June 23, 2010

South West England VI - Wells Cathedral

Digital original
On the drive into Wells, I paused to fill the car with petrol, and saw this lovely scene, with the two lines of chimneys and a church tower. Fortunately, as always, a camera was at hand, and without much delay, I was able to make the above composition.
Digital original, 13 image exposure blend, 3 frame stitch
Wells Cathedral was the first of the dozen or so Cathedrals and Abbeys I planned to photograph during this trip. Making images of the ceiling of the chapter house felt like a dream - and this was only the first of many in the coming week and a half!

Completed by 1306, the Chapter Hpise is where the church canons met daily to discuss business. The original stained glass windows were smashed by Cromwell’s soldiers during the English Civil War (1642-61). The roof, known as a tierceron vault, has 32 ribs (called tiercerons) springing from the central shaft. While not quite a fan vault, it was one of the important architectural steps towards developing the fan vault.
Digital original, 2 image stitch
The cloister at Well was quite restrained, compared to the ornate ceilings in later constructions; I actually find the stark lines of the ceiling vaulting quite delicate, giving a feeling of a spiderweb, as much as a hall of stone and glass.
Digital original, 3 image exposure blend
My visual expectations of Wells Cathedral were mostly based upon the work of Frederick Evans, who's work I have loved for more than two decades. The scissor arches under the tower are so iconic that rather than focus on them (as most photographers seem to do), I decided to show them in the context of the nave.
Digital infrared original, 6 image stitch
On the drive back to our accommodation, we passed through some lovely rolling countryside, and with the early evening sun casting long shadows, it was a perfect subject for infrared!

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