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Sea of steps

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Sea of Steps – a visit to Wells cathedral

How lenses have changed since F.H. Evans’ time


Chapter house steps at Wells Cathedral, England

I’m not producing a travel blog this year – however I am touring bits of the southwest of England and will no doubt get some interesting photos on the way (yes I do take holiday snaps).

Many years ago, one of the architectural images that inspired my photography was “Sea of Steps”  – taken by  Frederick H. Evans in 1903 at Wells Cathedral.

He used a camera with movements, but the 17mm lens I’m using was beyond manufacturing capabilities until relatively recently.

When I’m back in Leicester, I’m looking forward to creating a large print from the RAW file I used to make the B&W image below.

The chapter house steps at wells cathedral

The steps leading up to the chapter house at Wells

I’ve an interesting collection of  images from the cathedral, taken with a variety of lenses including the TS-E17 tilt/shift lens (used above at f/8) and our new 8-15mm fisheye.

Note (2017): The TS-E17mm (info) has become a mainstay of my architectural work since this article (2011)

Here are a few more images from when I returned.

wells scissor arch

Scissor arches, Wells


wells chapel

Chapel at Wells cathedral

The chapel shot is actually two 17mm images combined, with one shifted upward and one down, these are then combined in Photoshop. I do have a special lens mount [PPL TSE adapter review] that can help with this, although with up/down stitches I’ve often just used my normal tripod.

The roof of the Chapterhouse is a great opportunity for using the EF8-15mm [review] at its full 180 degree field of view (laying down on the floor – looking up)

chapterhouse roof, Wells

Chapterhouse roof, Wells

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