Project 365 – Day Three Hundred and Forty – More Eleanor

hardingstone 2

This is the second time that an Eleanor Cross has featured as part of my Project 365. The first time was way back on day Thirty Three when I visited the cross at Geddington. Today I was a few miles to the southwest of Geddington, at Hardingstone on the southern outskirts of Northampton to photograph the Eleanor Cross there.

To read more about the history of this chain of monuments take a quick look at my blog post for Day Thirty Three and also the Wikipedia article devoted to the crosses.

Although I have visited and photographed the Eleanor Cross at Geddington many times over the years, today was my first ever visit to this one. The cross here at Hardingstone is very different to the one at Geddington. Octagonal in plan rather than triangular, it is more representative of the typical blueprint for this string of twelve monuments erected in the late Thirteenth Century.

I had been intending to visit and photograph this cross ever since I shot the one at Geddington. From the research I had done prior to my visit today, I knew that it was right next to a fairly busy main road, the A508 London Road south of Northampton. I knew in advance that what I wanted to capture was blurred traffic zooming by the ancient stone structure.

When I arrived the sky was overcast and there wasn’t much light, very typical of the weather we seem to have been having for weeks and weeks. This was of benefit for the shot I intended to take as I wanted a long exposure time to make the traffic blurred. I closed my aperture down as far as my chosen lens would let me, and also added my polarising filter to block some more light out. I keep forgetting to get a new neutral density filter. I have a graduated filter which is great for bringing out detail in skies. however it’s not so great when you have objects protruding higher than the level you set the “horizon” to on the filter as it darkens the subject as well as the sky – so I think I was better off without it on this occasion, despite ending up with a drab grey sky.

With exposure times of about half a second and with my camera firmly mounted on my tripod it was just a matter of waiting for traffic to pass and firing a few shots off. I decided that I liked this one of a bus going by as it offered a bit more impact than all the little cars. Sadly no big trucks were around, but I suppose there’s less of those on the roads on a Sunday morning.

Naturally, the sun came out when I was about five minutes into my drive home again. At least I got to enjoy seeing some countryside in the sun on the way back.

Canon 7D, EFS 15-85mm IS, 0.4 seconds at f22. Hallowed Black Lightroom develop preset.

Update : Shortly after publishing this entry I discovered Tom Hall’s excellent blog entry written after visiting this cross.

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