Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Southwell Minster


I'm a bit late in posting this next series of photos, taken when I went down to visit my mother over the August Bank Holiday weekend.  It's always good to go back 'home'.  I tend to forget how attractive much of the Nottinghamshire countryside is.

One of the jewels in its crown is this wonderful old minster church in Southwell (pronounced by the locals as Suth'll) - the Cathedral and Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  It stands on the site of a Roman villa and an Anglo-Saxon church.  The present building was begun in 1108 so in parts it is over 900 years old.  It's a lovely solid church, grand, with huge Norman arches inside, but also intimate in feel.  Its lead-covered 'pepperpot' towers are unique in England.

We went to see an exhibition of landscape photography in the Minster - 'Masters of Vision' - which was well worth the visit.  The photographs, by a number of 'emerging' British photographers - were rich and varied, from virtual abstracts to almost chocolate-box perfection.  Looking at other photographers' work both inspires and slightly intimidates me!  It's plain to see that technical excellence, a great eye for composition and sheer good fortune with the lighting conditions all play their part in making great photos.  We can learn the first two with a bit of effort, but when all three come together... well, I think it's the quest for those moments that makes photography such a seductive endeavour for me.

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Jenny. The B&W treatment is perfect for the photo. I can understand your being inspired by others' photographs, but I don't understand you being intimidated by anyone. You have an eye that puts professionals to shame. Jim

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  2. This looks like the book cover for a Gothic novel. The couple on the left, both turning away, make for a nice point of interest.

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  3. That looks really good in monochrome. I had to look Southwell up on the map - I had never heard of it. Surprising as we are off to Centre Parc (just up the road from there) next weekend.

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  4. Thanks for the info on this grand old building. One of the things I so love about the UK is it's age and the fabulous monuments that remind us of that. (We are such a comparatively young country here in Australia, so I find it breathtaking to ponder something 900 years old!). I had the pleasure of living in a delightful hamlet on the outskirts of Oxford some years ago in a little pub that was promoted as being more than 200 years old - that was a treat. But 900 - W O W ....!

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  5. Nice old Minster; question, did you use 'straightening' on the shot for the verticals?

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  6. I like the perfect symetry and the straight lines of this architecture.A severe and efficient church!

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  7. John, yes I think I did a bit of a straighten in amongst all the other processing. Looking back at the original, it didn't need a lot - I was far enough away for there not to be too much distortion. And given the age of the Minster, it's all a bit uneven anyway!

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  8. Very impressive...the age and your capture! ~Lili

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  9. I've not been there in years; in fact I think I only went a couple of times in the 1980s. Once to help take the son of a friend to be at the choir school there ... prior to which he was a member of the junior choir at St. Peter's Church*; and the other time to co-drive his Mum on a visit.

    * I think Andrew was probably the last male junior chorister with both a strong enough voice, and the courage, to do the solo first verse of "Once in Royal David's City" at the midnight Christmas Communion service.

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  10. I understand what you mean about being inspired by the photographs of others, but I think your photos are of very high quality! You have an artistic eye.

    The towers on the cathedral look Germanic!

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  11. Impressionnant ce noir et blanc, les clochers se détachent complètement du ciel.

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