Posts Tagged ‘photography’

All Saints Church, Margaret Street

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

About 100 yards north of Oxford Street in London lies one of the best examples of Victorian Gothic architecture you’ll ever see. It would be easy to miss this church, even though it has one of the highest spires of any church in London. If you don’t look up and see the spire when you stand outside, you could walk straight past. All Saints church is set back from Margaret Street in a small courtyard. Once inside, a world of beauty opens before you.

All Saints interior

It was designed by architect William Butterfield in 1850 and completed by 1859. Inside, the walls are covered in spectacular tiled murals. Designed by Butterfield, they were painted by Alexander Gibbs and manufactured by Henry Poole and Sons. The floor tiles are a bold geometric design by Minton. The chancel vault is a deep blue field of stars and the reredos by William Dyce (later copied and replaced by Ninian Comper in the early 1900s when the original had became blackened by the London air) depicts the life of Christ ending at the vault with Christ in Majesty.

If you seek a few moments of peace from the hustle and bustle of London you should seek out All Saints and step inside.

You can see a 360° panorama tour of the church in the main part of my website.

Update – 1/11/2013: All Saints Margaret Street have added the 360° panorama tour to their website.

Photos on ‘Daybreak’

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

ITV’s ‘Daybreak’ featured some of my photos of the church of St Magnus the Martyr this morning. They had a short item on the local London news section mentioning the 60th birthday of the National Churches Trust. They’ve created a new website – The UK’s Favourite Churches – to mark the occasion.  Boris Johnson has named St Magnus as his favourite church in London.

St Magnus the Martyr Church

No payment of course, but at least I got an on-screen credit.

Cornish Church Panoramas

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

In the last few days I’ve added some new 360° panoramas of some Cornish Churches, namely Ladock, Crantock, Lanlivery and Luxulyan. They all had some amazing features: the altar painting at Ladock, the font, rood screen and wood carving at Crantock, the bellringers’ painted sign and ceiling bosses at Lanlivery and the font and memorials at Luxulyan.

You can see more photos of Cornish Churches at my Flickr pages.

Seduced by Art

Monday, December 17th, 2012

This morning I went to see ‘Seduced by Art’, the first exhibition at the National Gallery to feature photography. What a disappointment! The majority of photography in the exhibition was of the Turner Prize variety – full of nothing but post-justification of a trivial concept. The comparisons between the photographs and paintings were trite and largely meaningless and showed a complete lack of knowledge of photography on the part of the curators. I find it hard to believe that the comments in the labels had any thought behind them whatsoever. My favourite referred to the photograph of the naked Man with Octopus Tattoo by Richard Learoyd (which has been used on the poster for the exhibition) which describes how the tentacle rising up the man’s back follows and reinforces the curve of his spine. It just doesn’t!

Seduced by Art

For a review that states it better than I ever could (and before you choose to part with the  £12 entrance fee), you should read what Brian Sewell thought of the exhibition.

Michael Kenna

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Trees in Snow

I saw a beautiful exhibition of photos yesterday by a guy I was at college with in the 1970s – Michael Kenna. In the intervening years he’s become one of the world’s top landscape photographers. I’m amazed at the consistency of his style over all these years – simply stunning!

If you have a chance to see the exhibition it’s on for the next few weeks at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London, and finishes on January 2 2013.

Highpoint 1

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

As promised here are a few more of my photos from the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1979. These are of Highpoint 1, designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin and engineered by Ove Arup in 1935. One of the best examples of the International Style, the building was admired by Le Corbusier when he visited London.

St Olaf House

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Back in 1979 I had the good luck to photograph a series of buildings for the ‘Thirties’ exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. The photos were used in the exhibition in a series of slide programmes with 2m square screens and featured several landmark buildings from the 1930s. One of my favourites was St Olaf House, the head office of Hay’s Wharf, situated on the Thames between London and Tower Bridges. St Olaf House was designed by architect Harry Goodhart-Rendel, right down to the details such as the door handles, clocks and carpets. One thing he didn’t design were the bas relief sculptures on the river frontage for which he commissioned his friend Frank Dobson.

I’ve spent this afternoon scanning some of the original photos which were shot on 120 Ektachrome film on a Hasselblad.

When I get time I’ll scan some photos of the other buildings, which included Highpoint 1, the Penguin Pool at London Zoo and Dudley Zoo (Berthold Lubetkin) and some of the stations on the 30s extension to the Piccadilly line (Charles Holden).

Fuji FinePix F600EXR

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I’ve recently purchased a Fuji FinePix F600EXR so that I have a camera that I can keep in my pocket all the time. On my list of ‘must haves’ was the ability to shoot RAW which most pocket cameras don’t have, and those that do tend to be in the £300+ price bracket. When it was first introduced in August last year its list price was about £320 (street price £280) but in January this year a new model (F770) came out and the F600 can now be got for about £160 – half the original list price. It’s probably not quite as good as some of the other cameras in its class (notably the Panasonic LX5) but it has some features that I’ve been very impressed with, notably the ability to shoot panoramas. When compared with the panoramas that I shoot with my Nikon D300 they’re obviously inferior, but considering that they’re stitched in a couple of seconds in the camera, I’m really quite impressed. This, coupled with a 15x optical zoom (24-360mm equivalent), macro focus down to 5cm and a whole string of features I’ll probably never use, has made me very happy.

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Dulwich, Old College Grounds and War Memorial

Southwark Cathedral

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Southwark Cathedral have just added a tour of three 360° panoramas that I produced to their website. The tour shows views of the nave, altar and crossing, and choir. The cathedral dates back to Norman times when it was known as St Mary Overy (over the water) although it only received cathedral status in 1905. Much of the current building dates to between 1220 and 1420 when it was rebuilt following a fire. In 1536 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the church was rededicated to St Saviour. The tower and choir were restored in the early 1800s and the nave was totally rebuilt in 1839 in Gothic style. Further extensive building work was carried out in 2000 to provide conference and educational facilities.

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), the campaign group set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces, organised a flashmob outside London’s City Hall today. Not a lot of people turned up (maybe between 70 and 100) but a letter was handed in to Boris Johnson.

What many people don’t know is that the land along the embankment between Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast is privately managed, and the company that runs it has draconian restrictions on what can and can’t take place there. This is also true of many other places in London – Canary Wharf and Broadgate have similar restrictions. Try taking photographs with a professional looking SLR and see how long it is before you get stopped by one of their security guards. You score extra points if they start talking about ‘the terrorist threat’.


There are a few more photos of the event at Flickr.