Into the sun…

Lack of cloud cover has been a problem

Several weeks of sunshine have been an absolute pleasure when working with children – my athletics squad have had uninterrupted track and field sessions that have resulted in a huge number of PB’s, fantastic results at their meetings and a record number qualifying to the National Championships.  Taking fifty 13-year old boys on a five-day adventure activities trip to the edge of Dartmoor was a doddle compared with the more usual cold a mizzle of the high moorland.  Sadly, it has not been very helpful where my project is concerned, but it has allowed me to consider other aspects of stained glass.

A look at the windows of the Chapel of St. Nicholas, bathed in glorious sunshine reveals a stunning richness to the colour palette. The combination of a warmer colour temperature and a more intense light give all colours a more vivid appearance, with the darker colours having greater depth and the more subtle skin tones having a healthy tan!  This made me think that I have perhaps been missing a trick in photographing stained glass windows only during bright, cloudy days.  Consequently I spent a morning photographing five of the windows.  It was not until I viewed them on a computer screen that I realised the problem with this approach: every single glass panel had an obvious shadow created by the calmes (strips of lead H shaped to hold the pieces of glass together).  While the palette is, perhaps, more attractive with the sunlight pouring through the left window, the dark shadow in the hair at the top of the head detracts from the image.

Unedited images taken in sunlight (left) and during cloud cover (right).

Waking to an overcast sky gave me the opportunity to re-shoot the windows, with the image to the right being the preferred skin tone of this particular batch of twenty image: providing a purer, perhaps more innocent face to the angel.

Leave a Reply