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Saint Bartholomew (Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:14, Acts 1:13) never set foot in Milan but his statue has been the talk of the town for the past four and a half centuries. Just ask Mark Twain. Then again, the tradition of Bartholomew, which purports that he was skinned alive and beheaded in Albanopolis, Armenia (modern-day Turkey), is the stuff of legends. Bartholomew, now the patron saint of tanners, is usually depicted with a large knife and holding his own skin.

In many ways this image reveals the power of compact modern digital cameras to capture detail. When I took this shot of the famous statue of St Bartholomew in the Milan Duomo I was aware of the father and daughter figures to the right of the frame. However, I didn’t fully appreciate the significance of their body language until I edited the image later.

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This image was taken a couple of weeks ago in the grounds of Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge. For those who are interested, I used a Canon 5D2 with a 17-40 lens; the camera was on a tripod and I took 3 bracketed exposures to capture a wider range of tonal values. I only needed 2 of the files to achieve the balance I wanted between the sky and the land. The final effect was created with at least 2 additional texture layers, desaturation and selective sharpening, enhancing the illustrative quality.

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Each image in this Fenland Landscape collection has been created using a series of texture layers with additional editing in Adobe Lightroom.

‘Even here, we go carefully, for cartography itself is not a neutral activity. The drawing of maps is full of colonial echoes. The civilised eye seeks to view the world from above, as something we can stand over and survey. The Uncivilised writer knows the world is, rather, something we are enmeshed in — a patchwork and a framework of places, experiences, sights, smells, sounds. Maps can lead, but can also mislead. Our maps must be the kind sketched in the dust with a stick, washed away by the next rain. They can be read only by those who ask to see them, and they cannot be bought’.

cathwit5h birds

I added some details to this composite image; birds circling the tower. I think it works better than the previous shot.

 

 

Ely Cathedral

This photograph consists of 4 high resolution digital files; they have been combined to create a highly detailed recording of the Gothic cathedral of Ely. This image can be printed to poster scale without loss of resolution. The sky has been removed to create a strong graphic quality and to focus attention on the rich shapes and elaborate structure of the façade.

gargoyles Illustration 3

This is a digital drawing combining photography and hand drawn layers using a Wacom Tablet. The figure you see here is called ‘the artisan’ and he can be found wandering the flat open Fenlands and marshes in search of suitable subjects to draw and paint. You can find other drawings under the illustration section of my site.