Here's The Church And Here's The Steeple by David McMahon

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This unusual depiction of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, was shot in the winter of 2008. (1,066 views on 9 November 2013.)

I had just taken some shots inside the cathedral (which is Heritage-listed on the Register of the National Estate) during my lunch hour when I walked out and saw this vintage wedding car waiting for the bridal couple.

I took some images of the car’s engine grille and I was walking away when I noticed this beautiful reflection in the curved, highly polished roof over the back window of the car.

The old car was parked in just the right spot for this depiction, but it’s interesting to note that the real beauty of the reflection comes from the convex shape of the vehicle’s roof. Quite simply, this unusual reflection would not have occurred in the roof of a contemporary car.

I composed this really carefully so that the depth of field (achieved by including the interior as seen through the rear window) actually draws attention to the reflection on the roof.

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/9 sec, ISO 400, focal length 125mm.


Featured in CONTRASTING PERCEPTIONS, August 2009.

Featured in CHURCH ARCHITECTURE, November 2009.

Challenge winner, SUPERBLY VISUAL, June 2010.



melbourne, wedding, roof, steeple, vintage car, st pauls cathedral, reflection, cathedral, david mcmahon

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • Jonice
    Jonicealmost 5 years ago

    Neat and Interesting!

  • Thanks very much, Jonice – I only noticed the unusual reflection because I was admiring the beautiful car!

    – David McMahon

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 5 years ago

    Cool shot!!

  • Thanks very much, Cheryl – I was lucky with the blue sky, though!

    – David McMahon

    JUSTARTalmost 5 years ago

    fab shot

  • Thank you, JustArt – I was walking around the car when I noticed the reflection!

    – David McMahon

  • sfmilner
    sfmilneralmost 5 years ago

    Greetings David; Excellent capture ! You have a wonderful eye, well done !

  • Thank you very much, Steve. That’s a wonderfully generous comment.

    – David McMahon

  • frogster
    frogsteralmost 5 years ago

    Nice reflection catch

  • Thanks, Frogster. I was lucky with the weather. Would not have worked so well in cloudy conditions.

    – David McMahon

  • Heps
    Hepsalmost 5 years ago

  • Thank you very much to you and your co-hosts, Taschja. I’m delighted. As I’ve said above, I was lucky with the light and the clear sky.

    – David McMahon

  • André  Oliv
    André Olivalmost 5 years ago

    This is awesome! Love the reflection effect. Great work David!

  • Thank you very much for your generous comment, Andre-Olivier. The reflection worked well because of the clear sky. A cloudy sky would hve detracted from the uncomplicated portrayal of the reflection.

    – David McMahon

  • Ann  Palframan
    Ann Palframanalmost 5 years ago

    Very well spotted! This is intriguing and beautiful. Congrats on your Feature!

  • Thank you so much, Ann. Yes, the sight of this reflection certainly stopped me in my tracks – but I certainly was lucky with the light that day.

    – David McMahon

  • Helene Henderson
    Helene Hendersonalmost 5 years ago

    How very cool, David! And congrats on the feature!!

  • Thank you very much, Helene. Just lucky with the clear sky and the quality of light that day!

    – David McMahon

  • Helene Henderson
    Helene Hendersonalmost 5 years ago

    Not to mention the clean car, lol!

  • It was gleaming, Helene. I remember thinking that day how lucky I was that it was a wedding car. Because it was immaculately waxed, the reflection was very good!

    – David McMahon

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