Good heavens! Photographer endures ‘snow, sleet and rain’ on top of 135ft Manchester Cathedral in five-year project

A photographer has been trekking up to the top of Manchester Cathedral every month for five years in order to create an exhibition showcasing dramatic 3D-like images of the city skyline. 

Robert Watson, a 50-year-old photographer and CGI expert, was originally commissioned to create time-lapse images for the Embankment development on the site of the former Victoria Bus Station.

When the building he was using to shoot from was knocked down as part of the development, the 135ft-high Cathedral was mentioned as a viable alternative.

While up there, he started to take shots for his own enjoyment which eventually turned into a monthly devoted practice.

Robert told MM: “It’s a tiny little wriggly staircase and most of the time it is bloody freezing up there.

“I’d take around 18 shots to encompass every angle and then using my software I could edit them to produce one seamless image of the skyline wrapped around the cathedral spires.”

Robert admits it wasn’t always enjoyable to squeeze himself up the narrow 600-year-old staircase but that it became a personal project culminating in the exhibition beginning next Friday.

He said: “The longest time I’ve been up there for has been three or four hours, sometimes in snow, sleet and rain all at once!

“Now I’ve bitten the bullet and decided to do an exhibition, I’d like to continue with similar projects.

“I haven’t seen any other sites that are suitable yet though, I think the cathedral will be hard to top.”

The stunning images will be shown as part of 360/365/MCR which will be opening between March 4 -11 in the Regimental Chapel.

The same space is hosting The Christie Charity Ball where some of Robert’s work will be auctioned off on March 5.

All proceeds will go to The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe.

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