My permanent address has been in Somerset for a little over a year and a month now. It's nice enough, but this county, in my eyes, has fallen flat in the 'stuff' front. The beaches lack the atmosphere of the ones in Cornwall; the countryside around my town flat and (mostly) uninteresting.

That's what it's full of, come to think of it: towns. A quick look online will tell you that the county is home to thirty, all a similar size; and each one (again, mostly) seemingly identical; about the same size, with the same kinds of points of interest within them.

The notable exception for me here is Glastonbury, simply for being the hotspot for Arthurian legend, and the presence of a whopping great hill.

I'll be the first to admit that while enjoying being in the seclusion of the countryside, I much prefer the bustle of the cities, something which Somerset lacks somewhat.

There are only two cities within the county, both of which I've visited. Bath, the largest settlement in the county feels isolated from the rest of the county: being surrounded by an inpenetrable greenbelt, being closer to most of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire than Somerset, and having a much more extensive history compared to the rest of them. It's a beautiful place, that is for certain, and I urge everyone to visit at least once.

The other has an unusual 'honour', if you could call it that, of being the smallest city in England, with a population of around 10,000.

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Wells

Known to most as Sandford, Gloucestershire, or in that one scene in the 2019 Hellboy reboot.

I am sure few places would pride themselves for being the smallest, but Wells fits the bill and far surpasses most of the towns in the county. It's what I imagine a city would have been like in medeival times; quite dense, busy, dominated by a cathedral of abbey, just with more cars and foreign tourists following maps and carrying selfie sticks.


As I am learning, most Anglican cathedrals, as well as the majority of cathedrals in Western Europe, traditionally follow an east-west axis; the west facade playing host to a typically three door, elaborate entrance, with a more elaborate eastern interior to align with the direction of the coming of Christ.


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Layout Idea

Pre-Project

As a starter project, I plan on shooting the forty-eight or so Anglican churches within the City.

CHRISTOPHER WREN DESIGN STUFF

With most of the old City destroyed in 1666 by the Great Fire (and later again during the Blitz - but Wren had been dead for over two-hundred years by this point).


The Cathedrals

Anglican Cathedrals

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Roman Catholic

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There are far fewer Roman Catholic cathedrals as the dominant state church remains the Church of England. Most RC cathedrals tend to be either...

Newer

or

Follow fewer conventions in design compared to Anglican cathedrals.

As there are fewer, and vary too much in terms of design, I will not photograph these. This will leave me with forty-four cathedrals to photograph, in four rows of eleven.


Exeter Cathedral

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Things learnt

  • Images best shot early morning, in the hours before sunrise, when spaces are quiet, and when the light is soft and without strong shadow.

  • Shoot in autumn/winter, when the weather is more overcast, foggy; and when the light is harsher.

  • Invest or use a sturdier, taller tripod.

  • Shoot full frame, with a wider angle TS lens/wide angle lens.

  • Experiment with different viewpoints.

  • (Perhaps) book scaffolding or use a stepladder to achieve a higher point of view.