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Amazing staircase at The Queens

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

Having lived in Cheltenham for most of my life The Queens Hotel has become an iconic reference point often used when describing directions or where a pub is in relation to its' proximity. My only experience within the hotel was visiting for afternoon tea many years ago and therefore I'd only ever been in the lounge area. It was only recently during an internet search that I stumbled upon a wedding image of the Georgian staircase in the heart of the building which I had no idea was there. As a result of the internet find I took off last Sunday to see if I could take some shots. The kind receptionist was very accommodating, probably because it was during their quieter time, and allowed me free reign of the staircase.

Three flights of stair wound around an internal square, capped with a huge crowned glass roof. Yet one of the most striking elements was the wallpaper. Although, not something I would consider hanging in my lounge, it was incredibly eye catching (the Queens Hotel website states that some of the original wallpaper was designed by Pugin but doesn't state whether or not it's on the staircase walls).

With the chambermaids busily hard footing it up and down the corridors carrying sheets and supplies I had to wait for the right moment before taking the shot because 1. I didn't want them in the image and 2. the old floors of the building were wooden and flexible which meant as they walked around the back of me the camera moved up and down causing blur.

With the strong light from the glass roof and the dimmer light on the lower floors I had to take at least 3-4 exposures and manually blend the images together in order to bring back some detail. The trickiest shot is always the two point perspective as everything has to be perfectly lined up both horizontally and vertically and if the camera isn't placed exactly in the centre it just doesn't work (I've learnt the hard and painful way!). I love the lines the staircase creates in the image and although a slight lens distortion to the carpet due to the limited position of the camera the images are a great representation of the space.

I photographed this location on my Fujifilm XT-2, Fujifilm 10-24mm XF lens. https://amzn.to/2LaoSkW


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