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Window in Meldorf Dom, Schleswig Holstein, Germany

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (14)

Ian Stehbens on July 15, 2007

The morning that we attended worship here was the morning of the Confirmation of a number of young people with intellectual disabilities. Their joy and faith was an inspiration to all their families and friends and a beautiful testimony to the ministry of the church. Pastor Goerdel led the worship. This window is an inspirational gem.

Marilyn Whiteley on October 27, 2007

Thank you for the commentary as well as the stunning photo.

Ian Stehbens on October 27, 2007

Just to add a little: While I love the colours and the creative design of the window, it was the images (silhouettes) of children that was special for me, especially in the context of that day's worship in which young people with intellectual disabilities were enwrapped by the care of a community.

Marilyn Whiteley on October 28, 2007

Yes, Ian, I recognized and appreciated the silhouettes in a picture taken on that special day.

Craig Ward on February 15, 2008

A lovely image Ian :), Ian what is the etiquette,as far as photography & permission inside or outside of churches & Mosques ?,as i have never done this form of photography,Cheers Craig.

Ian Stehbens on February 15, 2008

Hi Craig,

Now that is a good question.

I am quite familiar with churches and mosques, so it seems quite natural to me to seek to image the architecture or design elements of the building. I am currently contemplating a photoshoot of the local cathedral.

I think one guiding principle is respect. So therefore I would prefer to seek permission for interior photographs and to do so when no one is in prayer or in worship. I took this image immediately after the service, although the celebratory nature of the worship that morning meant the family and friends were taking photos during the service. If the camera is a digital and the flash mode is off and one can hold the camera on the back of a seat or against a pillar, then good shots may be taken with out disturbance or anyone being aware.

But I would still prefer to participate in the service and wait till afterwards, as in this case. In regard to photography, I accept the notion that my full participation in the worship, service, mass, prayer will be the crucible in which my photography will be formed.

Some churches and mosques are open much of the time because of their grand architecture or history and in some cases there is a policy on photography, but otherwise it is ok. If in doubt ask.

One element that is a guide to me, is that I seek to represent the theology of the architecture if I can. In other words, the architecture may well be an expression of worship, or even an instrument of teaching.

Recognize the relationships between theology and architecture, culture and architecture. Pre-Vatican II Catholic churches are very different from the new ones that have been designed and built since Vatican II. Protestant Churches are different from both. Methodist Churches are different from Presbyterian Churches. Neo-American Pentecostalism has generated another pattern of architecture. And the differences are statements of theology, as well of course the expression of a particular culture...Tongan, Russian, English, rural Australian, Byzantium.

The architecture of Christianity tends to find both denominational and local expression, whereas in Islam, mosques are more consistent with a dominant world view and borrow heavily from a period of history that was dominant in the Middle East in certain periods of history.

And if there is someone in-house who can be your companion who will therefore guide you and give tacit approval then you are likely to be appreciated. Someone may even want to see the result. With digital technology that can happen on the spot with the review function.

If you let these principles (and they are just my first thoughts on this, as you are the first I have heard ask this question) guide you I think you will respectfully do justice to the craft of photography. And those who might need to give you permission will generally recognize this in you.

I trust this helps, Craig. I am very open to feedback, or even challenges to this from you or others who wish to converse.

Coventry Cathedral is a case where the magnificence and the beauty are best seen from the perspective of reconciliation and resurrection themes that followed the bombing of WWII. You might like to review a couple of images of a Reconciliation Church in Berlin, in my folio.

As Marilyn Whiteley will see this conversation, and she is very competent to comment also, I invite her to do so, specially. In fact it would be good to put our thoughts together on this.



Marilyn Whiteley on February 15, 2008

Thank you, Ian, for inviting me into this conversation with Craig. Ian, you have expressed so well much of what I would have said; what is there to add?

As Ian knows, I regularly think in narrative terms. Hence I'll share my reflections on taking this recent photoin Quebec. I was with a small tour party, but we did not enter the church as a group; we went in separately.

I found that a service was in progress at the front of the large sanctuary, but immediately I did two things that I would have done anyway: I looked for any indication about whether photography was permitted, and I took a seat near the back both to meditate and to observe. (The service was in French, and my oral comprehension is very limited!) A sign said that no pictures were to be taken during services--which implied that they were allowed at other times.

When the service ended, I took this photo, using the top-of-the-pew technique that Ian has mentioned. Also I photographed the shrine and the candles near me. Often I would have walked around the sanctuary at that time, but a few people had remained to pray, and my time was limited, so I didn't do that here. I've often also used the brace-the-camera-against-a-pillar technique, but that didn't work here for any picture I wanted.

This church is a pilgrimage site where people come with prayers for healing, and near where I sat there were many crutches, canes, etc., hung as testimony. I didn't try to photograph that, out of respect I think. I felt some ambivalence about it and would not want to have photographed it as a "curiosity."

Our kind of travel has meant that we have often visited churches at times when no services of worship were being held. Yet I am always aware of them as "sacred space." I'd never thought about it this way before, Ian, but I think that some of what I do while I'm sitting is attempting to "see" the theology of the building!

I'll second the comment about being sure that flash is inactivated. I wince when I see people fail to do this, whether accidentally or in defiance of churches' requests to the contrary!

Thank, Craig, for raising this thought-provoking subject, and Ian, for inviting me into the conversation.


Craig Ward on February 15, 2008

Thank you Ian ,for your thoughts on this,it is a great help, i am not a religious person, but have an interest in trying to understanding the different religons , so i am not familiar with protocol. Its an area of photography i would like to explore ,but had hesitated ,as i was unsure of the correct way to approach this,without being rude or offensive to others. Thank you again Ian for your thoughts on this. Cheers , Craig

Craig Ward on February 15, 2008

I also extend my thanks to Marilyn,for your thoughts and experience on this subject,both you and Ian have been of great help,in my understanding of this respectful area of photography,Cheers Craig

Ian Stehbens on March 28, 2008

A Google Earth viewer was disappointed that this photo was located as "near Ammerswuth", which is but a couple of farmsteads just outside Meldorf. The church is in Meldorf, and the automatic geo-tag, while correct, is inappropriate.

There are many other errors such as this in GE which they have been told about, but we wait for the day when such errors are able to be logged and corrected.

The classic for me is that photo locations in central Canberra, the Austalian National Capital, are identified by GE as "near Campbell, Victoria". I bet there would be quicker action to correct if the White House and the Lincoln Memorial were was identified as being "near Arlington, Texas"!! And that is an exact equivalent....

I guess we all have ethno-centric geo-politics, even GW!


Marina Sp. on December 2, 2008

A beautiful photo of colours and people. The dark silhouettes of the children mix well with the bright angels. Greetings from Greece, Marina

Ian Stehbens on February 5, 2009

My sincere apology for missing your comment, Marina. It certainly is appreciated and I glad to connect with you, albeit belatedly. I send my warmest greetings to you from Sydney,


Dominique Rolland ✩☂ on March 15, 2013

Belle et jolie photographie



Ian Stehbens on March 17, 2013

Merci beaucoup, Domi.



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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 14, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens
    • Camera: Canon EOS 20D
    • Taken on 2005/05/22 18:11:04
    • Exposure: 0.008s (1/125)
    • Focal Length: 85.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/6.300
    • ISO Speed: ISO400
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash