Reflections on Salisbury

At the end of last week the preview evening for the annual Southern Photographic Federation Exhibition took place in the Wiltshire county town of Salisbury and I thought it woud be a good idea to attend. It’s about 60 miles from home so it made sense to me to go there for the day and take a look at the City and its Cathedral. Although I had passed through Salisbury, I had never actually stopped, so I can’t say I knew the place at all.

The River Avon passes through the centre of Salisbury and the Cathedral which dates back to 1220, has water meadows to the south and west. In 2012 the UK experienced its second highest rainfall total and it was particularly bad towards the end of the year. As a consequence the river was badly swollen and parts of the water meadows which are normally dry, were flooded. The photo below was taken from, believe it or not, playing fields which adjoin the meadows. You can just about make out three benches in the middle distance which were inaccessible but for a pair of wellington boots or waders.

‘Reflection of a Spire’

Reflections of a Spire

Once inside the Cathedral I was very taken by the four cornered font which was designed by William Pye and installed in 2008 to commemmorate the 750th Anniversay of the Cathedral. Consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury the font is used for baptisms, but it also serves as a wonderful reflective surface as you will see below.

‘Arches in Reflection’

Arches in Reflection - Salisbury Cathedral

I am delighted with this image. Out of necessisty it was hand held with the camera just above the surface of the water. I doubt a tripod with its head could have been placed in this position. I also doubt that an amatuer photographer would have been allowed to use one anyway. I did ramp up the ISO to 2500 on the EM5, but using the Olympus 12mm @ f2, I still managed a shutter speed of 1/60th sec. On my return from Salisbury I processed the above image and uploaded it to Flickr. It was the second consecutive image of mine to be chosen for ‘Explore’ and as a result it quickly became my most popular image, nearly 3,000 views and over 300 ‘favourites’ in a 48 hour period. Does this make it a good photograph for a club competition or future exhibition? In this case I think it does and I will look forward to entering ‘Arches in Reflection’ in the near future.

The Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral are the largest in the UK so had to be photographed. The theme of this entry is ‘Reflections’ and this image still has a place but this time the reflections are of a different nature – Reflections of the Spirit. I could just imagine monks or countless numbers of worshippers over the centuries seeking peace and quiet in this special place. I deliberately kept the bench seat small in the composition as I didn’t want it to detract from the wonderful arches of the building.

‘Reflections of the Spirit’

Salisbury Cathedral Cloisters

As I walked around the ‘water meadows’ I came across a man sitting on a park bench and eating his lunch. A normal event but on this occasion he was ankle deep in the flood waters. It makes for a rather amusing scene.

‘I always sit here!’

I always sit here!
And lastly the same individual but having changed the composition there is a greater feeling of isolation and I am left wondering what thoughts are going through his mind. 
‘A moment to reflect’
A moment to reflect

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