Project Development

Chapel of St. Nicholas – revisited

The Chapel of St. Nicholas was the starting point for my passion of stained glass windows.  Boasting thirteen beautiful windows by Henry Holiday, this jewel of Pre-Raphaelite excellence is a private chapel to which I have uninterrupted access.  A brief break in the uninterrupted sunshine of recent weeks provided me insufficient time to negotiate access at such short notice to one of the college chapels, so I took the chance to redo my very first stab at multiple exposure blending back in 2013.

I was tempted to use the same camera (Canon EOS-1D X), since I would be using the same lens (Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM) but it seemed more sensible to maintain continuity across the project by using the EOS-1D X MkII.  My original batch we shot at f/3.2, but throughout the development of this project, I have opted to shoot a f/8.0 in an effort to hit the sweet-spot of the lens as well as to ensure that every part of the window is in sharp focus.  Much care has also been taken at the editing stage in working only with uncompressed images – such attention to detail was definitely lacking in 2013:

2013 (left) vs. 2018 (right)

Eighteen hours of image editing proved that my software skills have come a long way in five years and I am now more adept at removing the support bars, in addition to ensuring that subtle designs are included that I had previously omitted (the flower motif in the top section of the sword scabbard, for example).

With support bars (left) vs. edited image (right)

While a blog post does no justice to the window, nor indeed the editing, the finished image reminds me why I was first drawn to these windows.

Fight the Good Fight - NEW (low res)

Fight the Good Fight (Henry Holiday, 1906) Chapel of St. Nicholas

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