Ely Cathedral

Cathedral in Ely

Ely (pronounced eee-lee), Famous for Oliver Cromwell also contains a magnificent cathedral.  Founded in 672 by Etheldreda, this cathedral has undergone many facelifts over the years. The story of Etheldreda is fascinating and can be read here.

The cathedral in its most recognisable form took 112 years to complete and this can be seen in the architecture.  The bottom of of the cathedral reflects a much older period with rounded simples arches.  These arches become more ornate as the levels increase, with interlocking arches and pillars.  Interestingly the top arches reflect a much more stable and newer design with a more pointed top.  In one wall you can see 112 years of architectural history and innovation.

Time wall Ely
The Time wall – Unseen is the first layer with rounded arches. At the bottom you can see the interlocking arches, then the more ornate (but still rounded) arches and above, the small classical revival pillars mimicking the romans. Lastly you can see the pointed arches that reflected the better knowledge of architecture after 112 years since the start of the build.

Candice and I took the West Tower tour which I highly recommend. It is 15 pound for the tour and cathedral general admission fee.  The tower tour also includes an excellent history on the cathedral and the west tower, and with our guide, a history of the local fens too!

Amazingly Ely Cathedral is built on only 6 ft of foundations.  That is incredible, but over the years this has caused some major structural issues.  Here you can see where the original arch used to be before strengthening with these newer pointed…and thicker arches were implemented.

New Arch
The original and the new arch

On the west tower we were able to climb to the top where we we treated to great views of Ely and the Cambridgeshire.  Here you can see the octagon tower, which is unusual for a normal church.  This tower was created after the original tower fell down.  The foundations for the Lady Chapel, seen of the left, caused the lowering of the water table and the drying out of the clay beneath.  This then caused the tower to collapse at about 4 am.  The octagonal chase was the formed by building just outside the original footprint of the previous tower.


The stone used to create the cathedral is not local stone, which is too hard and brittle and cannot be shaped, but was shipped down river from Barnack in Northamptonshire. Barnack stone is more easily sculpted, however some of the local stone can be seen in the walls as infill.

After the tour we browsed the rest of the cathedral and boy is it HUGE!

The choir Gallery of Ely Cathedral
Choir gallery
Ely Cathedral
Lectern in Ely Cathedral
Bishop West’s Chantry Chapel
Cathedral in Ely
Ely cathedral

Many a grand palace has been built in the name of ones god and this is no exception.  I’m not a religious person, intact I am atheist, however Ely Cathedral is an excellent example of grand design and beautiful architecture.  At least, in my non expert opinion!

The wooden box in the above photo is a mirror allowing you to view the magnificent painted ceiling.

Ely Cathedral Ceiling
The decorated ceiling of Ely Cathedral

Lastly, and although we didn’t go in, there is a stained glass museum on site.  If the window depicting the crowning of Esther are anything to go by, the stained glass at Ely Cathedral is just as ornate and magnificent as the rest of the building!

Stained Glass at Ely Cathedral
The Crowning of Esther – Stained Glass




Melbourne City

Melbourne City

A friend was leaving Melbourne and as a gift my Image of Melbourne from the VCCC was given to her by our old work colleagues.  This sparked me to go through some old images and reprocess one or two now that I have developed better skills in Lightroom and Photoshop.  This one is of the city of Melbourne from Albert Park, back in 2014.

Melbourne City
The City of Melbourne from Albert Park Lake

Dear Deer, Why are you so majestic?

Deer in the New Forest

My last trip to the UK had me back to my roots in the New Forest.  Set aside by William the Conquerer, as a hunting ground, this National Park on the south coast of England is home to 4 different species of deer.  This guy was quite happy to roam free and flaunt himself in front of us safe in the knowledge the only shooting I’ll be doing is with my Canon 6D!

Deer in the New Forest
The Majestic Deer of the New Forest

Canon 6D 70-200 EF IS F4L at ISO 2500 200mm f4 1/125


South Side of the River

Bankside in London

I never really took much notice of the lamp posts in London, but these ones have fish on the bottom of them!  I was thinking of naming this image Carp-ey-Diem but then I may loose followers due to the pun….

Bankside in London
Bankside and Bokeh!

The Shard

Looking out towards London Bridge

When we visited London in 2012, the Shard opened to great fanfare.  Now the Tate Modern has a new (and importantly, free) observation deck. A great way to see a 360-degree view of London.

Looking out towards London Bridge
The Shard

Shot with a Canon 6D 24-70mm F/4 IS USM: 24mm 0.5 Sec f/7.1 ISO500

Alex’s Current Photgraphic Travel Set Up

I thought it best to begin this journey with my current photographic setup.  As I haven’t started travelling yet I plan to use this post as a base to document what I am starting with so that in the future I can comment on what worked well, what didn’t work, what I have swapped out and what I have kept.


Camera Bodies:

Canon 6D. I used to own the 5Dclassic and I loved that bad boy but unfortunately, the shutter box broke on me so the 6D became the replacement.  Full Frame, 20.2 MP, 11 autofocus points (the only bummer really) and an ISO range of 100-25600 (with usable ISO around 4000 in some circumstances)  You’re not selling any microstock at that high an ISO due to noise but if you’re snapping for fun then the higher ISOs of this body have been great! I carry two spare batteries EP-L6.

I also have a film camera – the Canon EOS 33 (Elan 7).  Ignoring using my mum’s point and shoot growing up, I didn’t start my photographic journey with a film camera.  I’m really enjoying the experience and hopefully it will make me a better photographer.

Lastly Candice owns the Nikon AW1.  This little camera is rugged as all hell.  Waterproof, shockproof and sexy looking!  It is also a lot lighter than a dSLR!

GoPro Hero2 with associated accessories.

Camera Lenses:

Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS USM:  This bad boy has replaced my 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.  The 24-70 has great IQ and I don’t regret buying it for a second.  It has become my general walk around lens.

Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM:  The first L series lens I bought and I still love it.  It isn’t quite the f/2.8 but it is much lighter and therefore I’m happy to bring it with me wherever I go.

Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM:  Ok so I was a little naughty when I bought this lens.  I used to own the 50mm f/1.8 MkII, which is a great lens.  However, the 1.4 is just nicer than its cheaper brother.  The 1.8 is a great bit of glass but boy is it noisy during focus.

Samyang 14mm f/2.8:  This lens is fully manual. There are no bells and whistles and not even a focus beep to tell you you’re locked on.  The IQ more than makes up its lack of features.


Manfrotto 055CXPro3 with 3 way Pan Head.  This will be interesting to read in a few months/years time as to whether I have kept this tripod.  It is carbon fibre, so it is light but it is bulky.  The pan head only makes it bulkier and I have no comfortable way to attach it to my bag.  Still though, sturdy tripod and it has been a faithful companion for me.


Lowepro Sport 200AW.  The AW standards for all weather, which basically means it comes with a rain coat over the top.  I’ve had this bag a few years and it too has served me well.  If you like taking your camera out as you enjoy adventure sports, then this is the bag for you.  I have taken this bag on the plane many times and most of those have been long haul flights between Australia and the UK. My only gripe is the lack of tripod attaching facility.  Lowepro have brought out a new model and a slightly larger backpack called the 300 AW II.  I’m fairly interested in upgrading as this may give me more space, and preferably a tripod space!


Canon Speedlite 430EXII.  I only have one and most of my work doesn’t require a flash but occasionally I do tinker with it.  For off camera flash work I also own a pair of yongnuo wireless triggers I think they are the 602 model.  Simple and basic, but they do the trick!


At the moment I use the Cokin P filter system with various ND filters and GND filters. I also purchased the circular polariser, a MUST have for landscapes!


I currently use a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina to edit and post.  I just don’t have the money for a large iMac.  However, we are about to embark upon a travelling adventure so it probably isn’t feasible. Oh, and they’re bloody expensive!


You may notice in my photo I have included a compass.  The compass is probably one of the most important bits of kit.  If you want to leave the well worn path, just take a compass reading and when you’re finished you can always return to the path you were on. I also highly recommend a topographical map.

Other important equipment include the Rocket blower and lens pen for cleaning and the Wacom Bamboo Tablet for editing.  I cannot tell you how much easier to use Photoshop or Lightroom with a tablet than a mouse.

Over time I may change some of this setup and I’m keen to find out what works best for travelling. I’ll post a review of any new equipment I get on this blog and try to keep it regularly updated.