Architectural Photography Workshop 16th July

Are you interested in photography?

Would you like to learn about photographing buildings? 

Are you a photography student, an enthusiast or construction professional who might benefit from some ideas and techniques?

Guildford Cathedral’s Artist in Residence, Richard Ellis, is running a practical, hands on workshop on architectural photography, suitable for anyone with a basic understanding of a digital camera.

Limited to 14 places, this FREE enjoyable event, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, combines the artistic and technical aspects of architectural photography.

In the morning, participants will take their cameras around the cathedral grounds (or interior in case of rain), exploring ‘on-camera’ skills such as lighting, exposure, composition, lens choice and depth of field.

After lunch (available in the Refectory) learn how the professionals get their results by exploring post-production techniques, such as combining multiple exposures, light balance, and perspective control, in Photoshop.

Further Information

Richard was recently commissioned to write an article for the EOS Magazine, which may serve as a useful introduction to the subject

To Register

To register, please email  or contact Louise Kenyon 01483 547886 for more information.

Please note – It is recommended that you bring a digital camera (a compact camera is fine) and, if possible, a laptop with Photoshop Elements installed – this is available for around £65.  Don’t worry if you don’t have the software at present, as a spare laptop will be available.  If you have an existing photo which you want to improve, feel free to bring the file along.

This workshop is suitable for anyone over the age of 16, students under the age of 18 will require parental consent to attend for insurance reasons.




Glass Angel

This is one of three angels, by the renowned glass artist John Hutton, playing musical instruments, situated above the internal doors of the south porch.  I have presented this as a video link because the movement against the background window gives the impression of three dimensions, bringing out the contours of the glass.  The camera was mounted on a 15cm slider and roughly 40 incremental still images were taken. Click on the photo to link to the video.




Dismantled organ

The organ has been removed during the works to remove asbestos from the building.  Its pipes are currently in storage in the Chapel of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment.  The Chapel itself is still partially open, and the pipes can be seen through the grille between it and the Crossing.

Socrates’ comparison of the Sun and the ‘Good’

Two images of the same passage from Plato’s Republic. Here, Socrates is making the analogy of the Sun and the ‘Good’, which may be analagous to consciousness.  His argument is that the Sun is both the cause of seeing, and the means by which sight is possible.  The argument then develops into the famous Allegory of the Cave.

I chose two contrasting approaches.  One image is taken with a Tamron 70-300 at maximum focal length, wide aperture, and macro setting.  The other is through a TS-E17, with wide-ish aperture and using the tilt feature (something I hardly ever use when photographing architecture).


Composite Photo

Last week at Guildford Cathedral, scaffolding had been erected on both sides of the nave. This image is a crossed composite of two photographs taken with a Sigma 12-24 lens at 12mm, on a full frame camera, at floor level.

Both the raw source images had their geometry corrected in Photoshop to eliminate the substantial barrel distortion, and then had to be carefully aligned as layers.

The other images show the tripod setup – and why I carry a mirror in the camera bag!

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Light in words and architecture

Today’s images are the first in what, I hope, will become a series.  I have long been fascinated by the psychology and metaphor of light as spirit and transcendence. Photographs here are of Biblical references, set in the Cathedral which is conceived as a temple of light.

The images are best viewed full size as the details are critical… scroll down from each photo in the gallery and click ‘view full size’.

My hope is that, over time, people will find ways of participating by bringing their own ideas and inspirations to the project.  More soon on how this might happen!