Winchester Cathedral / by Graham Dew

Winchester Cathedral, June2012 © Graham Dew

Winchester Cathedral, June2012

Following on from the Orbit post, this joiner of Winchester Cathedral was originally shot with the intention of compiling the image as a multi-layered panograph. I deliberately took many shots angling the camera clockwise and anti-clockwise from the horizontal to give a lively feel to the final image. I had started to create a panograph in Photoshop, but this was very time consuming placing and turning the individual cells, especially once the file size started to become large. The composite rapidly grew to around 2GB and ended up lying around for several months unfinished because I didn’t have the time to complete it. But recently I’ve found Lightroom a much faster tool for creating joiners, and so I wondered if the material shot of the cathedral could be used successfully for a joiner. I’m pretty pleased with the result, and it’s surprising how well a joiner can hold up even with poorly placed horizons and verticals.

There are a couple of things about this picture that might be of interest. Firstly, this picture was shot very close to midsummer’s day in June this year. Naturally, all churches and cathedrals in this country face east, but the best views of Winchester Cathedral are from the north-west. For most of the year, and for most of the day, this view is in shade and the sun makes the sky uncontrollably bright. However, at the height of midsummer, the sun sets a few degrees north of west and so for about an hour before sunset the sun illuminates the cream stone and makes glow a lovely orange. So the time was set, the other part of the problem was to capture the as much of the cathedral as I could. All around the cathedral yard there are many trees that obscure the view. To take the component photos I needed to walk around the cathedral grounds, capturing clean lines of sight of the building and then moving onto the next available view. In this way I was able to build up a comprehensive view of the cathedral, even if the final composite made the building look more of a Frank Gehry design than an 11th century Norman masterpiece.