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.
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 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 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.