My Favorites of PJ’s Photos (Dennis Aubrey)


We had a wonderful visit with our young friend Nathan Mizrachi who has documented his extraordinary 20 month journey throughout Europe on this site Life is a Camino. Regular readers might remember that we met Nathan for a week in the Ardeche last year. He just concluded his European trip and landed in Boston, so he took a short ride down to visit us in Cape Cod for the weekend.

Nathan has a great appetite for travel, food, and art history and used his long journey to excellent advantage, from walking the Camino from Vézelay to Santiago Compostela and then hitching throughout Europe. As we were talking about his trip, he asked if we’ve ever done a post on our favorite shots among the 500+ posts on Via Lucis. It turns out that we haven’t, so for you, Nathan, here is a selection of some of my personal favorite shots of PJ’s.

The first has become my front-runner in any competition, a shot that shows her stylistic affinity with the work of Angelico Surchamp. She is able to see and capture the abstract and artistic qualities of the architecture, in the process creating a work of art of her own.

Side aisle, Cathedrale Saint Front, Périgueux (Dordogne)  Photo by PJ McKey

Side aisle, Cathedrale Saint Front, Périgueux (Dordogne) Photo by PJ McKey

This next shot is a wonderful evocation of the feelings that the Romanesque churches create in the viewer. Technically, I love the light reflecting on the seats in the nave, bringing what would be an otherwise dark floor brightly to life.

Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire  (Puy de Dôme)  Photo by PJ McKey

Basilique Saint Austremoine, Issoire (Puy de Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

PJ is a master of juxtaposition. The next shot from Paray-le-Monial demonstrates that she sees the relationships not only among forms and volumes, but of content and context.

Basilique Notre Dame, Paray-le-Monial (Saône-et-Loire)  Photo by PJ McKey

Basilique Notre Dame, Paray-le-Monial (Saône-et-Loire) Photo by PJ McKey

The shot from the Basilique Saint Hilaire in Poitiers is another fine example of the juxtaposition of the elements giving meaning and context to the architecture. But the attentive composition means that every individual element is framed on its own – notice the arch over the head of the crucified Christ, the angle of Jesus’ gaze to the Madonna and Child, the retreat of the nave arches in the distance and the wonderful touch where the heavy column on the right with the capital is echoed and framed by the lighter nave column beyond.

Side aisle of Église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand, Poitiers  (Vienne)  Photo by PJ McKey

Side aisle of Église Saint-Hilaire-le-Grand, Poitiers (Vienne) Photo by PJ McKey

I love this next shot of the Saint Trophime because of its simplicity – a long shot down a narrow side aisle, revealing layer after layer in the distance, each perfectly exposed and balanced. PJ is seldom interested in purely technical details, but in this particular case, the shot is masterful.

South side aisle, Cathédrale Saint-Trophime, Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône)  (Photo by PJ McKey)

South side aisle, Cathédrale Saint-Trophime, Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône) (Photo by PJ McKey)

I could select dozens more shots, but I will settle for one final choice, this one from the Monastir de Santa Maria de Ripoll. The framing of this photo is extraordinary – unpredictable and elliptical at the same time with fleeting diagonals and intersecting and disappearing arches.

Monastir de Santa Maria de Ripoll (Girona) Photo by PJ McKey

Monastir de Santa Maria de Ripoll (Girona) Photo by PJ McKey

So Nathan, thanks for the recommendation. This was so much fun. It was necessary to work fast, or else I would have been looking through her images for days. How lucky I am to have a partner like PJ. Not only is she the love of my life, but a wondrous artist whose work delights me in every way.

14 responses to “My Favorites of PJ’s Photos (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. I think I mentioned this to you the other day. P.J always has that loo for the unusual. Beautiful art.

  2. Glad to have played my part 🙂 And I agree–if you had really started thinking about which photos to select it would take you forever. It was so wonderful seeing you both and sharing a couple days with you. Take good care!

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