Searching for a Landscape

January is a miserable month in most people’s opinion. An anti-climactic contrast to Christmas and New Year. The short days and dark cold nights bring out the hibernating instincts in me. But there are tasks to be done: archiving some of the 5000+ images from 2011, wondering why I kept 10 nearly identical images and then trying to decide which ones to delete and which to save. Making sense of the rather chaotic indexing of files and vowing to do better in 2012. And more……

And as I looked back yesterday, I got an overview of my photography during the last year and realized that although I always describe myself as first and foremost a Landscape Photographer (and I really am at heart), I took very few traditional landscapes in the UK last year. I took plenty in the Alps on holiday. Rather bizarrely we didn’t go ‘on holiday’ to somewhere new in the UK last year to provide new inspiration. That was pretty stupid looking back, and we won’t make the same mistake this year! And I seem to have exhausted the potential nearby – or maybe I’m getting lazy. What I did find was loads of Microscapes, and images across an increasingly broad canvas of styles and content – many being the product of carrying a camera everywhere and developing an alert eye.

Eventually, among last year’s files I found a landscape, of sorts, that I liked and here it is.

Wrest Park – the view to the the Archer Pavilion – click to enlarge

This was taken at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire – a wonderful 90-acre historic landscape surrounding a French-style mansion recently restored with grants from English Heritage as part of an ongoing revitalization project.

This is the view from the back of the house through the formal gardens, past Long Water to the baroque Archer Pavilion. A wonderful view actually that this image doesn’t really do full justice to.

The Archer Pavilion and King William 111 – click to enlarge

The inside of the Pavilion has a circular chamber with vaulted ceiling, off which are four projecting alcoves with windows. And in one of the alcoves I found a Trompe L’Oeil: which gives the impression of a writer working at his desk behind a translucent net curtain.

The writer – click to enlarge

The RAW image was almost monochromatic. I tried de-saturating it to B&W, but that just didn’t seem to work – too severe for the subject that I think benefits from the subtleties of the blues and greys.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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11 Responses to Searching for a Landscape

  1. Dave DiCello says:

    Andy I LOVE that first shot. The clouds, the colors, it looks like a painting. Wow man. Nice write up too, as always. Agree 100% with the first part too. January is always rough, and trying to decide which HDR brackets to keep and which to delete…always tough!

  2. Len Saltiel says:

    Excellent images Andy, full of interest and color. I too am spending my January reviewing images I took in 2011 — so many. I bracket a lot so that makes it more challenging. Be thankful for January, otherwise we would never review images ; )

  3. Andy, The first shot is well framed but the third shot is fantastic!! Nice silhouette.

  4. Jimi Jones says:

    Man, I love all of these. Great stuff!
    If I had to choose just one I think the last image would be the selection. That looks so real and timeless. Nice work.

    I agree with Len, January provides a bit of a slower pace, which I can use to review images, do a little site maintenance/upgrades, etc. Having said that, the month’s a week old and I haven’t done squat (besides reviewed some older images). LOL

    Hey, it’s the photog life!

  5. Nice series of images Andy, and I couldn’t agree more about taking the time to review the backlog of images. I’m sure we’ll do that for a little while until the shooting bug takes over again.

  6. Marcie says:

    Expecially love this last image. And – such wonderful scenes and landscapes. Terrific!

  7. Marc says:

    Love the composition of that first shot, the tall doors frame it perfectly and you’ve captured some photogenic clouds.
    Agree these long winter nights are a good time to go over the years shots and look over your work. Just need to be brutal and throw away some that I’ll never use!!

  8. Wonderful images Andy. I love the way you’ve framed the first shot,

  9. ChrisdMRF says:

    Great shots Andy, the second in particular drags me in

  10. myallegro31 says:

    Oh man, the “keep it or delete it” dance is always a pain. I dig that last shot, with the silhouette of the write. Well done. At least January means snow which means skiing!!

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