Thursday, 3 October 2013

August photo competition

Somewhat belatedly, following a couple of weeks off in September, I am able to blog about the winner and runners-up of our August photo competition. The judges thought this was a particularly strong month, so thanks to everybody who added photos to the group - and please keep doing so!

We had four runners-up this time. In random order they are:

A near-symmetrical shot of The Stern of the SS Great Britain at Bristol by Jayembee69:

This picture makes it very clear how ship design has often tried to imitate fashionable architectural details. The SS Great Britain was the largest ship in the world when it was launched and something of the grandeur comes through even in a detail shot like this one.

What I like about this picture is that is very organic: at first glance it could (almost) be a gnarled old face of a boulder in a field, left stranded by some geological process. But the inclusion of the second stone to the right disabuses the viewer of any such suspicion. The angle of the clouds and blue streak of sky remind me of the time-lapse shots of scudding clouds in films.

Next we have The Albert Memorial by richardr

Richard's photo captures the excess of the memorial: not just gold and marble but mosaics and inlaid jewels. I must admit that until looking up the monument on Wikipedia I hadn't realised what an elaborate allegorical scheme it has. In Richard's photo I think we can see the 'Agriculture' group and the 'Engineering' group of marble sculptures. I will certainly look more carefully at the monument next time I am in Kensington.

The last of our runners-up is Southwell Minster by the-frantic-photographer.

I have fond memories of visiting Southwell Minster on a cathedrals tour about 10 years ago (that was in my wild youth, when anything seemed possible). It is a quiet place and the persistent foliage theme in the decoration - for example in the beautiful chapter house - fits the setting nicely. This close-up picture by the-frantic-photographer shows a honeycomb-like door from which the quatrefoil motif emerges as soon as you look at it carefully. This is the kind of close-up picture that I always try to take but always end up with disappointing results, but here we have a good example of how it can be done.

That crazy cathedrals road trip that my partner and I took ended at Lincoln and, coincidentally, this month's winner is a picture of Lincoln Cathedral by uplandswolf:

Many of you will know that the cathedral is at the top of a steep hill, and here we get a tremendous sense of the way in which the building seem to be reaching up even higher. The exuberance of all this stonework is heightened by the choice of the gothic arch through which to frame the main subject. Congratulations to uplandswolf for winning with a very different photograph from his Derelict signal box in March.

1 comment:

  1. It's perhaps worth adding that the impression of Lincoln Cathedral "reaching up even higher" was yet more conspicuous when the west towers (which are dated to c.1370-1400) carried their original spires. For some illustrations of them, and contemporary comments on their removal for structural reasons in 1807, see . An earlier attempt to remove the spires, in 1726, prompted a mob to march on the cathedral close and to break their way through one of the gates; following a reading of the proclamation against riots by a county magistrate and some reassurances from the clergy, the crowd dispersed and "went down hill, broke some windows of several presbyterians, and then some went to bed, others to the alehouse ..." The bishop, who was not in Lincoln at the time, told Secretary of State Townshend that he thought that the disturbance had been "managed by malecontents, seemingly to express zeal for the Church, but really and truely to make show of their disaffection to the State". In 1724 an election for one of the county's parliamentary seats had been marked by accusations of Jacobitism and popish tendencies against one of the candidates, and it does seem possible, as Francis Hill suggested, that similar tensions were coming to the surface on the pretext of protest against the proposed work on the cathedral [Francis Hill, _Georgian Lincoln_ (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1966), pp.26-7, 39-41].

    The cathedral also had a spire on the crossing tower (not visible in this photo), added when the tower was heightened in the early 1300s, but this was blown down in the late 1540s. The cathedral lays claim to having been the tallest building in the world while the central spire was standing, although the margin over other buildings is not that great (only three feet, according to one source, which might lie within the margin of error in the measurements, I would have thought - I have seen no indication of how the spire was measured!) [ ; ]