alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘Sherborne’ category

‘Just waiting’ in Sherborne Abbey

My last two posts have both been about Sherborne Abbey in Dorset. As we left I noticed an elderly lady sitting in the South Porch. It was late afternoon and the sun was still shining; it had been a very hot day.

Just waiting
‘Just Waiting’
An elderly lady in the South Porch of Sherborne Abbey

She looked out through the gated entrance and the title for the image ‘Just waiting’ came into my mind. Waiting for what I don’t know, nor will I ever know. She may not have been waiting at all, just taking the weight off her feet and enjoying some shade before she walked to her next destination. Perhaps she had been shopping and her wicker basket was full of delicious items from the local delicatessen, or her daily pills from the pharmacy. In all likelihood a mixture of the two.

What thoughts come to your mind when looking at this image? That’s the great thing about people in photographs. They conjure up a story which will have a different interpretation for all that stop to look, wait and see what thoughts come to mind.

Sherborne Abbey – Interior details

In the previous entry I wrote about Sherborne Abbey in Dorset and illustrated the post with a number of shots depicting some of the main interior features or views of this wonderful building.

As I walked around the Abbey, as well as the ‘wider’ view, there were many fine details to be seen and I thought these were also worth recording and would justify an entry of their own.

As I said in the first post about Sherborne Abbey, it is a place I would like to revisit at some point in the future. I shall be armed with my tripod, take my time, observe and make careful compositions before making sure the exposure settings are just right. That’s not to say I am in anyway disappointed with the results so far, but what they have done is to inspire me to return, to explore and really do justice to this place of worship. The place which is fondly called the ‘Cathedral of Dorset’.

Leweston Tomb
Light on the Leweston Tomb Memorial
Pulpit detail 1
Wood carving on the Pulpit
Pulpit detail 2
Another carving on the Pulpit
Pulpit steps
Pulpit steps
Choir candles
Choir candles

Fan Ceiling in reflection
Reflections in a mirror of the Fan Vault on the main Nave
Fan ceiling roof of Sherborne Abbey
The wonderful symmetry of the Fan Vaulting in the main nave
Sherborne Abbey Hands
The hands of St Aldhem
Sherborne Abbey feet
The feet of St Aldhelm

Sherborne Abbey in Dorset

There is no question that I, like many others, am drawn to Cathedrals and Churches. Ecclesiastical buildings which can be quite magnificent both for their splendid architecture but also for their spiritual atmosphere; the peace and quiet, together with the light as it shines through stained glass windows. Carefully positioned artificial light also adds to the splendour of these wonderful places of worship which have stood for centuries. I will always be in awe as to just how these structures were ever built in the first place. Several generations will have been involved, so the craftsmen who laid the foundations and constructed the first walls, will not have lived to see the building finished.

These thoughts were ever present when I visited Sherborne Abbey in Dorset earlier this month. It was the first time my wife and I had been inside the Abbey and we were immediately struck by its beauty. By way of a brief history I shall simply quote from the home page of their website.

“Founded by St. Aldhelm in AD 705, the Abbey has developed from Saxon cathedral to the worshipping heart of the monastic community, and finally, to on of the most beautiful of England’s parish churches. For many it is still the ‘cathedral of Dorset’, and our Benedictine heritage lives in in the daily offering of prayer and praise.”

Whilst I had not planned our visit to be for photography purposes, I spent over an hour very happily taking a variety of images – and here are a selection.

All were shot with my Olympus OMD EM5 and Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 lens – it really is a great combination. I raised the ISO to 800 and shot hand held, as I did not have a tripod with me. I would like to revisit this Abbey, and given more time, carefully compose, expose and take more shots as there was so much to photograph.

Organ in Sherborne Abbey
 The Organ in the North Transcept originally installed in 1858 
Sherborne Abbey Nave
The Nave looking down towards the High Alter
Fan ceiling
Fan vaulting in the Nave
High Altar and Reredos Sherborne Abbey
The High Altar and Reredos in the North Choir
Through to the Choir
Archway in the North Aisle looking through in the Choir

This first entry has concentrated on some of the main features of Sherborne Abbey. My next post will highlight some of the lovely details to be found, seen and captured.