Some photographer friends first told me about the old rock church near Cranfills Gap. I visited it a few years ago and found it not only to be one neat destination but also a location I made one of my favorite photographs. I have returned occasionally and still find it a location worth repeat trips to.
The church is several miles outside of town and not in the city limits at all. It sits isolated and alone on a small hill. There are no other buildings around it and it’s only neighbor is it's graveyard. There are not even power lines running to it. It truly is alone. You can stand there, look at the church and just see it in a setting of the surrounding countryside much as it would have been a century ago.
That aloneness on the hill makes it unique, photogenic, and well worth a trip to visit.
My plan was to be there for first light hoping that dramatic sky and light would make it a wow image. On my very first visit I got that lucky. I have been back several times, but I have yet to beat that first visit for making a great image.
On a cold, potentially rainy December morning last week, I decided to make the drive to Cranfills Gap and visit the old church. After a two hour drive in the dark night it was a cold, heavily overcast and quite dreary morning that was breaking. I was hoping for clouds , but this was so gray and so blank I knew I would have to work to make the most of it. I looked for different ways to take the sky factor out of the image.
A composition that I thought might work was out by a big live oak tree that grows a few hundred yards from the church. By getting very low I could frame the church under the branches of the live oak so that the tree filled the image above the church and not the dreary gray of the sky.
After I made a few images, I just sat down in the field and made a few of the camera in the grass that really captured that moment of getting low to get the image.