West Parish Church, a mile or so outside Alford, is the nearest church to my studio. Although I've driven past thousands of times I've never actually been inside. I was fascinated to see this image on Flickr as I find very difficult to envisage what a window looks like from the inside.
On initial inspection, the window looks relatively modern, but I'm not even going to hazard a guess as to a studio or date until I've had a closer look.
This stained glass panel, in the parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, Withersfield, Suffolk, was designed and made by Pippa Heskett in 1972 in memory of rector John Keen and organist Doris Ager.
The image I was working on yesterday was sent digitally to me by Michael Zapppert. I asked Michael if he would mind sharing a few words on the panel, and I have attached his e-mail below.
I spend a fair bit of time using Adobe Lightroom to enhance images my stained glass images. Yesterday, however, I worked on a couple of images I was sent by long-time collaborator Michael Zappert. I like this part of the window - "No, it's MY fish..."
My normal process for working on an image is as follows:
- Adjust white balance to neutral. This is easier if you are working on a window you have photographed - take a colour card.
- Crop and straighten. Stained glass panels are notorious for perspective issues, but if you can take the image using a tripod, then often an image from further back is better.
- Sharpen. This is where you realise you really should have used a tripod!
After the basics are done, I tweak any colour settings that look "off" (this is more difficult on other folk's photos) and balance light over the window with a graduated exposure if required (often the sill area of windows is a bit dark). Tweaking clarity and saturation gently can often lift an image that seems less vibrant than you remember.
Lightroom is a great image catalog/management system, and allows all but the most complicated editing of images. For the really complex stuff, there's always Photoshop.
In his remarkable documentary on beachcombing, The Wrecking Season, there is a scene when Nick Darke holds up a piece of parquet floor tile he found on a beach after a storm. He explained that he'd once been asked what the most remarkable thing he'd ever found on a beach was. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a second, identical, piece of parquet flooring. The only thing he found on the beach that day were those two tiny scraps of wood, a few metres apart...
So I guess it's not so surprising after all that, just around the corner from the Art Deco extravaganza featured yesterday, there should be another wonderful (although slightly more understated) doorway.
Lawrence Stanley Lee (18 September 1909 – 25 April 2011) was a British stained glass artist, most famous for his windows at Coventry Cathedral. His small book - "Stained Glass" (1976) - is a fantastic introduction to the craft.
Today's image is a detail from the Millennium Window in Glasgow Cathedral designed by John Clark and installed in 1999.
John Clark is a Scottish artist who works closely with Derix Studio, the famous German architectural art glass studio. The window uses a particularly complex combination of text and imagery in painted and etched glass.
Glasgow Cathedral contains a remarkable collection of glass by many famous contemporary stained glass artists, including work by Wilson, Hendrie, Spear, Strachan, Clark, Stammers, Webster and McLellan. I've been meaning to make the trip down since I was given a copy of Ian MacNair's comprehensive pictorial book, "Glasgow Cathedral: The Stained Glass Windows", by Michael Zappert.
St Clements Episcopal Church in Aberdeen was moved from the Footdee ("Fittie") area of the city around 50 years ago. A new building, it contains a large Clayton & Bell crucifixion scene and a couple of smaller panels salvaged from the old building. I visited the church a few years back to quote for the removal of the panels during re-roofing work. The main window had been very badly neglected, and when installed in the new building the tie bars hadn't been inserted into the new steel framework built to accommodate the window…
In a small room off the main hall I photographed this small Arts & Crafts style panel, very different to the rest of the windows. Unsure of the artist, I contacted Michael Donnelly, who suggested it may be by Louis Davis. The small inscription reads "The Controlling Purpose" and the window features a rather serious looking angel wielding dividers and holding what appears to be a map.