Last weekend a colleague and I spent the day walking around Stavanger. Not being on my own, I couldn’t really spend the time I wanted to shoot more photos. I more or less run-and-gunned the best I could. I can sympathize with anyone who gets stuck with a photographer who loses all sense of time trying to get in “one more shot”. I’m trying to get better about this by being more engaged with whoever I’m with… ok, ‘getting better’ is a very subjective term and I may be using it a bit liberally here. For me, I either have to shoot or leave the camera at home; I don’t split my attention very well at all.
This weekend I’m all by me onesies, making it the perfect opportunity to go back to Stavanger to spend some quality time shooting. I brought with me an A7RmkII camera with the following lenses:
Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm f/1.2
Minolta MD W.Rokkor 20mm f/2.8
Minolta MD 135mm f/3.5
Upon arriving in the city, I walked down to the harbor where a few boats and ships were tied up. This old wooden boat and the wooden sailboat behind it really caught my eye.
The bow anchors on this ship were lit by the brilliant morning sun.
Here’s a color version of the starboard bow anchor.
Rogaland is a county in Norway. Stavanger is the administrative center for the county. Rogaland county is the center for the Petroleum Industry in Norway.
After the harbor, I payed another visit to the Stavanger Cathedral. Last weekend, it was packed with people which made it difficult to shoot much of the interior. This morning, however, it was practically empty.
The side windows bathed the nave in a warm glow of light. In this image you can really get a sense of the size of those buttresses.
Forward into the choir, you can see the vaulted ceiling and all of the design work that went into making them. On the right is a beautiful Mander Organ that was installed in 1992.
I read about the history of this organ and the challenges the Reil brothers had in designing it and installing it. If you’re interested in reading it yourself, you can see the story here.
I can’t imagine the amount of time and skill required to make such a fine instrument.
At the back of the nave is a second, more massive pipe organ. This serves as the main organ while the smaller organ, seen above in the choir, is meant to accompany singing.
A view from the choir, shooting back toward the entrance of the cathedral.
The white paint of the choir really shows off the structure of the vaulted ceiling. These supports have held their massive load for 891 years, a testament to their design and the craftsman who built them.
Tucked away in a glass case is the study Bible of Andrew Smith, a Scottish-born artist who contributed most of the wood carvings found throughout the cathedral. His ornate carvings were part of a refresh period of the church during the 1600’s. The Rokkor 20mm lens does exceptionally well with close-ups, allowing you to get as close as 8 inches without an extension tube.
I liked the way the light through this window got caught up in a spiderweb. This is one of the uppermost windows in the cathedral – a testament to the resolving power of the tiny Minolta MD 135mm lens. I paid about $15 for that lens and it remains one of the best investments. I used it extensively in Malaysia and found it to be wonderfully easy to carry and the results from it are always so pleasing.
Another shot made with that lens. This small shelf hanging from a wall toward the back of the nave held some hymnals. They had other, bigger shelves full of hymnals so I’m not sure the purpose of the extra stash. Perhaps for the late-comers 🙂
After leaving the cathedral, I had no plan for what else I wanted to do or see. Aimlessly roaming, I came across the following few scenes.
Valberg Tower was an observation point for the city watchmen. Originally built in 1853, it now serves as a landmark and museum for the city of Stavanger.
I’ll end the post tonight with this sweeping view of the Stavanger City Bridge. This cable-stayed, 3,500′ (1,067m) long bridge was built in 1978 and connects the city center to Grasholmen on the other side of the waterway.
The diminutive Rokkor 20mm handled this shot beautifully! I stopped it down to f/11 in order to get the pier in the foreground in focus along with the background. I wish I could post the full-size image here so you could see how sharp and clear it rendered the details of distant objects. Look closely at the base of the main support structure of the bridge. To the right of it, you’ll see a tiny channel marker sign sticking up out of the water. It reads, “46”. You can even clearly see each and everyone one of the vertical posts of the guardrail that runs along the bridge’s roadway. Excellent resolving power! I paid $275 for mine. It has a tiny scratch on the rear element that obviously has no affect on image quality.
I hope you enjoyed the photos and the little bit of information that went along with them. If you ever have any questions about the images, the lenses, or places, I talk about on this website, please feel free to leave me a comment. I read every one of them.