Friday, 4 March 2011

Looking up to Heaven...

How often do you look up?

Last weekend we took a trip to the Cathedral City of Canterbury. A wonderful city. The cathedral dates back to the 6th century, but is most famous for the murder of Thomas Beckett in 1170.

Canterbury #1

I really enjoy visiting these amazing buildings; walking among the great stone columns you get a sense of wonder and spirituality that is fantastic. And you cannot help but look up. The ceilings are magnificent; works of wonder with elegant vaulting and bosses you can’t help but wonder how they did it back then with no health and safety executive! It was all done for the glory of God, and looking up was like looking up to Heaven. At lease as close as you could get on Earth.

Canterbury #2

Canterbury #3

Canterbury #4

Canterbury #5

There are always so many tourists there taking photographs of the vastness of the space, with only a small flash to illuminate it; its never going to happen. A tripod is out – I think you have to pay a stipend to use one and I hadn’t brought one anyway. So I did the next best thing; I set the camera to self timer in aperture priority mode, set the aperture to f16 and placed the camera on the floor, tripped the shutter, stepped back and let it take the shot. There was a bit of trial and error to get the framing correct, or at least until I was happy with what I got, and I drew a few stares. One lovely lady, a volunteer guide was intrigued and impressed when I showed her the results.

Canterbury #6

Canterbury #7

The delicate vaulting and the intricate tracing is almost beyond belief, especially when you realise it was all hand carved 800 years ago.

Canterbury #8

Next time, look up... and think of the hands that put these wonderful buildings together.

And this is what happens
when you don't step back far enough...!!!


  1. Noel! Absolutely beautiful spaces and the images are impeccable. Gorgeous. The prettiest images I saw today in all of my google reader!
    Well Done, Kelley

  2. Hi Noel,

    Good to see you again on Monday at Focus.

    Great photo's with lines & lighting / shadows leading the eye around the images. I think number 4 is my favourite. I'll admit I don't always look up but given your job I expect it's one of the first things you do when entering any large structure ;-)

    With regards to architecture, unfortunately lots of modern architecture doesn't allow for such beauty going for angular lines & creating space /light through glass. From a photographic perspective this can lead to interesting shadows etc in sunlight but it's leaves me cold when you compare it to the beauty of classic or Renaissance designs such as this. But that's just my impression from a simple layperson's perspective, not as a more informed individual such as yourself :-)



  3. Interesting work!Great pics! I love photo too:)
    All the best!!

    My blog