The Orangery

Wrest Park in Bedfordshire is a superb country estate that had its origins in the early seventeenth century but was developed later by the de Grey family and is dominated by the French-style mansion built in the nineteenth century. In the last few years the grounds have undergone extensive renovation as a result of grants from English Heritage.

There is much to explore: formal gardens, extensive woodland areas, lakes, numerous statue scattered across the grounds, and several outlying buildings including the Archer Pavilion, and the Orangery (orange trees really did grow there). It’s a delightful place to visit.

The Orangery, Wrest Park

The Orangery, Wrest Park

When the sun shines the Orangery offers a number of photographic possibilities. The one that attracts me the most is the play of light and shadow on the walls from the framework of the glass roof. I’ve never used HDR techniques, and this is a single image shot, but there was a little work selectively on the windows and on the interior to get the right balance – more in terms of contrast rather than exposure.

The view back ( William 111 in foreground) across Long Water to the Mansion

The view back ( William 111 in foreground) across Long Water to the Mansion

For more about Wrest Park – click here to see my first post showing the reverse view of the view down the lake from the mansion – or enter ‘Wrest Park’ in the search widget in the right sidebar to see a number of previous posts from this estate.

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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22 Responses to The Orangery

  1. oneowner says:

    I know from experience that getting proper exposure and controlling contrast in a shot like the first image can be tricky but this is perfect. It’s a great shot, certainly worth the effort.

    • LensScaper says:

      It was almost OK SOOC, but I wanted to work it a bit and just get that slightly better balance – the problem was that getting the best balance in the exterior accentuated the light/shade contrast of the interior and then that play of light on the walls risked becoming too dominant.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I remember learning about orangeries from you previously. This is an even more beautiful image from the place. That you were able to combine the square window panes, the cross-hatched shadows, and the highly patterned floor together, and make it work, is a real testament to your skill, I’d say. It could have been a fussy, overwhelming image, but it isn’t. Whatever you did certainly worked!

  3. Sue says:

    I love orangeries!

  4. ulli says:

    A beautiful play of light and shadow!

  5. Great shadows in the first photo Andy…what a superb shot 🙂

  6. Len says:

    Terrific shots Andy. Not only have you captured your terrific patterns in the first one, you had those great shadow lines that take it to the next level.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Len. This is a wonderful building to shoot in – there is so much going on inside on a sunny day with the play of light and shade.

  7. Love both photos, but the first one is amazing. Great vision to see this as a viable composition and then pull it off.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much Frank. I must have stood in this Orangery on about six separate occasions and each time I see it differently. The light is terrific on a good day.

  8. Chillbrook says:

    Smashing photos Andy. I love the light and shade in the first. Wonderful light!

  9. ShimonZ says:

    Ah, this place reflects true luxury. I do like the shadows you caught too. Very elegant.

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