When I first started traveling to Europe, I became enamored with photographing old churches. This is in no way unique; anyone who’s traveled to Europe can tell you they are so beautiful (think Notre Dame in Paris, the Duomo in Florence) it’s hard not to try to soak up that beauty with your camera. Sadly, that pursuit is usually in vain as it’s a very rare photograph that captures the feeling of seeing a steeple rise in the distance, or standing in the naive and staring up at the intricate details in the vaulted ceilings and spires and thick pillars. Then, of course, there’s the smell of old churches. It smells… like what I guess history smells like.
Since my pics were not measuring up, I decided instead to focus on one element I found over and over again in these old churches and cathedrals, and that is quatrefoils. (If you’re not sure what that is, check out my board on Pinterest.) Now I have a collection of quatrefoil pictures from my travels that serve as touchstones to that time: “Ah, yes, that’s the quatrefoil from the little church in Bamberg, Germany.” Isn’t that what all vacation photography aims to do?
I recently found them all over Yale, and it reminded me of previous trips and made me hopeful for a return to Europe in the very near future (2014?), and many return visits to Yale.1