Project Development

Exeter College Chapel

University vacation can simplify access to the college chapels.  With the weather conditions looking perfect this morning (bright but with uniform cloud cover) and groundwork already in place for a visit at a ‘mutually convenient time’, it took no more than a brief email to the Head Porter for me to be granted access to Exeter College Chapel.  Pleasingly I had the chapel to myself for the two hours before its 11am opening to the tourists and was given the keys to the organ loft which my preliminary had visit suggested.

Access to the organ loft was via narrow stone spiral staircase and the organ loft could have been more appropriately termed an organ shelf: there was room for little more than an organist to sit at the organ.  Notwithstanding, thanks to some clever tripod usage I was able to take several series of photographs both of the stained glass and the chapel itself.

Exeter College - The Crucifixion (low res)

Dominic Price (2019) The Crucifixion [Clayton & Bell, 1859 – Exeter College Chapel]

The enormous height of the lancet windows was such that I opted to photograph the facing window within the apse in two parts, requiring 28 photographs to be taken.  With the lighting conditions just right, it seemed sensible to grab some additional lights at higher resolution, so I turned my focus to the tracery lights just below the vaulted ceiling.

With Easter soon upon us I also decided to capture a batch of one panel of the east window depicting The Crucifixion for me to use as an Easter card.  This necessitated a batch of 15 photographs,  taken at 400 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 1.6 s to 1/10 s: significantly longer exposures than those required when photographing the Cathedral’s windows in the brilliant sunshine.

I will return to edit the full height lights at a later date.  These I am likely to leave with saddle bars intact as the window comprises two lancet lights of thirteen saddle bars each.

DCP_0113 (black) ce lr

Dominic Price (2019) Tracery lights of the East Window [Clayton & Bell, 1859 – Exeter College Chapel]

DCP_0113 (black) ce lr - flowerMy original intention with the tracery lights was to concern myself only with the small rose (not least because this lends itself so well to posting on Instagram).  However, invisible to the casual observer and only evident during editing is the smallest stained glass light I have ever seen, located just below the base of the rose.  As a result, this led me to crop the image to include this tiny blue flower – something I may well review as it leaves the composition looking very unbalanced.

Leave a Reply