Friday, December 12, 2008

New tops on old bottoms

click photo to enlarge
My desk is the same size as many internal doors - 6 feet 6 inches (1.98m) long and 2 feet 6 inches (0.76m) wide. I know this because it is an internal door resting on some small, old, vertical, chests of drawers.

A few years ago I decided I needed a bigger work surface to accommodate my computer and printer that would still leave space to write. Looking around I found plenty of cheap and cheerful small desks, quite a few small and expensive desks, and some large and extremely expensive desks. So, I went back to first principles, decided that I neeed a big flat surface with storage below, and cast around for the materials to supply that need. When I decided I already had the storage a door immediately came to mind. Sapele-faced internal doors were relatively inexpensive, well made, perfectly flat, and ready-varnished. So now I have a big desk that perfectly meets my needs with the added advantage that it can be easily taken apart when required!

What has my tale of a new top on old foundations got to do with today's photograph? Well, my main subject, the font at the west end of the nave of Peterborough Cathedral, is similarly arranged. When the Victorians came to restore the font they wanted to keep the thirteenth century bowl with its sensuous undulations and stiff-leaf carving, but felt it needed better support. So they designed new columns that drew their inspiration from the period of the upper part, and put the whole together. It looks marvellous. A couple of years ago the font was moved into its present position and the flower-like paving was designed to give it emphasis. That was an excellent decision: not only does it draw attention to this delightful object, but it provides wonderful foreground interest for a shot down the length of the nave with its Norman arcades and nave ceiling of c.1220!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11mm (22mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/20
ISO: 400
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On