26/52 St Paul’s Cathedral

When I am working in London, I like to try and walk to the courts from St Pancras whenever I have the time and it’s not pouring with rain. Quite often on this walk or on the short stroll from City Thameslink station to the Rolls Building on Chancery Lane, I find myself wishing I had a camera with me.* Last week though, I had the opportunity to wander the familiar streets with my camera as I was in London for pleasure rather than work, and it made me realise that I should do it more often.

The City of London (by which I mean the square mile as opposed to the entire city) is a fascinating place and has some of the most interesting architectural details and ancient hidden gems you will find anywhere in London. On Fleet Street and the Strand alone, Art Deco masterpieces rub shoulders with half-timbered pubs frequented by Dickens, dark alleyways and unprepossessing doorways open out into the beautiful gardens of the Inns of Court and at the top of the hill the magnificent dome of St Paul’s rises above it all.

It is St Paul’s Cathedral that is the subject of this post. Wren’s masterpiece is one of London’s most photographed buildings, so trying to find a new angle was pretty tough. I’m not claiming that these compositions have never previously been seen (that would be ridiculous), but I think they make a nice change from the standard facade and dome shot taken from the plaza in front of the building.

This first shot is taken looking up at the cathedral’s massive dome and I think emphasises the size of the structure. I like the W angles made by the intersection of the nave and the transept.

The dome of St Paul's. Copyright Fiona Michie.
The dome of St Paul’s. Copyright Fiona Michie.

The next shot closes in on the apex of the dome. The structure that sits on top is like a mini Wren church in itself, with perfect Corinthian columns, Palladian-style symmetry and so much decorative detail for something that is mostly viewed from a distance. It is a lovely thing.

Apex of the dome of St Paul’s. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Not strictly a view of St Paul’s but it does feature in the image. This is a mosaic of the history of London, on the Thames Path at Queenshithe. It’s a lovely thing in a rather unlovely location, and this part of the mosaic shows St Paul’s during the Blitz.

St Paul's in the Blitz, Queenshithe Thames mosaic. Copyright Fiona Michie.
St Paul’s in the Blitz, Queenshithe Thames mosaic. Copyright Fiona Michie.

The last shot is one I am really pleased with. Just as I’d packed away my camera, I happened to tip my head back and spotted this reflection in the mirrored glass of a rather dull office block. I knew I couldn’t just walk away from it, so out came the camera again and I’m really glad I didn’t just ignore the shot and wander off to catch a train.

St Paul's reflected. Copyright Fiona Michie.
St Paul’s reflected. Copyright Fiona Michie.

*If you are wondering why I don’t just take my camera in to work with me, there are very strict rules forbidding photographic equipment in court buildings.


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