Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Victorian photographic effect

click photo to enlarge
Over the past few years I've tried on several occasions to photograph the church of St Laurence at Surfleet in Lincolnshire. This medieval building is known for miles around for its mainly fourteenth century tower that leans westward quite dramatically due to subsidence. However, it is one of those buildings that is hemmed in by trees on the side where the best photographs can be secured, a problem that is present in about a third of all churches if my experience is anything to go by!

So, this year I determined that I would photograph St Laurence (and a few other tree-bound churches) when the leaves had fallen. As I passed the building the other day the autumn winds seemed to have done most of their work, so I looked for my shot. The best composition I could find was from my favoured position at the south-east corner of the churchyard. At Surfleet this gave me a view with a tree trunk to the left and right with a veil of thin branches between, all of which acted as a "frame". Looking at the image on the computer I reflected that this was a very traditional composition, of the sort that might have been taken by a Victorian antiquarian with his plate camera. And that thought caused me to experiment with sepia tone and a bit of white vignetting. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a great believer in photographic "effects", but this one pleases me for its quite authentic old fashioned look, and so I thought I'd post it rather than my original colour photograph.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On