Sunday, February 07, 2016

Fan vaulting, Peterborough Cathedral

click photo to enlarge
On a recent visit to Peterborough we made a brief visit to the cathedral. I've said elsewhere in this blog that it is one of the most overlooked and least well-known of our major medieval cathedrals, a building of exceptional architecture that deserves to be much more widely recognised.

One of Peterborough's glories is the fan-vaulting of the retrochoir that is every bit as good as the more celebrated example at Gloucester. I've photographed and written about Peterborough's on more than one occasion on this blog, so I won't repeat myself here. On our recent visit the fall of the light and the visitors reminded me of the etchings and woodcuts of cathedral views popular in publications of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These frequently show small, relatively insignificant people dwarfed by the enormous columns and arches. This effect is heightened by naves empty of seating, something that is seen only occasionally today. However, the retrochoir is usually seat-free, and though it is a smaller space with a lower roof, the visitors here reminded me of those early illustrations. It took a few shots, a few changes of position and a wait for people to populate the scene before I got the image I wanted.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Fan Vaulting, Peterborough Cathedral
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 9mm (18mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On