In the Mirror Pool

Last week, stumped for new ideas for a day out, my wife checked through the National Trust handbook and found Upton House. She’s a good finder-outer. It’s a forty-five minute drive for us, just the other side of Banbury. It proved to be an excellent ‘find’ and one that we will be re-visiting.

Upton House became the country seat of Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted in 1927. Walter Samuel was the son of Marcus Samuel whose family business was the Shell Transport and Trading Company, although we know it better as Royal Dutch Shell.

The house is a treasure trove of Art and Porcelain, but on this occasion it was the gardens that we were interested in exploring. Set on steeply sloping land, the garden consists of a series of linked terraces that end in a small ornamental lake – The Mirror Pool – at the foot of the garden. The Mirror Pool, to quote a well-known advertising strapline in the UK, ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. It reflects beautifully. On the day we visited, the water was mirror smooth, and I found a small spray of reeds that provided a rewarding image.

_DS81699The garden was just past its best, but even so we were surprised and delighted by what we saw. My wife ambled, I paused, shot, and hurried to catch up. We are like the tortoise and the hare at places like this.

Come back on Friday to see a gallery of images from the gardens.


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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16 Responses to In the Mirror Pool

  1. Len says:

    I love the simplicity of this image Andy. Interesting reference to the tortoise and the hare. I tend to walk ahead of my wife, shoot and wait for her to catch up. I guess I am the hare.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len – it was the simplicity that attracted me. Yes, I’m the hare that gets left behind, hurries to catch up, and then stops again. The tortoise (wife) plods along ignoring my stop/go journey. We get there together at the end of the walk – sometimes earlier when she finds something worthy of a shot.

  2. athyfoto says:

    I like this shot, almost seems skeletal, your closing comments certainly strike a chord here, I can turn a 60 minute stroll into a half day hike when we are out and I have a camera round my neck 🙂

  3. oneowner says:

    Excellent image, Andy. I’m drawn to these simple compositions.

  4. Great capture Andy, it must have been very still and as you have said, the reeds are just perfect.

  5. shoreacres says:

    If I’d come across this photo with no context whatsoever, it would have taken some time to come to a conclusion about it. Without preconceptions, it looks rather like a spiny, prehistoric flying fish. See the fish in the three triangles formed by the reeds and their reflections? It’s facing left, with its spines sticking out every which way. It must have taken quite a leap to get it that high up into the sky!

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Linda. Interesting thoughts… It was the semi-geometric shapes that appealed to me suspended almost in space (or sky). I can see the ‘flying fish. It reminds me of cloud watching – and all the strange shapes and creatures we can see up there when we really take a long look.

      • shoreacres says:

        After I commented, I spent a minute thinking about how much time we spent cloud-shape interpreting when I was a kid. I wonder if that didn’t shape my tendency to see the world as one big Rorschach test.

        • LensScaper says:

          Had to look Rorschach up in the computer! Very interesting idea. As photographers we all see the world differently, the result of our innate creativity, that is shaped by all the influences, impressions, interests and inspirations to which we are exposed. What other factors should be thinking about. Personality, Mental Health? Hmm. That’s a topic and a half. Thanks Linda.

  6. Meanderer says:

    That’s lovely – and very restful.

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