Thursday, July 01, 2010

Pershore Abbey

click photos to enlarge
We've entered the time of year when photography can be somewhat restricted by the brightness of the middle of the day. From about mid-June to somewhere approaching the end of August the period between about 11.00am and 3.30pm often presents difficulties when photographing landscapes. If the sun is out it is high and bright, the shadows are short and deep, and vegetation reflects the light, resulting in de-saturated colours. As a rule good images are easier to acquire when they are taken before and after these times. But, in photography, as in life, rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools, and you have to use your photographic judgement because it is certainly possible to find an image in this "dead" period of the day and year.

Today's main photograph was taken at 3.00pm on 20th June. I was shooting pretty much against the very bright sunlight, so that considerably more of the building than I would normally want was in shadow: consequently the modelling wasn't too good. However, the sky was great! Feathery wisps of cloud were scattered about the deep blue, and I knew that a red filter would emphasise them when converted to black and white.

The church is the former abbey at Pershore in Worcestershire. This building, originally an Anglo-Saxon foundation, rebuilt c.1100, and extended in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, was severely reduced in size at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. The monastic outbuildings were destroyed and the nave and Lady Chapel were taken down completely. The north transept subsequently collapsed and in 1686 the crossing tower had to have supports constructed on that side. An east apse (shown in the photograph) was built in 1847. There was a general restoration in 1862-5 and in the early twentieth century when two massive flying buttresses (dated 1913) were placed against the tower to help to hold it in position (see smaller photograph). The remaining building is, in the words of the church's website, "very much a broken building". However, it is not without interest and definitely has an "ugly duckling" charm.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Main Image
Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 14mm (28mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/1000
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -1.0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On