Posts tagged ‘Historic’

Low Light St George’s

Whilst I was waiting for Lizzy’s train to arrive from London last night, I thought I would take the opportunity to test out the new camera in a tricky low-light, high-contrast situation by taking a few shots of St George’s Hall in Liverpool. The following were taken hand-held at ISO 3200:

Low Light St George's 1

Low Light St George's 2

So who says that Micro Four Thirds sensors can’t handle low light situations then?

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

Bramall Hall

To celebrate Mum’s birthday, the weekend before last we went to Bramall Hall in Stockport.

Bramall Hall is a magnificent example of a Tudor black and white timber-framed manor house. The earliest parts of the building are actually pre-Tudor and date back to the 14th Century. However the bulk of the house is 16th Century, with 19th Century Victorian additions.

Like with many historic properties in the UK, taking photographs indoors is strictly prohibited, so unfortunately I only have exterior shots to share. This is a shame because Bramall is home to some lovely and quite well-preserved painted wall decorations from the Tudor era. If you’re ever in the vicinity then I highly recommend a visit and I would definitely join the guided tour, it really was excellent and is included as part of the entrance fee.

For those of you who watched the first season of the excellent BBC comedy drama “Last Tango in Halifax“, you may recognise Bramall as one of the locations that they used. Hopefully it will also feature in the planned second series as well.

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

St Magnus Cathedral – Interior

In my last post I promised you some shots of the interior of St Magnus’ Cathedral, well here you go…

It really is a beautiful Cathedral, very warm and welcoming with lots of interesting details. If you get an opportunity to visit then I highly recommend that you take the tour, as you get to see the upper levels of the Cathedral and the guides are extremely knowledgeable. Liz and I are really looking forward to re-visiting at Christmas this year and we can’t wait to see the lovely red sandstone walls be-decked with festive decorations and sparkly lights.

Just a quick note on the post-processing – I’ve used some of these interior shots to experiment with the detail extractor and tonal contrasts in Nik’s Colour Efex Pro 4. I’m really pleased with the results, but I would of course welcome your feedback.

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

St Magnus Cathedral – Exterior

St Magnus Cathedral, known as “The Light in the North”, was founded in the year 1137 by Earl Rognvald-Kali. Rognvald was the nephew of Earl Magnus after whom the Cathedral is dedicated. Magnus was treacherously murdered by Haakon Paulson, his cousin and rival for the Norse Earldom of Orkney, as the two met on the island of Egilsay to discuss peace terms in 1116. In the 1120’s Rognveld fought a bitter struggle against Haakon’s son to win the Earldom for himself, and he promised to build a great stone church in the memory of his martyred uncle if he were successful. Both Magnus and Rognvald were made saints and their remains lie within the stonework of the Cathedral’s choir.

Built in both the Norman and early Gothic styles, the Cathedral is similar in design (though smaller in scale) to the magnificent Cathedral at Durham in the north-east of England. The similarities between the two aren’t that surprising when you consider that a number of the craftsmen and master builders employed at Durham also worked on St Magnus’ Cathedral.

From its foundation up to 1468, when Orkney finally became part of the Kingdom of Scotland, the Cathedral was part of the Norwegian arch-diocese of Trondheim. In 1486, King James III of Scotland, gave the Cathedral into the care of the people of Kirkwall…..it remains to this day the property of the people of Orkney.

As you might have guessed from the title of this post, I’m planning to share a second series of images dealing with the Cathedral’s beautiful interior…..so please watch out for that in the next few days.

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

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