Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The lustre of brass and copper

click photo to enlarge
A theme seems to be developing in recent posts - that of the "incidental" photograph i.e. a shot taken at a time when my attention was supposed to be on something else.

We recently had a day out at with a group of people at the splendid gardens at Bressingham, Norfolk. Before we set off I picked up the Canon 5D2, the 24-105mm lens and the 100mm macro. That seemed the best kit for the kind of shots that were likely to be available. And so it proved. The lenses gave the opportunity for general, wide angle photographs of parts of the gardens, sections of beds, small groups of blooms and individual specimens. However, the location also had a selection of steam powered vehicles and engines, some outside and some indoors, and it was one of these that drew my attention and prompted me to take out the Sony RX100.

Today's photograph shows a detail of the brass and copper cylinder, pipes, switches and dials of a fire engine of the 1890s. It was made, as its plate clearly and ornately says, by the London engineers, Shand, Mason and Company. Today we think of fire engines as motor powered vehicles with a cab for its firemen and the pumps and ladders/turntable behind. But, before this type evolved they were essentially pumps on carts that would be pulled or pushed to near the fire before being used to pump a water supply through hoses on to it. Shand, Mason and Co. were established suppliers of such devices to public authorities, large private houses, hospitals etc. A board next to the example shown above explained that it was installed at Crown Point, the mansion of Sir J. J. Colman at Whitlingham near Norwich, and that, fortunately, it never had to be used with serious intent.

I liked the lustre of the polished metal that positively glowed in the shadows of the dark exhibition room. I've photographed brass before for the same reason; see this lectern or this nameplate. And copper too has been my subject when seen in a dimly-lit room as with these pans in a country house kitchen.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (46mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/10 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On