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The Prayer of the Night Shepherd

By dudler
The title is taken from one of Phil Rickman's excellent Merrily Watkins books. As far as I can find, there's no reference or significance, but when I processed the picture, it came to mind.

I took the picture a couple of weeks ago, in the bathroom at the B&B we were staying at, playing with my Lensbaby Velvet 56 and the mirror over the basin. Mrswoollybill's mirror shots yesterday reminded me to look at it, and I was rather pleased with the lead version (even though the camera is even less visible than in the original...)

All thoughts and comments welcome - especially if someone can tell me somewhere Phil R got his book title from. Or did he just make it up? Either way, it has a lot of resonance...

Tags: Mirror Self-portrait Forest of dean The rock Portraits and people Nik efex

Voters: Spkr51, Tish1, nonur and 38 more

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Tish1 Plus
8 32 5 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2017 3:01PM
I can tell you nothing about the book, unless it is a text book I don't tend to read, my education is seriously lacking; however, I really do like your lead image

nonur 12 18 13 Turkey
2 Mar 2017 3:03PM
The lead image wins the day, John. I love the toning and framing of this self portrait in monochrome. Your facial expression of the concentration on the camera might have something to do with the title.
Daisymaye Plus
12 23 19 Canada
2 Mar 2017 4:34PM
The lead image. The inspector, checking things out.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
2 Mar 2017 4:38PM
It's an interesting exercise, isn't it. And you didn't find time to grin either...
I think the camera needs to be entirely visible, or entirely out of the frame, so the main upload for me.
2 Mar 2017 4:54PM
The working on your lead image is perfect for the shot John, and come to that, the title too Smile

saltireblue Plus
10 11.8k 75 Norway
2 Mar 2017 5:51PM
Not something I dare try, John. Moira & Bill have met me, so they know why I prefer to be behind the camera!Blush

mistere Plus
7 6 4 England
2 Mar 2017 7:13PM
Nice image John, well captured and presented.
As for the book title, i found a review by Sharon Wheeler with the following ..
Merrily Watkins is a vicar in the small Herefordshire town of Ledwardine, and also the diocesan exorcist. She has doubts about her calling, and these worries are increased by some miracle recoveries which people are starting to attribute to Merrily and her new Sunday night services.
It could be that Merrily is the night shepherd and her healing prayers provide the inspiration for the title.
I could be totally wrong but it's as good a guess as any.Smile

dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 761 England
2 Mar 2017 8:35PM
V1 for me, quite sinister, a touch of The Master from those 1970s Dr Who episodes.
That's meant as a compliment by the way Grin
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 405
2 Mar 2017 9:05PM
dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1832 England
2 Mar 2017 9:40PM
Thanks, all.

I'd wondered if there was a reference to something in older literature in the title. Maybe not: the other titles in the series are not derived... But this one is so resonant.

By the way, the books are really good: not shockers, and a decent representation of life in the Church of England in many ways. Apart from the exorcism (we call it 'deliverance' though, and it always begins in minor keys), which is very much a rarity.
Irishkate Plus
10 45 121 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2017 1:06AM
V2 is more flattering of you John but agree with Moira re camera presence.
Kate Grin
3 Mar 2017 3:15AM
The lead photo. I love how, in a selfie, you seem to be ignoring the camera. A thoughtful self portrait, John. And interesting, we,photographers as a rule rarely get photographed.

And, thanks for your thoughtful comments on my cemetery desecration series.

kaybee Plus
16 7.6k 26 Scotland
3 Mar 2017 6:29AM
Has to be No1 ......
More contemplation in it (which goes better with the title of course)
JuBarney Plus
9 33 5 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2017 10:47AM
Afraid I disagree with Kate as I find the lead image is the most flattering which is lovely, if not a wee bit serious!

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