Inspired by J M W Turner – a Cathedral from the canal

The painting below is by J M W Turner. Alongside Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable he must be one of the finest and most loved landscape painters England has ever produced. Turner stayed at Petworth House in West Sussex and during his time there he painted Chichester Canal with the Cathedral in the background – circa 1829. It’s a familiar scene to me and I thought it would lend itself to my own impressionistic treatment using a camera instead of paints.

Owned by the Tate Gallery and on display in Petworth House in Sussex.

As I have mentioned before using ICM can be a very hit and miss affair, so when I visited this particular location I took many frames varying the exposure time from about a second to about eight seconds. One image can be seen at the top of this post and here is another one.

Neither replicate the same view point painted by Turner, but nearly 300 years have passed by so the scene has changed. He may also have used some artistic license to get the composition he was after. Obviously I have stripped away the colour but I would like to think I have still created my own personal impression of this lovely scene.

On a separate note whilst taking these long exposure ICMs I had the good fortune to watch a tern flying up and down the canal diving for fish. They move incredibly quickly so instead of a second or more I captured these two images at 1/8000th of a second.

Taking photographs of wildlife is not really my thing. For starters I don’t have the right gear. The longest focal length in my bag is 90mm and all my lenses are manual focus so I was pleased to get these two shots.

A very pleasant way to spend an hour or two inspired by Turner and by a Tern!!


As always do click on an image to view a larger version.

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