St. Peter’s College Chapel – East Window
A weekend of leave afforded me the time to tackle the large East Window. Unusually, this is the work of two artists: the original window dates back to 1874 and was designed by Henry Holiday, but in 1964 the five main lights were replaced by a John Hayward design, leaving the original tracery lights. My original intention was to edit just the five lights, but the tracery is so exquisite I opted to start there and complete the entire window.While I was able to stand a substantial distance back, occupying the doorway to the chapel, the large size of the window did not challenge my telephoto zoom anything like as much as I was expecting. A total of 20 images were shot at 176 mm using the Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, at an aperture of f/8.0 and exposure times ranging from 1/40 s to 2.0 s. The significance of the distance between camera and window was that there was only a minor amount of converging verticals image distortion to correct – I was tempted to ignore the need for this work, but it would have frustrated me every time I looked at the finished image!
I am not especially keen on the juxtaposition of contemporary art with pre-Raphaelite stained glass, but do rather like Hayward’s work – the fine detail tells an incredible and detailed story. The intricacy of the design is such that the removal of support bars is an impossibility – a blessed relief since the image represented over twenty hours of editing and the removal of 40 support bars would have comfortably doubled that time (to little visual effect).