Thursday, 2 February 2017

Framing a view

I've been taking a break from blogging for a few weeks, recovering from the Christmas influx of visitors, relaxing in the warm summer weather and feeling a certain lack  of inspiration, but here is my contribution to Sepia Saturday #353 . 

The first photo below was the one that immediately sprang to mind when I saw the prompt image of an archway. I haven't searched through my old family photographs this week, and haven't found any photographs of arches and stairs, but a quick search on Google+ found quite a few arches of various kinds that I've previously scanned, mostly taken on our holiday trips, so I've included a few of those too. What self-respecting church, castle, rampart, mansion or imposing entrance way does not boast an arch or three, outside, inside or both?

 Arches are scientifically designed and pleasing aesthetic structures, often beautifully and ornately decorated, as was this ancient arch at the Roman Forum, when we visited on a cool winter day in December 1992. It was our first trip to Europe, travellng by train for 6 weeks in mid-winter with with four children in tow, aged between 5 and 12. I sometimes wonder how we did it, but the answer probably lies in the fact that we were 25 years younger!  I do remember wandering through the Forum, with one eye on the scenery and the other making sure that no one decided to play hide and seek or get lost among the ancient ruins.

Framed view of the Forum, Rome

Sometimes the photographer is intent on photographing the arch itself, as above at the Frederiksborg Palace in Hellerod, Denmark, where I'm lurking in the shadows of the tunnel gateway, It was late one afternoon in April 2010 and the palace was closed by the time we reached it, but we enjoyed walking around the exterior of this majestic place. The fountain in the palace courtyard can be glimpsed through the tunnel.

I think the photo above was taken looking out into the light at one end of an internally lit walkway tunnel in Nuremburg Germany, whereas the shot below is taken from further inside and looking back in  the other direction.  I like the way daily life can be quite unobtrusively observed from a viewpoint under an archway or tunnel such as this.

I also like the way an arch will frame a particular view, even if it is only a gate, doorway or even a window that the photographer is looking through. To me arches seem to add an air of mystery or secretiveness to what is seen beyond, such as this glimpse of Beleura, an old mansion on the Mornington Peninsula here in Victoria, which you can read more about here, or this view below from the porch of the old Priory Hotel near Hereford outside Hereford, the wedding venue where our elder daughter got married in 2012. This photograph just shows one of the groomsmen retreating on what was rather an inclement day weatherwise, but I've previously posted a professional photograph of the bride arriving through the same arched entry here.  No doubt this arch will have framed photographs of many happy newlyweds.

A framed view of Lincoln Cathedral,  looking across from the ramparts of nearby Lincoln Castle.

Another venerable arch, this time in the ruins of Arbroath Abbey, 
in the town of Arbroath, north of Dundee.

This last archway photograph is the only one that has any relevance to my family history. It shows an entrance to buildings in College Hill, City of  London, and was taken while a fellow family historian and I were exploring the area where my 3x great grandfather John Daw and family resided in the 1841 census. No residential dwellings remain at the recorded address of 8 College Hill, but we liked to think that we were walking the same streets and perhaps seeing some of the same architectural features as our ancestor John Daw would have done, when he lived and worked in this area as a machine ruler in the trade of bookbinding. 

To look through more arches and perhaps take steps beyond, go to Sepia Saturday #353 . 


Little Nell said...

You’ve returned in style! A wonderful gallery of arches framing some quite historic places in some cases.

ScotSue said...

I like the way you have captured views through an archway. My favourite is the one of Nuremburg.

Kristin said...

I find so many of my old family homes now gone, not to arches and stairs but to parking lots.

Deb Gould said...

Would love to be able to time-travel, to go back to Arbroath Abbey, to see what it was like fresh and new, with people about.

La Nightingail said...

All are wonderful photos depicting differing examples of arches, but that first one of the Forum in Rome is a knockout!

Mike Brubaker said...

Bravo! You win the prize for quantity and quality.

diane b said...

You have an amazing collection of arches and wow you have done some travelling.