December 12, 2012

The Chapel of St James the Great


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According to the brochure, the Chapel of St James the Great at the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick, England was built in 1123. Over the next couple hundred years or so (or roughly AS LONG AS THE UNITED STATES HAS EXISTED) it fell into disrepair. It was rebuilt in 1383 by Thomas Beauchamps (pronounced, Beecham). All that, of course, pre-dates 1571, when the complex was repurposed from Guild Hall to the Lord Leycester Hospital. Personally, I’m glad it hasn’t changed purpose since. Trying to account for 441 years of use on this little blog would be a nightmare.

Of course, if this was in the US, this place would be tacky strip mall by now. So cheers to my UK friends for preserving buildings that are older than most countries!

Anyway, I should talk a bit about these images. I was challenged this day. My son and I had just arrived in Coventry after a red-eye flight from Boston. Jet lag had set in. All we wanted to do was sleep but my wife (who arrived two days earlier) had agreed to a Sunday afternoon tour of the area, hosted by her professional counterparts in Coventry. Yes. I took advantage of my wife’s business trip. As much as I wanted to sleep, I didn’t want to bow out and look selfish. Besides, I was eager to see the area and start planning the week.

I didn’t expect it to be a “photography day” so I threw the 28-300mm lens on the camera and left the tripod in the hotel. I figured snapshots and group shots would be the order of the day. Beyond that, I’d get to know the new lens and do some photographic reconnaissance for later in the week.

Good plan, I thought. Until I got to the Hospital — specifically, this chapel. I found myself wishing I had my tripod and a much wider lens than 28mm. Oh and a faster wide lens at that. This zoom lens is only 5.6 at 28mm. So I did what I could. I looked for tighter compositions and looked for details. I wanted to shoot brackets for HDR, but with no tripod that was another challenge. The chapel was pretty well lit at this end, but I still upped the ISO to 400 and shot hand-held.

Overall, I’m happy with the results.

Tomorrow, a less verbose post with a detail image of this beautiful little centuries old chapel.

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