Look up. Look way up: the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The Anglican Cathedral, St. John's, Newfoundland
From the altar, looking west.

I stopped in to wander through the Anglican Cathedral today after a meeting. It’s a fascinating building, both for its history and its construction. As cathedrals go, it’s really quite small. Not so small as the one in Fredericton, but still miniscule by comparison with ones in larger centres. To my mind this makes it more fathomable. It’s possible for the eye to take in more at once, but you could pore over the place for days and still find it fascinating. It’s big and small all at once in a way that’s difficult to put into words.

The Anglican Cathedral, St. John's, Newfoundland
Ogival vault, or croisée en ogives, as I learned it so many years ago.

What’s neat is that every time I visit, I make a new discovery. Today I found a couple of panels that I hadn’t previously noticed and Julia the tour guide (also an old friend) showed me a new face that she recently found in one of the stones. Many years ago I wandered up into the rafters and got to almost crawl along between roof and ceiling to look out a very small and uncoloured rosette window near the tippy top. It was quite astonishing and I’ve never forgotten that feeling of being transported back in time.

Secret passages, hidden panels
Passageway to the vestry, with secret panels that lead into the innards of the Casavant organ.

I spent a lot of time looking up. There were more tourists than I expected to find out and about on a grey, foggy day, and I had to work a bit not to snare any Germans with my lens. These shots were all long exposures, of about 30 seconds, which effectively “ghosted” or eliminated from the picture anyone who accidentally walked through; they didn’t even register in the image. Still, I tended to aim the camera up today, being curious about the detail in the wooden ceiling.

The Anglican Cathedral, St. John's, Newfoundland
Wooden beams in the sanctuary.

It was mostly a scouting mission, to get a feel for what pictures I’d like to create there and what conditions will work best. I’ll head back again soon.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. hannifrieda says:

    epic shots i must say 😉

    1. hannifrieda says:

      is the last one a panorama or just an amazing photo?

      1. VickyTH says:

        All of the cathedral shots were made as single photos. I have a particularly lovely wide-angle lens (Tokina 11-16mm) that is very good at covering sweeping vistas and architectural details. It’s also marvelous in situations where you can’t back up any more – it just opens right up and includes much more width. It’s marvelous to work with!

      2. hannifrieda says:

        Thats brilliant! I wish I had a dslr camera at the moment i only have a kodak easyshare C182 which is a very good little camera but i want i nice big proper one 🙂

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