Thursday, April 09, 2009

Croyland Abbey and blogging

click photo to enlarge
I had an email from a blog visitor the other day. It was quite complimentary about the images and prose, and at one point, in the most polite manner, the writer wondered why I didn't restrict my postings to the best shots that I produce, as is the case with many other photoblogs. I answered the question, but hearing it posed made me think that I should restate what my purpose is in producing PhotoReflect.

Let me say from the outset, that I only post photographs that, in some way or another, satisfy me: I'm the target audience. And so, to that extent, this blog is an entirely selfish exercise. The principle aim is to give my photography a purpose, and in so doing help me to improve. However, PhotoReflect differs from many photoblogs in that it includes an accompanying "reflection" that is an outlet for my thoughts and opinions. I spent much of my working life writing for, and speaking to, one audience or another, and the opportunity to write for me, for a change, seemed a good one. Furthermore, it helps to keeps the old grey (and getting greyer) matter active!

That being the case, the range of photographs I include on this blog is probably wider than is found on most others. I post images that, I think, stand as good photographs regardless of what they depict. But, I also post images that support the accompanying prose; or act as the spark that ignites the text. Consequently some images are posted mainly for the subject that they show. These are typically (though not exclusively) shots that don't make it into my Best of PhotoReflect galleries, and have less of a "Wow!" factor to them. Another reason for the wide range of images is to do with my personality: I'm a dabbler, with an interest in many things, and I like to have a go at many types of photography. So, a still-life might follow a macro, then it will be a landscape, followed by a semi-abstract, then a... well, you get the picture. One of my deeper interests is church architecture, so images of this kind feature fairly regularly too. If you're new to this blog I hope today's post gives you an insight into what it's about. If not, take it at its face value, and if you find something of interest, fine: if not, there's plenty more photoblogs out there.

Today's photograph is one of my church architecture record shots. Any merit that it has lies in it being a well-lit depiction of an interesting subject. It shows Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire, one of many medieval monastic structures that were deliberately destroyed in the C16 following Henry VIII's break with Rome. The north aisle was left standing to serve as the parish church, and the nave, south tower, chancel and ancillary buildings were stripped of anything of value and the remains left to crumble. Today it makes a tall, eyecatching, sad, though somewhat romantic sight, standing over the surrounding village of Crowland on the flat Fenland landscape.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/500 seconds
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.7 EV
Image Stabilisation: On