Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay

Hasselblad 501c | 80mm Zeiss Lens | Ilford Delta ISO 100 | Exposure f22 @ 60 Seconds | © James Gray

Taken in 1997/8 a few years after the Norwegian church had been moved in order to save it from almost certain destruction. Shut in the 1970s, the church was in a poor state of repair, but efforts by Roald Dahl, who was born in Cardiff and baptised in this church, helped to ultimately save it. It was put in a prominent position overlooking the planned Cardiff Bay development that was taking place around the same time.

Several cities across the UK were getting the same redevelopment treatment, including London Docklands. Cardiff was no different. The Cardiff Bay Area had suffered industrial decline for a number of years and the area was almost completely derelict. The boost that followed was very welcomed indeed. It has since transformed Cardiff and put us on the map, again.

The Norwegian church was built to serve the large number of sailors that came through the port of Cardiff in the port’s heyday. Scandinavian sailors were one of the largest groups that came through. At one point, Cardiff was the largest port in the world.

That’s the history of the church, but for me, it was a good looking building, since it had just been painted, there were three new trees in the front and I managed to catch some starlights from the lamposts at the side. I put my camera onto a tripod so I could take a long exposure, and from memory this would have been about 30 seconds to 1 minute. To brighten up the front area, I ran around firing a flash several times. This was originally taken on Ilford Delta 100 film, and I remember with great pleasure developing this image in a darkroom and printing enlargements.

The area around it has changed slightly and it has been extended. I like to think that I captured it at its best.

Sony A7R | FE 28mm f2 Lens | ISO 100 | Exposure f2.0 @ 1/640 | © James Gray
Norwegian Church in the Background
Sony A7R | FE 28mm f2 Lens | ISO 100 | Exposure f11 @ 1/125 | © James Gray
Norwegian Church 20 Years On | How the Trees Have Grown…
Sony A7R | FE 28mm f2 Lens | ISO 100 | Exposure f16 @ 1/125 | © James Gray
Norwegian Flag Flying Proudly | Cardiff Bay
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