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.Read more
Back in April I experimented with the technique of ICM or intentional camera movement. Setting a slow shutter speed and then moving the camera in a random way to create the photograph. This technique produces a result which is arguably more akin to a piece of art than a photograph. That’s not to say that photography isn’t an art form. In my opinion it most definitely is, and the camera is simply the ‘paintbrush’, the creative tool to make an image which reflects your own personal vision or impression of the subject you wish to portray.Read more
Photographers are drawn to many things. Decay in its various forms is a favourite, churchyards can be another. Without question though we are always drawn by the light, so when you combine old gravestones and shafts of early morning light, a certain fascination starts to develop in the photographer’s mind and it’s very hard to resist taking a few frames.
This set of three images were all captured In the churchyard which surrounds St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire in Wales.
After a hearty breakfast in preparation for the day ahead, the early morning winter light was illuminating the headstones of the dearly departed and long shadows were being cast across the ground. Far from my usual style I used a ‘cool tone’ which you may or may not like but I think it suits the subject matter rather well. Do please comment and let me know what you think.
The last time I visited Wells Cathedral back in 2015 I did not go and see, let alone photograph, The Chapter House. Why, I cannot tell you, as it is arguably one of the finest features of this glorious building and one not to be missed, but somehow I did!
Earlier this week I made amends and as well as photographing other parts of the cathedral I spent quite some time in The Chapter House, walking up and down the famous staircase, which is often referred to as the ‘Sea of Steps’. As you might imagine this is a very well photographed subject so trying to make an ‘original’ image is nigh on impossible. Nevertheless its beauty, its proportions and its truly majestic architecture are quite breathtaking. I hope you enjoy this collection of images.
I have copied this extract from the Cathedral’s website about the history of The Chapter House –
‘The Wells Chapter House is the only octagonal chapter house to be built as a first storey on top of an undercroft, which was the ‘strong room’ of the cathedral. A crypt would not have been practical because of underground water. The undercroft itself, with its rugged supporting pillars, was certainly constructed by 1266, just after the completion of the West Front but work, first on the staircase (1265-1280) and then on the Chapter House itself(1286-1306), proceeded slowly.’
For my other posts about Wells Cathedral do click on the links below.
As always do click on an image to view a larger version
Another entry with more images of Wells Cathedral will follow soon.
There are many reasons why I enjoy being in a church or cathedral. Making photographs which capture the light inside these special places is just one reason – it gives me a great deal of pleasure.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I can spend many an hour waiting for the right light. There are also occasions when little or no waiting is required and a sixth sense just tells me I should be inside even when the sun is shining outside. Photographing St Davids Cathedral on the first afternoon of my visit to Pembrokeshire turned out to be one such occasion.
I had driven the best part of 300 miles that day and had arranged to meet Andy Beel FRPS and the three other photographers in our group at 4pm. The light was good and St Davids Cathedral was only a short walk from our small hotel where we would be spending the next few days.
Bathed in the late afternoon light the Cathedral and grounds looked lovely but as soon as we arrived I instinctively knew that I should be inside and not outside. I just had a feeling that the lighting conditions could be working their magic and so it was.
The combination of the strong low sunlight and the shadows that were being cast only lasted about half an hour but it was more than enough time for me to capture the five images that make up this post.
During the course of the week we did return to St Davids Cathedral at different times of the day, but the light was never quite as good as that brief encounter on the first afternoon. I am sure my fellow workshop participants captured some good shots outside, but I don’t regret my decision to have acted differently and I hope they have forgiven me for disappearing so quickly after our first meeting.
I will be posting more entries and photographs of this Cathedral in the near future.