Look, up at the ceiling!
April 18, 2012 5:01 PM   Subscribe

Look up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (45 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite

 
Up in the sky! It's a bird!
posted by nicebookrack at 5:03 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


These are great, but I'd recommend going to the photographer's site, where the cathedrals are identified.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:05 PM on April 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Looking at these, I found myself inadvertently craning my neck. (I do this sometimes when playing fps's . . . as if I'm going to get a more complete perspective than what is already offered me from my monitor . . .) Gorgeous.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:07 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Written by Benjamin Starr
Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea.


This busy lifestyle apparently prevents one from such chores as you know, identifying the actual cathedrals.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:11 PM on April 18, 2012


I got a strange sense of vertigo looking those pictures - awesome! It's the perfect intersection of art and geometric math.
posted by helmutdog at 5:13 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The image of the octagon at Ely Cathedral is my favorite. It looks like a window in the center, but it's actually the ceiling of a windowed tower.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:14 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh huh huh.

Groins.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:15 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, anything with so many detailed pictures of groins should have a NSW tag (Nice Stone Working).
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:29 PM on April 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Look around you.
posted by Nelson at 5:32 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some of them have an organic Giger-esque feel about them. I suppose that's not surprising - organic structures use curved skin with ribs for support, and so do cathedrals. It's still rather beautiful.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:37 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Them's some badass roofs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 PM on April 18, 2012


I wonder how much influence Moorish architecture had on the geometric designs in these cathedrals.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:43 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank Nelson, thelson.
posted by ooga_booga at 5:48 PM on April 18, 2012


Look up.

Oh, no - I'm not falling for that old trick!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:50 PM on April 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


This one is a handy diagnostic tool for OCD.
posted by ymgve at 5:58 PM on April 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


This one is a handy diagnostic tool for OCD.

I was all set to chuckle until I realized I was becoming extremely uncomfortable looking at that.
posted by Justinian at 6:02 PM on April 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Some of these images may trigger a slight trypophobic reaction. The first one is the worst of it, though.
posted by brina at 6:08 PM on April 18, 2012


So gorgeous. Looking up in cathedrals is one of the best parts of visiting them.
posted by immlass at 6:12 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


ymgve: "This one is a handy diagnostic tool for OCD."

Oh good, it's not just me.
posted by notsnot at 6:12 PM on April 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh good, it's not just me.
Is it the lack of symmetry? Because that bugged me for a moment until I got it. Now I like the dynamic flow of all those lines.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:40 PM on April 18, 2012


"Oh good, it's not just me."

It will make more intuitive sense if you think of it as a repeating unit of windows rather than a repeating unit of columns.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:43 PM on April 18, 2012


Californian Redwoods, Cape Otway National Park, Victoria, Australia. Photo by Steve Arnold.
posted by cenoxo at 6:54 PM on April 18, 2012


if you have a laptop or tablet, I highly recommend laying down and looking up
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:00 PM on April 18, 2012


Oh good, it's not just me

That pattern actually makes total sense to me. I like it. And I have OCD.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:28 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


four finger caterpillars crawling up the spout.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:28 PM on April 18, 2012


Locke: Look up, Charlie.
Charlie: You're not going to ask me to pray or something?
Locke: I want you to look up.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:44 PM on April 18, 2012


Gothic architecture: ribbed for your pleasure.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:13 PM on April 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


All I know is I saw Chartres, and York Minster, and Sainte-Chapell, and I was happy.
posted by eriko at 8:27 PM on April 18, 2012


NIce.
posted by Miko at 8:30 PM on April 18, 2012


Oh, very nice. And with a book, there's no worry about people bumping into one as one cranes one's neck (or stepping on one as one lies on the floor).

Want.
posted by Lexica at 8:31 PM on April 18, 2012


Very cool, thanks for posting.
posted by theora55 at 9:00 PM on April 18, 2012


These are lovely. I was just tripping out a bit to the ceiling of Sagrada Família the other day.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:09 PM on April 18, 2012


Y'know, I don't mind that the blue has become more newsfilter/politicsfilter than it used to be, but this post reminds me of the whole "best of the MetaFilter web" part of the site.

Thanks, BB. Awesome find.
posted by tzikeh at 9:52 PM on April 18, 2012


These are great though Horace Rumpole links to a cleaner and more informative site. The inside of cathedrals are normally much too dark to photograph well and it does not help that the roofs are so high. I am guessing each of these was made with plenty of lighting and long exposures. It would be good to know a few more technical details.
An Islamic influence was definitely there in pointed arches and late in the C11th the Norman conquest of Sicily and the Crusades would have widened Western Eurpean knowlege.
posted by adamvasco at 11:28 PM on April 18, 2012


For Canadians of a certain age, the phrase "Look up" is followed by "waaaaaay up". And then harp and recorder music.
posted by mhum at 12:09 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Very nice stuff to look at. I'm taking a peek at the ceiling the next time I am in one.
posted by SolRockSF at 1:43 AM on April 19, 2012


Beautiful. And to think they were built with no cranes or forklift trucks is astounding.
posted by marienbad at 4:16 AM on April 19, 2012


This is actually pretty easy to do (which is not to take away from the beauty of it), and something I like to do in cathedrals and other places with interesting roofs.

1) Set your camera to no flash, 10 second timer (you might have to twiddle with the ISO a little, depending on the lighting)

2) place the camera on the floor (facing up, natch)

3) click the shutter and back away

4) retrieve the camera and let someone else have the space for their own.

I am not any great photographer, and my results aren't as high quality as these, but it will get you a photo like this, which I took in Canterbury Cathedral.
posted by Legomancer at 5:14 AM on April 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


And to think they were built with no cranes or forklift trucks is astounding.

Well, if Macaulay's Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction is any kind of accurate guide, they did have things rather like cranes -- it's not like the Medieval builders were incapable of innovation just because they lacked our technology....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:19 AM on April 19, 2012


Beautiful. And to think they were built with no cranes or forklift trucks is astounding.

Also built without formal knowledge of statics or strength of materials, which meant that cathedrals not infrequently collapsed half-way through construction. Beauvais cathedral, for example, suffered two major collapses before it was finished.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 5:56 AM on April 19, 2012


Also built without formal knowledge of statics or strength of materials, which meant that cathedrals not infrequently collapsed half-way through construction. Beauvais cathedral, for example, suffered two major collapses before it was finished.

I've been absolutely intrigued by the history of cathedral building for many years, and this is very true.

Actually, the masons understood very early on that you need to transfer the loads out and down to the foundations. Flying buttresses were the early answer and the original ones were heavily overbuilt. Building outwards blocked a lot of light to the interior, though, so the race was on to find out how delicate the buttresses could become and still function effectively. Sometimes they overdid it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:13 AM on April 19, 2012


These are gorgeous.
posted by donajo at 6:26 AM on April 19, 2012


I find these oddly unsettling. Something about the vaguely organic look and the repetitiveness gives me a shivery feeling.
posted by that's candlepin at 1:40 PM on April 19, 2012


I adore cathedral ceilings. Most of my time spent by far in any church is spent gawping up at the roof.

Since there have been a few comments regarding the building of such structures, I can heartily recommend The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett as an interesting (if completely fictional) account.
posted by quite unimportant at 3:10 PM on April 21, 2012


Good lord that was a trainwreck of a comment. Aside from the spent/spent shenanigans, the name of the book is "The Pillars of the Earth".
posted by quite unimportant at 3:14 PM on April 21, 2012


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