Saturday, June 27, 2009

All Saints, Holbeach

click photo to enlarge
There's an old story about a man going round a museum and one of the attendants proudly pointing out to him the very axe that was used to behead Mary, Queen of Scots. "Of course," said the attendant, "being so ancient, the wooden shaft and the axe head have had to be replaced at various times."

A few days ago the wooden shaft of my felling axe broke as I was chopping the base and roots out of a large bush. I'd only had it thirty three years, and was expecting it to "see me out." I immediately thought of replacing the shaft, but then remembered the difficulty I'd had fixing the head of my sledge hammer on to a new shaft, consequently I thought I'd buy a new one. So, off I went to Holbeach to an old-fashioned hardware store where I'd seen a selection of axes a few months ago. I selected my axe which was much cheaper than I imagined it would be, but then wished I'd brought my old axe head because wooden axe shafts were on sale as well. Then I'd be a two-axe man - affluent or what!

For me a trip to Holbeach isn't complete without visiting the medieval church of All Saints, a much bigger building than might be expected in this small town. The unique feature of this building is the pair of drum towers that flank the porch. These are presumed to have been added at a later date, perhaps from a derelict structure, possibly a castle. Whatever their source, they have been there a long time, and give an odd appearance to the church. On the day of my visit the sun was shining brightly, and the normally dark interior was lit by shafts of light falling into the nave aisle from each clerestory window. The brilliance of these multiple spots was making the interior glow. I decided that the fourteenth century columns in the nave would rarely be seen as well as on this day, and so I composed an asymmetrical shot with the fifteenth century font in the right foreground, a stepping off point for the eye before it fastens on to the distant east window towards which the lines of columns lead. I took my photograph without a tripod.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 11mm (22mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/20 seconds
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On