Location - Sherborne Abbey, Dorset

The magnificent Sherborne Abbey dates back to 705 when it was originally a Saxon Cathedral. Having grown up in Dorset I really wanted to show Hannah what this beautiful Abbey had to offer. The weekend just gone found us visiting my parents, as James and I were photographing a gorgeous wedding in Somerset (more to come of that on our wedding blog later). Knowing that Han and I had a band shoot to conduct later that Monday evening, we decided we would visit the Abbey before journeying back to Hertfordshire.

Han has recently found her first Pentax K1000 35mm Film SLR, which is fantastic as she is going to put it to the test and relive where her passion all started (can't wait to see the outcome of this, and i'm sure if you keep an eye on her blog you'll see some results soon). With that said, the decor and architecture that Sherborne has to offer is a great subject for any camera, so off we headed.

On a somewhat overcast and windy day the intention was to focus (excuse the pun) on the interior of the Abbey. Over the years of living away I had forgotten just how stunning the inside of the Abbey was, and quite happily stood in awe of it's beauty.

It's all about being in the right place, at the right time and what happens next is testimony to that. The Head Verger of Sherborne Abbey approached us saying we both looked like keen photographers, and after a brief conversation of why we visiting he offered us a fantastic chance to head up the bell tower and onto the roof of Sherborne Abbey. That's an offer no one can refuse, and before he could finish his sentence me and Han had already agreed to do so.

Through the narrow door, up the windiest and tightest (I'm 6ft2 don't you know?!) of staircases we climbed out of the hatch (right picture) on top of Sherborne Abbey to witness the magnificent view across the town. So thrilled to be up there, we spent around 20 minutes being blown back and forth by gusts of winds as the Sherborne Abbey bells rang out.

The above photograph is a panoramic stitch of 7 images just showing you how overcast, but also how great the view was. Shame about the weather, but never the less an unforgettable experience and one that we cannot thank the Head Verger enough for letting us do so. On the way back down from the roof I paused to get a quick shot of the bells:

We never took these photographs with the intention of blogging them, but it was an experience we wanted to share. If your in Dorset or plan on visiting sometime soon, Sherborne Abbey is a must-see. From it's intricate details on the ceiling to the reddened stone under the Tower caused by a fire during a riot in the 15th century, it all adds up to make it breathtaking.

On a photographic note, these images just go to show the capabilities of  handling high ISO on the 5D MarkII. All images used in this blog post (except the panoramic) are taken between ISO2000-6400 using shutter speeds as slow as 1/20th handheld!

The visit to Sherborne Abbey has inspired me to take on a personal project. Seeing as James and I grew up in and around Sherborne, we're going to embark on producing a photographic book of the area. Looking forward to working on this over the year.