Coventry-born Photographer, Mark Pemberton is exhibiting his work in Coventry Cathedral entitled Shuttering Illusions. The exhibition concentrates on his classic Coventry views in the Cathedral. He felt that showing Coventry through fresh eyes was the right move.

Mark Pemberton talks to visitors.
Mark Pemberton | Credit: Emily Tyler

Mark is a master of leading lines. He says it is about multiple points of interest in a single piece. He said that the more you look, the more you will see. This is the difference between art and a snap shop. Mark tells me all about the level of planning that goes into his photography.

Part of the planning involves examining weather conditions and sun positions while achieving the right location at the correct time becomes crucial for capturing the perfect shot. Mark rarely wanders and snaps, although he loves it when he captures that beautiful shot just by chance.

Chapel of Christ the Servant hosts the exhibition.
Chapel of Christ the Servant | Credit: Emily Tyler

Creating Shuttering Illusions

In 2020, Mark took the winning photo in the Herbert Art Gallery’s landscapes completion with his piece ‘Forget Me Never’. They were more than a thousand entries for the competition, and they chose Mark and one other person.

“My photograph was taken at Coundon Wood off Long Lane, when I saw this wooded path with beautiful patches of Forget-Me-Nots, it just looked magical and I was desperate to catch the essence of the scene. You could imagine fairies appearing at any time, it’s become my most liked photograph and one I am deeply proud of.”

Mark explained that he loves to capture lights and different types of reflections. This is one reason he enjoys shooting night scenes as it brings something different to the genre. When you see his photographs, you can see this and how he shows it throughout the exhibit.

Shuttered Illusions, Photograph collection
Photographs by Mark Pemberton | Credit: Emily Tyler

Mark’s Favourite Shuttering Illusions Piece

The other favourite piece within the exhibition is entitled ‘Handrail to Heaven’. The photo is of the view from the steps by the intersection of the old and new Cathedrals. Mark has admitted it’s grown on him and has had so much positive feedback. It was also the first piece to sell after the exhibit opens. (But don’t worry, if you would like to purchase, more framed and unframed prints are available to order,)

Mark has multiple cameras and lenses for different types of photographs and conditions. Using mostly wide-angle and zoom lenses for the grand shots that are seen within the exhibition. Perfeing a fixed focal of 50mm for everyday shots and portraits, giving a close point of focus to a picture. 

Mark's favourite photos within the collection.
Mark Pemberton’s Favorite Photographs | Credit Emily Tyler

Photographers Set-Up

As with many photographers, equipment is key. Mark has four cameras including a mirrorless Fujifilm XT3 and a Panasonic Lumix bridge camera which is great for street photography and has a superzoom built in, lending itself well for dirtier situations where dust could get into more delicate DSLRS.

Mark also has invested in a Lenovo tablet which has its photography editing suite built in, Mark tells me it isn’t about editing his shots too much. He shoots carefully to capture the scene he wants, then enhances colour or changes hues to create a different mood or ambience.

He tells me he has had to do it all on a budget, as during the week he is a council worker. But his hope for the future is to move from his occasional wedding gigs and street photography to become a fully functioning business. 

“A painter paints with a palette, and that works (for photography too), a normal photograph would have blue sky and look modern.”

Purchase Pieces from the Exhibition

Collectors have the opportunity to acquire framed or unframed prints of the exhibited pieces.

Wide shot of the photogrpah collection.
Shuttering Illusions Photograph Collection | Credit: Emily Tyler

Visit the Shuttering Illusions Exhibition

If the Shuttering Illusions Exhibition captures your interest, you can locate it in the ‘Chapel of Christ the Servant’ space at the far left end of Coventry Cathedral. The exhibition will run until August 31st and is open for viewing during the Cathedral’s operational hours.

Monday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Sunday: 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Coventry Cathedral
Priory Street
Coventry CV1 5AB


  • Emily Tyler

    Having studied at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance for my BA (Hons) in Stage Management, I worked within the theatres in London until I moved to Coventry in 2010 and found that I needed other creative outlets. Using Photography I explored my new city and discovered a love of architecture, which led me to start playing with editing software on my iPad, and the use of the Apple Pencil meant that I started creating digital artwork. I joined a local blogging group, to meet new people and rediscover my love of writing which had been lost over the years. I enjoyed reviewing local restaurants, bars, as well as one-off events like coffee festivals and music.

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