Comiaken Hill’s Butter Church

Here is the third installment dealing with the Stone Church or Butter Church on Comiaken Hill. The first two parts, here and here, have us looking at it from a distance and bring out its picturesque qualities and setting. For this show I have moved in closer (as I threatened to do in one of the earlier installments). It was an early morning and rather cool and the sunshine which I had waited for that morning seemed to make it colder.

For starters I walked up the footpath and stairs that lead up Comiaken Hill from Tzouhalem Road. At the foot sits the watcher who has been there for some time.

Arriving at the top we face the east side of this one and a half century old building just as that early morning sun sets it ablaze with shades of orange and yellow.

From here we move to the front of the building. It faces south.

And on to the west side of the building.

And on to the back where during its ten years of service the altar stood.

It amazes me time and time again how the light of the early day (or late day) totally changes the coloring of whatever it touches. The building stone is a sandstone that was quarried pretty well right there. The color really is a slate grey. Let us go inside. Here the camera runs in a bit of trouble. An HDR application should come in handy now to show it all properly. However bravely we move on realizing that my camera handles the range of detail better than the old printfilm could have done.

Time to turn around and walk out of the opening for the front door. My hands are very cold and hopefully things are warming up outside.


The place is very nicely maintained, beautifully quiet on this Saturday morning with views of the bay to the east, the river to the south, and the little graveyard looking west. In short it was an exhilarating hour and a half on the top of Comiaken Hill.

Here is a short history link:

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Categories: Country Side, country side; autumn, Environment, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “Comiaken Hill’s Butter Church

  1. Wonderful photos! I love the fourth one, with the sunlight creating the outline of the windows they shine through onto the opposite wall.

    • Yes, Angeline, it is an interesting little building. Its history has left it complete with ghost stories being told to this day. I checked on the morning and evening light a week earlier. The morning colors were more dramatic and the light came into the building just right. The contrast was a lot harsher, though..

  2. fabulous shots joseph!

  3. These are very satisfying shots indeed. I was first drawn to your blog through the first photos of your that you link to – I still think it is a marvelous image, and would be of any church.
    This post has so many different angles, great light and exposures. I also like the processing a lot – I could have sworn that first one was digitised from film. I really like the sixth shot (07 as it is partly labelled) and the last one. And the first one, of course.

    • Thanks ehpem, you know, it was all about the light. Everything on that site looked gorgeous. It did not take much more editing than straightening here and there and minor tweaks to show the scene the way it was during that glorious hour..

  4. EPIC! This is, without a doubt, my personal favorite subject to shoot on all of Vancouver Island! You’ve done a wonderful, wonderful job with this Joseph, I really enjoy how you brought all the spirit and character of this important historic facility to life for everyone to enjoy. That light is amazing in the morning like that, you’ve got my creative juices flowing here!

    • Hello Mr and Mrs Toad, Yes it is quite a place complete with photogenic scenery wherever one looked. Actually the light turned everything I looked at into a picture. A great morning.

  5. And another! The textures and light are amazing!

  6. Pingback: St. Ann’s Church and Cemetery « Mrjom's Blog

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