Descending the Staircase

Retirement offers opportunities to do what you want when you want. It’s a freedom that is unrestricted by many of the issues that shackle us all during our working lives. One of the things we enjoy is visiting Country Houses and their gardens. They provide insights into our heritage in many ways – but I don’t find myself inspired photographically by their contents.

Increasingly I find myself seeking out something a little different. Last week we were descending a grand staircase in a Country House. It was shrouded in net curtaining to protect the paintings and furnishings from the sun’s damaging rays.

We reached the foot of the staircase and I glanced up. I could see the possibility of an image – all I needed was a silhouetted person.

And, a man very obligingly came into view and I got that one shot. In situations like this I wish I could shout: ‘You, on the staircase. Yes you, the gentleman wearing the glasses. Stay exactly where you are. Now, come down one step please, stop, and look straight ahead. Just tilt your head up slightly, and slightly to the right.’ Wouldn’t that be great. But actually he stopped without my instruction and got it mostly right.

Do enlarge this image – then you should notice he is actually wearing glasses!

For a revised re-take of this image based on comments see ‘Descending the Staircase_2


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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10 Responses to Descending the Staircase

  1. rigmover says:

    Yep, very cool shot.


  2. andybeel says:

    Hi Andy I love the overall tonality and placing the figure in the frame. I think there is a different picture available here and perhaps even better by cropping at the top of the net curtains this retains the proportions of a balanced picture but with less heavy tones at the top of the picture. Thanks Andy


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Andy. Yes, there is another image and the balance of that is very clear to see – and on second thoughts it’s probably better than the published one. I think I’ve carried with me the huge tall space that I remember he was looking up into and wanted to preserve that as part of the image, but you are right: it doesn’t add much to the onlooker. Always good to get suggestions and ideas for improvement. Thanks for that, Andy



  3. Len says:

    I love the composition with the man looking up. The play of the light and the shadows express a great mood.


  4. Excellent composition Andy. He was obviously reading your mind.


  5. oneowner says:

    With allthat presision in the composition and you still nailed the exposure. Now that’s the decisive moment!


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