Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

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...


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.


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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