All images are copyright © 2008-2013 Russ Martin,
(unless otherwise indicated). All rights reserved.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New for 2009

I have just had a great time this past year honing my photography skills and taking pictures of these wonderful old churches. At first I was going to tapper off and go to monthly updates instead of weekly but I have decided to continue with the weekly updates. My new goal is to published at least one picture of all the Cross Tipped Churches by the end of 2009. Of course there will still be the occasional off topic post.

Whats New in 2009

A non photo post that you can find by its link at the bottom of the page. Simply a place for me to record and share my thoughts. Feel free to share your own by leaving a comment.

Additional Photo Galleries
I will be adding Photo Gallery links for the Cross Tipped Churches and more. These will also be accessed by a link in the right margin. The pictures for the link will not necessarily change every time the gallery gets updated. I will put the update date at the top of each picture gallery link.

My son Tyler and I have designed a business card to leave/hand out to promote the blog and let people know they have been featured in the blog.

All post have been labeled and categorized by location and subject. You can use this to see all post that have pictures of a particular location such as a church or subject such as stain glass windows. You will find an area labeled Categories in the right margin.

Calvary Memorial taken at St. Michael's Cemetery

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Three Crosses

One of the reasons I revisit churches to take pictures is to discover what I missed. Either I didn't see it or as in this case, didn't quite get the shot I wanted. A similar picture was in the first post, but this is the picture I was looking for.

This picture also looks awesome in black and white.

Crosses and Candles
 Saint Michael Catholic Church 
Fort Loramie Ohio

Red Poinsettias and Mary and Joseph Altars

I found both Mary and Joseph side altars decorated for the holidays.

Mary and Joseph Altar
Red Poinsettias
Saint Michael Catholic Church
Ft. Loramie Ohio

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Altar and Stained Glass

I finally got a chance to revisit St. Michael. This time I went during the day and with my new Canon 430EX Flash. Wow, what a difference a good flash will make. It was an overcast day but I found the inside of the church to be a lot less dark then when I visited at night. I spent a good hour taking pictures.

Here are a couple of pictures of the Altar. This first one shows the three stained glass windows that flank and serve as a beautiful background.

Altar and Stained Glass Windows 
Saint Michael Catholic Church 
Fort Loramie Ohio

Altar Crucifix - St. Michael

Saint Michael has a large Crucifix scene above the main alter. I just love the earth-tone colors.

Crucifixion Scene Main Altar 
Saint Michael Catholic Church 
Fort Loramie Ohio

Nativity - St. Michael

I visited St. Michael just before Christmas. I love the added trees. There were some folks in the church that brought out Baby Jesus for the pictures.

Nativity and Mary Altar
Saint Michael Catholic Church
Fort Loramie Ohio

A Healing Prayer

Picture of painting The Virgin in Prayer lit by candel light.
The Virgin in Prayer
Giovanni Battista Salvi
called Sassoferrato

A Healing Prayer

At Cana, the Mother of Jesus said to the servers,
"Do whatever he tells you." John 2:5

Jesus, heal our live,
our broken spirits,
our hearts and minds,
our body and soul.

Jesus hear our prayer;
You know our weakness,
our struggle and pain,
for You too have suffered.

Jesus Listen in love
as you once did at Cana
to your Mother Mary,
and respond in mercy.


 I just loved the way the portrait was illuminated by the candle light. The prayer comes from a prayer card with a picture of the same portrait on front that I found lying on the table the candle was sitting on.

The Virgin In Prayer Candle Lit Portrait
Saint Michael Catholic Church
Fort Loramie Ohio

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saint Michael - Christmas Lights

On one of my rare late night visits of touring the churches I was surprised to find these Christmas Lights adorning the Steeple and St. Michael Statue of the St. Michael Catholic Church in Ft. Loramie.

Christmas Lights and Steeple
Saint Michael Catholic Church
Fort Loramie Ohio

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Choir Loft and Organ

While visiting Saint Michael at night I had the good fortune of being there when the choir showed up for practice. Not only did I get to talk to a few good people but snagged this great shot of the balcony and organ when they turned on the lights.

Choir Loft and Organ 
Saint Michael Catholic Church 
Fort Loramie Ohio

Monday, December 8, 2008

50 Foot Cross - B&W

I've posted a picture of this 50 foot cross before, but you just don't get a good feeling for just how big it is until you have a point of reference. My cousin Dave was glad to help out.

50 Foot Cross
Maria Stein Spiritual Center
Maria Stein Ohio

Station of the Cross XII - B&W

All these pictures were taken with Black and White Film at the Shrine of the Holy Relics as part of my Black and White Road Trip.

Station 12 of the Cross (The Death of Jesus)

This is one of fourteen stations that use to be housed at St. Augustine church in Minster.

Station of the Cross 
Shrine of the Holy Relics 
Maria Stein Ohio

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cemetery and Celtic Cross Spire

When I visit the churches I try and take sometime to look for a new angle. I was pretty happy when I found this composition.

Cemetery and Celtic Cross Spire  
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church  
McCartyville Ohio

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saint Michael the Archangel

Statue of Saint Michael The Arch Angel above the entry door of Saint Michael Church
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Saint Michael The Archangel Prayer and Statue
Saint Michael Catholic Church
Fort Loramie Ohio 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

St. Henry and Sacred Heart of Jesus (Statues)

Only two of the eight churches on the Scenic Byway The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches have statues above the door. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. Henry. This is a picture I took of St. Henry on one of the days that the church was busy. Click here to learn more about St. Henry.

This is the statue of Jesus that oversees and greets you at The Sacred Heart of Jesus church.

Birds seem to be an issue for both locations.

Saint Henry Statue 
 Saint Henry Catholic Church
  Saint Henry Oho
  Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue
  Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church  
McCartyville Ohio

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Relic Chapel (Black & White Road Trip)

David (my cousin) and I completed this weekend one of what I hope to be many more road trips together. We visited the Shrine of the Holy Relics and I actually got to go inside the museum. Along with this stop, we visited St. John, St. Rose, and St. Charles Seminary. The pictures featured here were taken with Black and White 35mm film. I used Kodak Professional BW400CN. This is the kind you can take to any local lab (Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc.) to have developed.

I have met some of the nicest people while touring the churches. This weekend was no different. A very nice lady saw that we were a little bewildered on where to go when we entered the building so she offered her assistance and led us to the Shrine and gave us a small mini tour/lecture. These five pictures are from the relics chapel.

I was curious to see how the stained glass would come out in BW. Makes me want to get out my box of crayons and start coloring. David was so inspired on this trip that he has already written a poem about the Cross Tipped Churches. Look for it in next weeks post.

Altar Rail Relief
Relic Chapel
Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue
Pieta Statue
Stained Glass Window

Relic Chapel
Shrine of the Holy Relics
Maria Stein Ohio

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman (Stained Glass)

Luke 7:36-50 (New International Version)

Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled." "You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

As promised I am using these stained glass windows and their story's to help me get through a busy time. If all goes well, I have a road tripped planned for this weekend to cover the By-Way using Black and White Film. It suppose to rain all weekend so we will see how it goes. It will be late November before I will have time to post anything from the trip.
Scripture (NIV) 
Stained Glass Window 
Holy Trinity Catholic Church 
Coldwater Ohio

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Church of the Holy Trinity

My visit to this church has by far been my most productive. I came away with more usable pictures than I normally do. This cross tipped spire is just beautiful. You can't really appreciate the detail unless you get a close look like this. This was taken with my Canon 75-300mm f/3.5 lens. Its the under $200 dollar zoom lens I got from Wal-Mart when I bought my Canon Rebel K2 35mm film camera.
When I think of the Holy Trinity, I think of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit so I was surprised when I read the history of the church. The following text is from their web page:
The founding of Holy Trinity Parish dates back to 1867 when three Catholic families, Kallmeyer, Boese, and Pohl of the Coldwater area sought permission for the construction of a wood frame church; hence the name "Holy Trinity."
It's this kind of stuff I find that makes me want to dig even deeper into the history of these German Catholic churches.
Here is another shot from the outside, using a wide angle lens from a very low viewpoint. I thought it made for a pretty cool pic.

Cross Tipped Spire
Holy Trinity Catholic Church 
Coldwater Ohio

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Baptism of Jesus (Stained Glass)

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now, it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

Scripture (NIV) 
Stained Glass Window 
Holy Trinity Catholic Church 
Coldwater Ohio

Saturday, October 11, 2008

St. Joseph Altar

Below are two pictures are of the altar the second being a close up of the Crucifixion. I just love the night time effect and the arches.

Church Altars
Saint Joseph Catholic Church
Saint Joseph Ohio

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Missing Boy Jesus Found in the Temple

Like so many of the churches this one is not without it's beautiful stained glass windows. This is just one of many. In this one Joseph and Mary have found Jesus in the temple after searching for him.

Stained Glass Window 
Saint Joseph Catholic Church 
Saint Joseph Ohio

St. Joseph - Spire and Cemetery

St. Joseph is located between St. Henry and Fort Recovery. The church does not set directly off of 119 but is not too far off the road. You can see the spire from 119 during the day. I have made several trips to this church but have not been all that happy with the pictures. I am publishing these but I do not feel that I have found IT. "IT" being picture or pictures that best represent the church. Not to mention some of these were taken at ISO 1600. In addition to these I also added another picture of the church to the Description Of The Byway post. I went ahead and published these because it may be a while before I get back out that way and a feature on this church was long overdue.

The church has a cemetery right behind it. This picture is one of my more interesting cemetery captures. I found the snake-eye view to provide a unique perspective.

Cross Tipped Spire and Cemetery 
Saint Joseph Catholic Church 
Saint Joseph Ohio

Gethsemane Matthew 26:36-41

Matthew 26:36-41

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray. "He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed. "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet Not as I will, but as you will."

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

Stained Glass Window
Scripture - NIV
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Coldwater Ohio

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mary Visiting Elizabeth

Luke 1:39-45
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear. But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!

Stained Glass Window 
Holy Trinity Catholic Church 
Coldwater Ohio

Holy Trinity - Candles

The emblem at the left is from a candle holder and is practically life size. It never ceases to amaze me at how well my Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro performs. It's the little things like that and the candles pictured above that make each outing unique and fun.

Candles and Emblem
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Coldwater Ohio

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Holy Trinity - Church

When I go on a picture outing for The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches, I have a plan/goal. This outings goal was to re-shoot the brick relief arches on the school by St. Augustine and revisit St. Henry. I got the pictures of the arches but St. Henry was in use.

I decided now was a good time to visit the Church of the Holy Trinity just 4 miles to the North in Coldwater. To get to the church take 118 North out of St. Henry. While the church is not part of the byway it is part of The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches. The Ohio Scenic Byway only features 8 of the many churches that are included. As time allows I plan to feature some of these other churches.

This was my first visit and I can easily say it was not a wasted trip. It is definitely worth the small detour to visit if your touring the churches. As you can see from the picture above of the church I am really missing my polarizer. A darker blue sky would of looked much nicer.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Coldwater Ohio

Station 7 - Holy Trinity

The stations of the cross are one of my favorite subjects and this church's is my new favorite and probably my best capture to date. I just love the color and rich detail. I was able to take advantage of the available light, so I did not have to rely on flash or a very long exposure. Unfortunately this was the only one that was well lit.

Station of the Cross
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Coldwater Ohio

What A Relief

These brick relief arches are found on the side of the school next to Saint Augustine. They are just one of many unusual finds that I have encountered on my exploration of "The Land of the Cross Tipped Churches" byway. According to this placard it was a joint effort between the school and the Ohio Art Council. This is definitely a story worth further investigation.

The arches are made up of pictures of places and events local to the community. See how many you can recognize. You can click on the picture for a larger view

 This is the first arch. Can you find the Volleyball Players
This is the second arch. Can you find the Veterinarian

This is the third arch. Can you find the Juggler

This is the fourth arch. Can you find the Barber

I used a seven foot step ladder instead of a tripod to take these pictures. The first two were taken with my 18-55 kit lens. The last two were taken with my Canon 50mm f/1.8. I wanted to compare the two. Not surprisingly the pictures taken with the 50 were much better than the Kit lens. It is by far the best lens for the buck in the Canon line.

Minster School House Relief Arches
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Minster Ohio

Friday, September 26, 2008

Statue at Sunset

I got out tonight and took some more pictures. The setting sun was giving me a great sky to work with, but I was in the car and running out of time. I made a quick stop at The Shrine of the Holy Relics and captured this.

Sun Set and Statue 
Shrine of the Holy Relics 
Maria Stein Ohio

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cemetery at Twilight

The phone rings, I pick up and it's our oldest son Ryan. "Get your camera and go outside the sunset is awesome." That was pretty much the whole conversation. So I grab my gear and head outside. My son lives in town, we live in the country. Were not that far apart (15 miles) but I wasn't seeing what he was seeing. Still maybe just on the other side of the tree line. I decide what the heck I'd drive west and see what happens. I figured I'd go as far as McCartyville and if nothing was going on I'd just return home and watch NCIS.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is in McCartyville and has a wonderful cemetery. The Station 12 of the Cross or as I like to call it memorial to Calvary is one of my favorite subjects. This one came out very muted in twilight.

The picture at the top was taken when I first got there while there was still quite a bit of light. I think it came out with a very spooky feel. Of course I wanted to try and capture some of the sunset so I turned my attention on the monument that first caught my eye. On this shot I experimented with my flash compensation and backed my flash off by about 2 stops. The resulting picture is not too bad, but still not quite what I wanted.

This last picture is another twilight shot. Shooting late at night is a bit of a challenge but can produce some interesting images. All these pictures were taken with my trusty Canon f/2.8 100mm Macro lens. By the time I got there; its about a 15 minute drive, I did not have time to setup a tripod. These were all taken hand-held so I was not sure if I would come back with anything I could use. Over all I was happy with the outing. The top picture is my favorite out of the bunch.

Cemetery Crosses
Cemetery Crucifix
Sacred Heart of Jesus Church
McCartyville Ohio