius Vieth

The Marius Vieth quote above speaks to the beauty of everyday things. For a photographer, the dew on a simple leaf is as beautiful as the most glorious sunset or the highest snow-capped mountain. A simple trail of spanish moss is as captivating as the giant live oak it adorns. A crumbling church surrounded by nature is every bit as extraordinary as the grandest cathedral.



“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”


The Old Sheldon Church, rather a ghost of its former self, has borne witness to several wars. Twice burned to the ground (first by the British during the Revolution and then by Sherman’s men during the Civil War), it speaks to the beauty of perseverance, of faith, of architectural grace, and of the artful blending of the hand of man with nature’s gifts.



“When I make a photograph I feel that I hold a piece of the universe in my hands.”

Paul Chaplo

My husband once told a friend that he believes I see things that no one else sees. I consider it one of my favorites compliments ever. To me, beauty is captured in simple things, even when surrounded by grandeur. The artist’s hand holding a brush is to me more appealing than any masterpiece he or she might create. As Paul Chaplo says, the photographer holds the universe in his or her hands – capturing the beauty of simplicity, grace, history, nature, humanity or anything else that catches the attention of one’s ever-vigilant lens.



“Too often in life we pass by important things. Let’s pause, change perspective and see things more clearly.”

Sergio da Silva

Wishing everyone a beautiful week filled with new perspective.





NOTE: In addition to the scale of the various perspectives from which I made these captures, I’ve also used NIK Silver Efex Pro to convert them to sepia.  To see the original post which includes the color captures, click here.


WPC: Scale







98 thoughts on “Old Sheldon Church – A Different Perspective

  1. What a great subject – as your quotes say. It’s surprisingly big! And I can’t remember seeing round brick columns like that, but then I have limited time in the south. You must be familiar with the Chapel of Ease on St. Helena Island? That’s more the scale I’m used to. I can see you had a wonderful time, and the decision to use sepia with the pointillist look is very evocative. Isn’t it nice when you find such great subjects in your own backyard – more or less!

  2. Live oaks with trailing moss and old churches: two of my favorites. I loved this post in color but now love it in sepia too. Thanks for sharing these photos and insights.

  3. What a beauty this is, Tina.
    I can’t even begin to imagine what it took to build it.
    You just don’t see a lot of brick construction anymore, and I think that is sad.
    Wonderfully captured!

  4. really love each photo = but the window to the past was riveting and really had so much with the shape and focus layers – very neat how it was like leveled in the focus – crisp clear – less – even more less – and blurry – hm

    and Ihave heard this quote before but it is a classic fav: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” so true

  5. Absolutely inspiring Quotes, Images and Commentary Tina. I love the quote by Marius Vieth and your expansion of Paul Chaplo’s phrase. I also love “seeing” things which others are too busy to notice – I especially enjoy what I discover in puddle reflections. I am glad for amazing quality of images I can take just on my cell phone which I always have with me. It’s like a photo-sketch pad. Except I never use the zoom which is just too poor quality.

    • Thanks so much Michael – I was especially pleased with the quotes I discovered for this one. Agree wholeheartedly re the puddle images – almost makes it worth dealing with the rain! Also agree on the iPhone. Seriously looking at upgrading yet again but haven’t pulled the trigger – may go with a smaller camera instead. What’s a photographer to do?! 🙂

      • Haha – Checkout the Canon G5X … it’s very portable and powerful. Nice bright EVF, touch screen, Optical 4.2x lens. f1.8-2.8, 20MP. Very happy with it! Cost about $800 CAN. Of course its not environment-proof, so need to be careful about that.

  6. Not just Nik, but your depth of field truly made these special. “Window to the past” is the best example. Made a great photo location into an interesting take on time and space!

  7. Pingback: WPC: Upscale | Lillie-Put

  8. A lovely place but I am sure it looks much more beautiful because of you Tina. The way you took photographs has great effect on the look. A wonderful entry for this week challenge.

  9. Pingback: Scale: Little Chrysler Building – What's (in) the picture?

  10. Beautiful shots of the Seldon Church. Agree with you about the view of the second shot – that cheeky sun or its reflection peeking through the trees. Right place, right time, and what a flare. I have to agree with your husband, that you see things in special ways. I like how you showed us the see through, and then a close up of it. When I looked at the close up, I had the impression that the wall was shaped like the bottom of a heart – and looking ahead I sort of saw the shot as a shape of a heart, lol. Wonderfully done all round, and love the sepia touch – a timeless ambience 🙂

  11. The color shots are great but I also like the feel the sepia gives them…an amazing place either way. Love the Marius Vieth quote and your interpretation in the paragraph that follows it. On a ‘scale’ of 1 to 10, I have to give this post a resounding 10…well done Tina 🙂

    • Thanks so much Terri – truth be told, the inside was fairly mundane. Ground with a few stones and weeds here and there. But if you stood in the center and looked up and around you could just feel the power of the place. Amazingly ethereal.

  12. Tina, I love the elegance that you have brought to life here. I always look through your photos first and then go back and read. The quotes speak well to your photography and your personality, and they speak loudly to me. I loved the color versions too, but the softness of the sepia is perfect for the quotes. Keep wandering….

    • Thanks so much Donna – I love that you re-visit the text and quotes after the photos! I often do that when I visit other blogs. You never know what’s going to catch you eye or your heart!

  13. I went back and looked at the originals. The redo with Nik sepia is incredible! Made me feel and visualize the people who worshipped there and the history that took place. Such a wonderful way to look at an amazing place. What an awesome thing
    for Bailey to say. That’s when we southerners say”Bless his heart” and truly mean it!

    • Thanks Lex, it’s a beautiful, spiritual site and I felt I needed to do it justice. It’s much more amazing first-hand, the camera cannot convey the emotion of the site. But I tried 🙂

  14. These are stunning photos. Very atmospheric and the quotes are , as always, excellent. I looked at the color photos too and they are lovely and give a very different perspective on this old church. I was going to say old ‘ruin’ but it has retained enough of the accumulated worship to be still called a church I think.

  15. What wonderful images from this venerable old place, Tina! A place I would love to stroll around. I recall being entranced by the colour images in your earlier post, but I have to say, sepia suits the age of the place and its ruination….

  16. This may be one my top of many fav posts from you T. The amazing photos , the quotes, the history, the sweet compliment from B.
    I agree you do see things no one else sees & am so happy you share them! d

  17. Your husband is right – you do see things that at least I dont. Thank you for allowing me a glimpse into that and more. Unlike most people I usually prefer the colored versions but for this post I liked the sepia versions 🙂

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