Friday, 16 February 2018

Maps, books, cities and churches

I've been doing this photography lark since 1979. My first image was printed in a newspaper for US soldiers based in (then) West Germany around 1980. I was thrilled to see my image of tanks driving through a gate and bought several copies of the newspaper.

The feeling has never gone away. True, the internet allows us all to see our work published but nothing in my opinion beats having my images featured on paper.

Last year I was contacted by Jasper van Puten, a lecturer at  the Massachusetts School of Art and Design. He had seen an image of mine on Google Earth that would help to illustrate a part of a book he was in the process of writing "Networked Nation: Mapping German Cities in Sebastian Munster's 'Cosmographia' (Maps, Spaces, Cultures)".

Here's the blurb about the book. "Jasper van Putten examines the groundbreaking woodcut city views in the German humanist Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia. This description of the world, published in Basel from 1544 to 1628, glorified the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and engendered the city book genre. Van Putten argues that Münster’s network of city view makers and contributors—from German princes and artists to Swiss woodcutters, draftsmen, and printers—expressed their local and national cultural identities in the views. The Cosmographia, and the city books it inspired, offer insights into the development of German and Swiss identity from 1550 to Switzerland’s independence from the empire in 1648.* "

My image was to be used in the Swiss identity section of the book and was taken at the Sempacher "Schlachtkapelle" (Sempach Battlefield chapel). The chapel is built on the site of the battle of Sempach which took place in 1386 and was decisive in helping Switzerland win independence from the mighty Austrian Habsburg empire. Jasper was interested in using my image of the mural in that chapel which depicts the battle.

Aside from photography, I also enjoy studying and collecting old maps and engravings, so I was over the moon at having one of my images considered for inclusion in the book. We agreed a reproduction fee and several weeks later I received a mock up of how my image would appear in the book.

Here's the image in more detail:

Canon 5d MKII 16-35 zoom. ISO 640 1/40 at f4.5

The book is now in print and at the time of writing, only one copy is still available on Amazon.

As for the chapel itself, it is a place I love to visit with my camera. One of its features is that it has an ossuary (beinhaus in German). A repository of bones to commemorate the dead. Ossuaries are a pet project of mine and I have some of my ossuary images here for you to see on Google Plus.

For a more immersive experience, you can see the chapel interior in full 360 degrees courtesy of my 360 degree image of the chapel interior.

Here are a few more images of the fascinating place.

  Canon 5d MKII 16-35 zoom. ISO 200 1/200 at f13

  Canon 5d MKII 16-35 zoom. ISO 200 HDR Tonemapped image

 Canon 5d MKII 16-35 zoom. ISO 200 HDR Tonemapped image

Canon 5d MKII 16-35 zoom. ISO 200 HDR Tonemapped image

Wikipedia article about the battle and the chapel

* Book description from this website.

The book is also available from Amazon 

As ever. Thanks for taking the time to visit and if you have any questions then please doon't hesitate to get in touch.