Time Lapse Video Captures Light Illuminating the Stained Glass Windows of Washington National Cathedral

Col­in Win­ter­bot­tom spe­cial­izes in tak­ing pho­tographs that offer a fresh per­spec­tive on Amer­i­ca’s cap­i­tal, Wash­ing­ton DC. As his web site tells us, his pho­tos seek to express “not just what a place looks like, but how it feels to be there.” A point that also comes across in a video he shot sev­er­al years ago.

He intro­duces the video above, enti­tled “Stained glass time lapse, Wash­ing­ton Nation­al Cathe­dral,” with these back­ground words:

I am pri­mar­i­ly a black and white archi­tec­tur­al still pho­tog­ra­ph­er, but while doc­u­ment­ing post-earth­quake repairs at Wash­ing­ton Nation­al Cathe­dral I was impressed by the dra­ma of the vibrant col­ors the win­dows “paint­ed” on stone and scaf­fold. With just weeks before a relat­ed exhi­bi­tion was to open I began mount­ing cam­eras to scaf­fold to take advan­tage of rare van­tage points. The open­ing and clos­ing view, for exam­ple — with Rowan LeCompte’s remark­able west rose win­dow at eye-lev­el and cen­tered straight ahead with­in the nave — can­not be recre­at­ed now that scaf­fold is down.

The pho­tographs in the exhi­bi­tion “Scal­ing Wash­ing­ton” (which was at the Nation­al Build­ing Muse­um in 2015) often played off the unex­pect­ed har­mo­ny between the Cathe­dral archi­tec­ture and scaf­fold, both hav­ing engag­ing rhyth­mic struc­tur­al rep­e­ti­tions. Thus the inclu­sion of won­der­ful­ly paint­ed scaf­fold here­in. For the pur­pose of the exhi­bi­tion (which had much oth­er con­tent) the video was left silent and had remained so for sev­er­al years until com­pos­er Danyal Dhondy recent­ly offered to write an orig­i­nal score for it. It fits so well and com­ple­ments the rhythms of the orig­i­nal edit so per­fect­ly. Now the piece has new dimen­sion and life out­side the orig­i­nal exhi­bi­tion.

It’s good to know there’s still some beau­ty and tran­quil­i­ty some­where in Wash­ing­ton. Do enjoy.

via Aeon

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Dig­i­tal Recon­struc­tion of Wash­ing­ton D.C. in 1814

5,000+ Pho­tographs by Minor White, One of the 20th Century’s Most Impor­tant Pho­tog­ra­phers, Now Dig­i­tized and Avail­able Online

Enroll in Harvard’s Free Online Archi­tec­ture Course: An Intro­duc­tion to the His­to­ry & The­o­ry of Archi­tec­ture


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