St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

St. Davids Cathedral

Available light, hand held technical photography

A set of personal photographs taken on a brief visit to St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Working with available light

A collection of photographs of – what is generally claimed to be – UK’s smallest, and certainly one of its most beautiful cathedrals.

Shooting in the cathedral had two big problems – low lighting conditions and, even more tricky to deal with, the fact that many of the walls and columns are not truly vertical (to the extent that you can feel the slope of the building – both disconcerting and charming at the same time).

Whilst we would normally – particularly on a paid assignment – wish to use a tripod and plan for lighting conditions, these are not essential to capture the feel of a location in a high quality image. All of the images here were taken using available light – so no flash – and using a tilt-shift lens but NO tripod. Received wisdom is that low lighting conditions and tilt-shift lens demand a tripod, but these shots show that, if absolutely necessary and even in the most dificult of conditions, it is still possible to get great shots without following the rules – if you know what you’re doing.

As well as the tilt-shift lens, Keith also used a 15mm fisheye lens for some shots, correcting the images later in post production software that removes the obvious characteristic ‘fisheye look’ without compromising the very wide view.

The photos here have a wonderful warmth and really capture the interplay of natural light on ancient stonework and floors – reflecting the beauty and peace of this wonderful sacred space.

Learn more about how we photograph ancient buildings and heritage sites.