Friday, June 26, 2009

Making The Sign Of The Cross

Don’t Be Fooled By The Blue Sky – It’s Winter

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


It’s funny how light renders familiar objects in different guises. I’ve walked (and driven) past St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral here in the city hundreds of times, and I’ve shot its façade and spires at night, at dusk, at dawn, in twilight and in bright sun. But sometimes even the most common sights are cloaked in something special – and you just have to stop and admire them.

I shot this on Wednesday, during my lunch break. Despite the fact that it is winter here in Australia, it was not one of those freezing cold days where the wind forces you to button your jacket and hunch your shoulders against the elements. No, nothing like that.

The clear sky meant it was not an unfriendly temperature. There was a fair bit of cloud cover, but the outdoor cafes were doing a roaring trade in the sunlight. There were even isolated patches of brilliant blue sky. As I walked towards Flinders Street, I looked up and noticed this wonderful contrast of colours.

This cross is atop the high steeple of the cathedral but luckily I had my long lens with me, so I was able to stand back on the footpath and compose a really tight shot.

One of the interesting things about the cathedral is that it was constructed from sandstone brought in from neighbouring New South Wales. The soft colours of the stone and the clarity of the brickwork gave me a beautiful contrast to capture against the striking blue.

Remember, this cross is at the very pinnacle of the spire, so I had to lean back a long, long way to get this angle. Which explains why I’ve been walking around like Quasimodo for the past few days. But I’ve got a hunch it won’t last long!

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

37 comments:

Daryl said...

Ah, I suspect it was a midday shot .. stronger light in winter at midday ... lovely contrast of shape and color ..

James said...

My first thought when I saw this picture was what a great contrast of colors. This photo is very pleasing to the eye..

Thumbelina said...

Trust you to get the hump...

I love the contrast too. The sky is deceptive in it's blueness - you;d never guess it was winter and it is a perfect backdrop for the sandstone architecture.
Mine's up too and if you get time I'd love you to see it. It is one of the best sunsets I have ever had the privilege to witness. :)

Regina said...

Fantastic.I like it.

Erin said...

a beautiful capture. almost posted a similar type shot this week but did something a little more whimsical.
have a wonderful weekend.

Sandy Kessler said...

who picked you up??it was worth it

Brian Miller said...

rings a few bells...ha. nice shot!

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Beautiful pic!
And I agree it's a wonderful contrast of colours - I've always loved how blue fits so well with yellow...

Craver Vii said...

(lol) You've got a hunch alright! I get a kick out of your twisted sense of humor, Sir.

Jules~ said...

Good morning David. Wow you are right. That is a beautiful contrast. What a brilliant blue. I am amazed at the detail in your photo despite the long distance.

Thank you for your visit the other day. Shamefully I haven't organized my time to do much visiting anywhere lately. Thank you for not forgetting me.

If you have time, I wrote a post a few weeks back that I thought might strike a chord with you. It is titled "My Experience" and is dated for 6/10.

Have a blessed day today.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific contrast, the gold color against the blue! Marvelous capture as always, David! Have a great weekend!

aims said...

Oh...the bells!

Artist Unplugged said...

Beautiful shot....surprised you didn't just lay on the ground to get it! Hard to believe it's cold there since it is the sweating season here.

Anna said...

Nice shot! Love the soft light shining on it, contrasted with this sharp blue colored sky. Anna :)

Elizabeth Bradley said...

This one is beaute, sorry you had to strain your back to capture the image.

Willow said...

The sandstone color of the cross reminds me of Bath, England, but the sky is much too vibrant for that climate. Really nice shot. Hope everything is straightened out now.

Grace Albaugh said...

Love the color contrast. Really beautiful.
Would love to know as a Minnesotan what you consider cold though. I see so many photos from your neck of the woods and your June looks like mine only mine is Summer. At 20 below zero, that's about a gazillion below for you, we really bundle up.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That is a gorgeous shot, David. We spent two hours a few weeks ago photographing an architectural treasure... a college campus designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. While the campus is still very contemporary in feel, we got some amazing shots of buildings against the sky. I could have stayed a lot longer, but we had to go.

Photography is something that can easily hook you. I'm starting to find out why people love it so.

Thanks for sharing...

Sheila :-)

Katney said...

My granddaughter will be in Australia in a couple of weeks. My guess is that she will be undaunted by the Australian winter, considering the winter just past in the Pacific Northwest.(She has instructions to phone you and say hi for me, but she is shy and I don't know what the schedule of her group will allow.)

Darla said...

Can't imagine winter right now. Seems that some of the bluest skies are when it's cold.

Guy D said...

Excellent capture as always David.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

bowledover said...

It is a lovely capture David. It glows.

Photo Cache said...

Now that is a crisp image. I wouldn't have guessed it was a winter snap.

Anne-Berit said...

Very nice photo,and the colours are great.Have a nice day!

Maggie May said...

I love that picture of the cross. You are lucky to get a sky that colour in Winter, but then you have mentioned before that it is a characteristic of Australia.
Very pleasing picture.

J Bar said...

Beautiful blue indeed.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Ida said...

Excellent - as always! :)

Pinkerbell said...

Ah I bet it's one of those gorgeous crisp cold winter days, more beautiful than summer.

♥ bfs - Mimi ♥ said...

A gorgeous shot!

Kathleen said...

Ouch.

Leslie: said...

Fabulous juxtaposition of the spire against the brilliance of the sky! One would never guess it's winter there. Love your play on words, too. (hunch - lol)

Shadow said...

i know those blue skies and i know that cold...

Sanna said...

Stunning colours! Nice photo. =)

Greyscale Territory said...

Vibrant colour contrast! Winter blue sky here on the Mornington Peninsula seems to have a crystal blue depth from about 11:30am to about 2:00pm and then seems to gather a little sea mist!

Lisa said...

It is beautiful...well worth the shot and the read.

Suldog said...

I always forget that our Summer is your Winter.

Louise said...

Our sky looks like that all winter. (And it doesn't mean the weather will keep outdoor cafes bustling!) It's so beautiful, but boring for a sky photo unless you do something like this. I love the light on the church. Winter light is so warm. At least it looks warm to me. It never feels warm enough, however.