Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

No, I Don't Have An Explanation

And now for something odd.

I was taking pictures of the Selby monuments in Ightham Church. There are two of them- extravagant things wedged into a corner of the chancel. One commemorates Dame Dorothy Selby- whose marble bust peers out of a circular aperture- as if watching life's show from a box in the theatre and the other to a couple of chaps both called William Selby, whose full length effigies lie stacked one above the other. Dame Dorothy figures largely in the history of Ightham- legend has it that she betrayed the gunpowder plotters and as punishment was walled up alive in the big house (see last post)- which is plainly absurd because she lived to a ripe old age and is buried in the church. Anyway, her effigy is slightly sinister- as this picture shows...

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Anyway, I stepped back to take a picture that would include both monuments- and this is what I got...

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A shadow is descending or- perhaps-  emanating- billowing out- from Dame Dorothy's monument. What happened next is a bit of a blur. I took two more shots in quick succession- both of which show the monuments entirely blotted out. I'm pretty sure the flash was working- I can remember seeing it fire- but I don't suppose it can have been. Or perhaps it was bouncing off a wall of darkness. No, that's too fanciful. You can see from this image that the only light is coming from the East window.

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So lets discount the second picture and accept that the flash wasn't working- though that darkness is exceedingly thick- and why didn't the flash engage?- and concentrate on the first. My first thought was that something had fallen in front of the lens, the camera strap maybe- but that's not the case. If you raise the brightness to the max you find that the dark cloud isn't solid but permeable.

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What did I feel at the time? It felt like I was in a dream- one of those dreams where you're interacting with what seems to be the physical world and things don't work-  where, for instance, you flip on a light switch and nothing happens. But I wasn't going to be beaten. I sort of said to myself, or to the darkness, or to the camera, "OK this time everything is going to bloody well function properly" and I took another shot- and it did...

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