Salisbury Cathedral

On our recent trip to Salisbury, we visited the Cathedral. I had set myself a ban on digital photography, and so I took my Mamiya RB67 for landscape shots (such as Stonehenge and Old Sarum), and my Canon AE-1 Program for “portable” photography.

Unfortunately, after I developed the four films on our return to Bristol, naughty little Lou Lou saw them hanging up to dry, and couldn’t resist a crafty swipe. Unfortunately cat fur and damp film doesn’t mix and the films are so dirty, dusty and scratched that they are borderline ruined. I removed as much dust as I could from the negatives themselves and attempted to fix some of the other hairs and scratches digitally after scanning.

We visited the Cathedral one evening at golden hour and I took this picture of the West front.

The next day, I went around the cathedral on my own while Hannah was busy practising with the choir, In Ecclesia Exon.

As it was dark inside and flashes are forbidden, I decided to use my fastest lens, a Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 and some fast Fuji Neopan 1600 film. It seems I either underexposed or underdeveloped it, and the negatives are very “thin”. I’ve managed to recover them somewhat for the website but they are very grainy and lack proper black blacks and white whites.

Still, here goes. Let’s start with a shot of the high altar.

The organ pipes are split into two main cabinets, both above the quire. The bass pipes are around ten metres long, and are located off to one side.

Above the cross-shaped junction of the transepts, I spotted this beautiful vaulted ceiling. I’m not normally a fan of colour photography but on this occasion some colour might do it justice. (I asked in the cathedral shop – they don’t sell film any more!)

The font at Salisbury is very unusual. Instead of the traditional “bowl on a pedestal” design, this one is like a giant dining table. It’s a deep tray of water that is continually replenished and spills gently out into four drains in the floor, one in each corner.

I waited ages for this photo, since it seems that every single tourist who got in the way also wanted to make ripples in it. One guy even let his dog drink out of it!

As soon as I saw the East window beyond the lectern, I immediately visualised a photo. It turned out almost exactly as I had hoped, so I’m delighted.

This is a shot of the West window, at the rear end of the church. It’s the same window that appears in the very first photo. Both this photo and the next one show the series of arches along both sides of the nave that hold the roof up.

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