Project Development

Christ Church Cathedral – East Rose Window

From the top of the restoration work scaffold there was a perfect head-on view of the rose window which allowed for its capture without the need for any post-production correction of perspective.  More importantly, this afforded something not possible from floor level: a view of the window in its entirety, or so I thought…

Christ Church (low res) (3)

Dominic Price (2019) Christ Church Cathedral – view from the upper level of the restoration work scaffold

While necessitating only minimal post-production editing, the addition of a recent piece of pipework or trunking across part of the rose seems inconsiderate in the planning of such work.  A detailed look at the window also revealed, to my dismay, a latticework of support bars.  Every light was split in half by a radial bar and then further subdivided twice more, with a total of thirty-one support bars in the entire window – far more than is sensible to remove in editing.

CC rose close up 01

Dominic Price (2019) Detail of the East Rose Window – trunking ad support bars

I was intrigued that the design seemed not quite to fit in the available space – most noticeable in the text, with characters missing either in part or entirely.  I wonder if the tracery design differed from that which was finally produced?  The image below reveals a partially missing ‘T’ from the word UTERUM; the next light has a partially missing ‘R’ from REX and the third light has a completely absent ‘C’ from CHRISTE.

CC rose close up 02

Dominic Price (2019) Detail of the East Rose Window – cropped glass

For the completed image, I did go to the trouble of removing the support bar that halved the roundel,  but opted to leave all others in place having estimated that this would have added 15-20 hours of additional edit time.  This does grate with me, so should I revisit the editing of this window, an initial step will be to remove the support bars that cut across each of the ten angels.

Christ Church - East Rose (Low Res)

Dominic Price (2019) East Rose Window [Clayton & Bell, 1875 – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford]

The rose depicts Christ the King surrounded by adoring angels.  The text surrounding the roundel comes from the Te Deum:

Tu rex gloriae christe
Tu patris sempiternus es filius
Tu ad liberandum suscepisti hominem non
horruisti virginis uterum

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

To produce this image, 21 photographs were taken at 214mm 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 1/15 s to 4.0 s.

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