Category: Weekly Photo Challenge

Upstairs, Downstairs Part 1

The year is 1812, Thomas Noel Hill, 2nd Lord Berwick of Attingham, aged 42, has brought his new wife Sophia Dubochet, a courtesan, aged 18, to his stately home Attingham Park in Shropshire.

Attingham Hall

Like many large houses of the time there was a fashionable distinct split of the state rooms into male and female sides. In part 1 of Upstairs Downstairs I’ll show you how Thomas and his wife Sophia lived, followed by part 2 later this week, looking at life below stairs in the servants quarters and kitchens.

So lets begin with the lady of the house and her boudoir.

Attingham Hall - Boudior

The room is circular in shape, even the doors are cut and shaped so that they fit the round walls. Look at the bottom of the door on the left hand side, you can see the curve. The lady you see, dressed in period costume, is one of the many volunteer guides who help out at Attingham Hall.

Next to the Boudoir lies the Sultana Room. The room takes it name from the sofa or “sultane” which you can see in the alcove.

Attingham Hall - Sultana Room

The final room from the lady’s side of the house is the Drawing-Room which is situated between the Sultana Room and the Dining Room. Interestingly there are no State Bedrooms to view on the upper floor, at Attingham. The ground floor does have a huge collection of Regency furniture, paintings, textiles, porcelain and silver as you can see from the photographs in this post. Unfortunately, Thomas and his wife Sophia spent nearly all of the family fortune and ended up being bankrupt in 1827. The bankruptcy sale lasted 16 days and two years later there was a further sale.

In later years the 3rd Lord Berwick, who became Britain’s Ambassador to Italy, managed to re-furnish the house with French and Italian pieces which he acquired during his time as Ambassador. Much later the 8th Lord and his wife, who had no heirs, added to the collection before securing Attingham’s future with the National Trust.

Attingham Hall - Drawing Room

The Dining Room was more of a male preserve. After dinner the men would stay here drinking port and talking, whilst the ladies retired to the Drawing Room or the Sultana Room. As an aside. this room was so dark, illuminated only by those artificial candles, it was hard to photograph because I wasn’t allowed to use a tripod. But the Olympus Image Stabilisation performed well, allowing me to hand hold the camera at very slow shutter speeds.

Attingham Hall - Dining Room

Next door to the Dining Room is the Library. Just look at the furnishings and compare them to the Drawing Room.

Attingham Park - Inner Library

From the Library we pass through another small room, also was being used a library, and from there we reach the Octagonal Room, used as a study by the 2nd Lord Berwick.

The Octagonal Room

The last room I would like to show you from the Upstairs Tour is the Picture Gallery, or at least, one end of it.

Attingham Hall - Picture Gallery

Now you might be thinking “what has this got to do with this weeks challenge”. Think of it from the servants point of view. Wouldn’t you wish to live in opulence like this?

Each week I like to visit other bloggers and see what they are saying about this weeks challenge. If I find the subject interesting or I like the photographs then I’ll always leave at least a like. Here’s some that might be of interest to you.

Precious wish – Lipstick & Miracles
Weekly Photo Challenge- Wish – Novice Photographer
This is Another Story The Wishing Tree
J9 Pictures Life WPC – Wish
The Difference Between Wishing and Making It Happen – Nes Felicio Photography
Half a photograph Wishes and Wells
Getting the Picture Weekly Photo Challenge – Wish
WPC-WISH – Clicks ‘ n’ Arts
Do What You Wish Twinkle, twinkle
Alba10 I wish – Weekly Photograph Challenge

No Entry

Sometimes you just get lucky and find a potential subject to photograph without even thinking about it. But you have to have your camera with you to get that photograph, although nowadays, that’s not too hard, as most people who have a cell phone have a camera with them.  According to Mylio

….it’s estimated that about 7.5 billion people will be living on our planet in 2017. Let’s say 5 billion have a mobile phone and approximately 80% of those phones have a built-in camera. That comes to about 4 billion people who can take photographs with their phones. It’s further estimated that on average they each take 10 photographs per day – 3650 per year. That’s a whopping 14,600,000,000,000 photographs annually…or to put it another way, just over 14 trillion photographs.

So when Ralph Gibson said in 1972;

Traditionally, photography has dealt with recording the world as it is found. Before photography appeared the fine artists of the time, the painters and sculptors, concerned themselves with rendering reality with as much likeness as their skill enabled. Photography, however, made artistic reality much more available, more quickly and on a much broader scale.

Ralph had no idea of the impact that cell phones would have to the world of photography. Certainly, photographs can be made available much more quickly, one click of a button and you can share a photograph with the world. And with so many people using the camera in their cell phones, there’s no doubt it’s on a much broader scale. But how many of those 14 trillion photographs are artistic…….

To this weeks challenge

Several years back I had the good fortune to be in Universal Studios, Florida. It was coming up to Halloween and the props guys were setting up some special scenes in the streets.

No Entry

I’ve got a feeling they both had something to do with Terminator, they were still setting up, so it’s hard to be sure.

Street Scene

 

Anyway, that’s it for this week. here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Die and Dazzle – Fill and Feel
On the road through my lens – And the penny drops…
Steps A Round – Kimberly Balles Photography
Deep in Thought- The Road Taken – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Louise-in-Btween- Embracing the Day Sunrise Road
Jackobo’s Photoblog The Road to the Top
Simply Photos Mule Train Route
Anvica’s gallery The Road Taken
The Yorkshire Dales  – Elaine’s Journey of Spiritual Awakening
Weekly Photo Challenge- The Road Taken – NJClicks

Against The Odds – I’m Struggling

An ideal subject for this weeks challenge would be the Kingfisher I captured some weeks back and featured in It’s A Kind Of Magic. But I don’t want to show you that, instead I’m going to show you, nothing. Let me explain, at the time of writing this, Saturday 12:07 pm UK time, I’m sitting in my office thinking of what I could show you this week. And my mind’s a blank. I can’t at the moment think of anything that would fit the bill. Mainly because I plan my days out, taking photographs. I know where I’m going. If I’m on the coast, I’ve checked the tide times. In the mountains it’s the weather. I don’t really do spontaneous, instant capture type of photography, even when I’m out on the streets. So this really is going to be a challenge this week, unless I go out with my camera and wait for something to happen…..is that really “against the odds”.

Of course I could just throw some photographs in, write a story around them to make them fit the theme…..now that’s an idea.

Right Fast Forward to Monday 20th, it’s 15:44 UK time (that’s 3:44 pm) and I’ve got my photograph.

Breeding Common Toad

Against All The Odds, sure was. I nearly stood on the pair of them as I was wandering by the river looking for something to photograph. This is a pair of Common Toads, the female is the larger of the two. Now the male is smart. He’s “piggy backed” on the female as she makes her way to the breeding ground. But he may not be the one to finally mate with her as more often than not there are more males than females. If he manages to stay with her for the several days required then that definitely is “against all the odds”

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Against the Odds
Crafting Photolog Weekly Photo Challenge- Lucky Against the Odds
Hot Dogs and Marmalade Play Your Game
Against the odds- The Photo Challenge – I scrap 2
Spirit of Dragonflies WPC – Against the Odds
Photo Challenge- Against All Odds – Tricia T Allen
Ed Lehming Photography “Against the Odds”
Following Him Beside Still Waters Fortuitous Frog Find
Smith Creek-Against the odds photo – Thoughts from an Alabaster Beach Girl
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Against the Odds

Shadows And Highlights–A Study In HDR

This new schedule, Wednesday to Tuesday, for the weekly photo challenge, is playing havoc with my diary. With the old one we’d be told on the Friday, I use the weekend to plan and usually go out on a Wednesday. Write the new blog post on a Thursday. But that’s not to be, anymore. Nevertheless I need to get a blog post out so here goes. Wednesday saw me in Chester Cathedral. I’ve visited before but never with the camera so I felt it was time to rectify the situation. The cathedral has some great places to photograph. the Cloisters, Gardens, Lady Chapel and Quire Stalls to name but a few. So let’s start with the cloisters. I was hoping for some better shadows, but the light outside was just dull grey, so very little light was cast through the stained glass windows. It didn’t help that the cloisters were also lit by spotlights and those wall lights you can see, throwing a very orange cast over everything. Sure I can compensate for this, either in the camera or in post, but it’s one of those extra annoying things to deal with.

Chester Cathedral

I have to say that in most of the photographs you will see today I resorted to using HDR and my trusty old friend PhotoMatix. Now there’s a piece of software I haven’t used for some time.

I’ve swung far from the straight and narrow path of straight photography… I’ve done some hokus pokus that would make the shadow of Daguerre haunt me for a heretic. – Anne Brigman

Wandering around the cathedral I found this room with very high arches, Same thing again, a lot of lighting, it was giving me the shadows and some nice highlights, but once again, maybe a bit too severe.

Chester Cathedral 1

 

Still you work with what you’ve got

If the lighting in a scene is non-uniform or if there are shadows, the lighting will, in general, appear more non-uniform and the shadows darker in the picture than in the original scene. This is purely a visual effect having nothing to do with the photographic process as such. – Ralph Evans

Anyway, moving on. Chester, like many cathedrals, attracts lot od visitors, some come to pray, some to look at the architecture and stained glass, some to photograph it, like me. What I like is that during services, they ban photography and ask for silence, as a mark of respect, so I left my visit to the Lady Chapel until later in the day.

Chester Cathedral 1_2

 

At the rear of the Lady Chapel is a stone monument, the Shrine to Saint Werburgh, patron saint of Chester. Originally the shrine was located at Hanbury in Staffordshire, but continuing Viking raids in the late 9th century prompted it to be moved to the church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. (Now the site of Chester Cathedral). During this period and before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 a monastery was established. Later, under the Normans a Benedictine Abbey was founded. Under the Normans the shrine continued to be a site of pilgrimage.

Then in 1540 came the dissolution of the Abbey, which later led to the creation of Chester Cathedral. Want to know more about the Dissolution Of The Monasteries, one of the most revolutionary events in English history, follow this link. Note this will take you to Wikipedia and open a separate page.

The Shrine was broken up during the dissolution and Werburgh’s relics were lost. In 1876 what was left of the stonework that survived was reassembled and put on display at the back of the main nave in the Lady Chapel.

Chester Cathedral 1_1

You know I took so many photographs whilst I was here, this blog post could have been 5 times as long, maybe I’ll do a second one with another batch of photographs. Meanwhile,

Chester Cathedral 1_4

Now this was really hard to photographs. There was a constant procession of people and it wasn’t so well-lit, so I was having to take a lot more bracket sets than I intended..and in everyone, someone would walk through the scene. So In desperation I dug out my trusty 10 stop ND filter and went for an extremely long exposure instead of an HDR. Don’t ask me the science behind it, but a long exposure will remove all moving objects, i.e. people from your photograph. Better still if you can get a really long exposure, in the region of several minutes you should be able to “make disappear” those who tend to walk slowly or stand still in your photograph.

That’s some nice stained glass so I went in for a closer look.

Chester Cathedral 1_3

Well that’s it for this week. Just a few photographs from my wander around Chester Cathedral. I hope you enjoyed them.

Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge

Shadow of the Lake – Progressing into Solitude
Visions Of A Daydreamer Weekly Photo Challenge- Shadow
IN THE SHADOW OF LIGHT – A Penny For My Thought
Shadows 1, 2 & 3 – Rebecca Wiseman Portfolio
Sue’s words and pictures Shadow selfie
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Shadow
Books, Music, Photography, & Movies WPC- Shadow
Schatten photo – writingindevizes
What Rings Like a Bell But Makes No Sound- – Nes Felicio Photography
Shadows – Are you still reading-

Solitude! Where Have I Heard That Before?

This weeks challenge is easy, or so I thought. I was almost certain we had covered Solitude before, several years back, but could I find a post referring to Solitude in any of my blogs. So instead I’m going to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and hopefully get Solitude across in the process…and I’ve missed the deadline, which is now Wednesday to Tuesday.

I took this photograph way back in 2007, it shows “Bah Humbug” and “Mr Grumpy” on the beach on a quiet summers evening.

Bah Humbug

Now “Bah Humbug” had a hatred of cats that can be best described as homicidal. Needless to say the neighbours cats never sh*t in our garden. He once caught one under the car, it was hissing and spitting, if he had got to it I dread to think what would have happened. Yet he was the quietest of dogs otherwise and it really was as shame that he developed epilepsy at a very early age. Now living on the coast, we have a lot of gulls around. To “Bah Humbug” they were just funny flying cats.

On the other hand “Mr Grumpy” was such a patient dog, loving, friendly, my pal. He lived to a ripe old age for a Cavalier, although in later years he slowed and became a right “Grumpy Old Man”, just like me.

Grumpy Old Man

Oh! I suppose I should mention “She Who Must Be Obeyed” tagged along as well.

She Who Must Be Obeyed

It’s a  great beach for walking on, especially in the evening once the tourists have gone. The tide has just gone out so all of the excess rubbish had been swept out to sea.

Now you might have noticed that I’ve introduced a watermark again. My policy is that photographs I publish on Say It With A Camera and Flickr are free to use as long as it’s not for commercial purposes and also that you credit me as the photographer. That’s not too much to ask for, after all, I’ve done all the hard work.

So it really annoys me when I see scraper sites just offering my photographs to be downloaded without accrediting me as the photographer.

Ashampoo_Snap_2017.02.09_15h16m26s_002_

The photograph you are about to see featured in my post about Cilla Black, a much-loved 60’s British pop-star who died recently and has had a statue erected in her honour near The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

Ashampoo_Snap_2017.02.09_15h14m36s_001_

Now whilst a watermark will not deter a determined thief, it’s all too easy to remove them in Photoshop, it does screw up these scraper sites, because they just take the photographs as is.

So that’s it this week, a bit of nostalgia, a rant about misuse of my photographs and hopefully I’ve covered Solitude as well.

As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;

Eiwawar The Great Dipper Show
My Quiet Place – Nes Felicio Photography
PhotosbyGoldie Solitude- A Winter’s Day
Georgia Adventures with Pauliana Weekly Photo Challenge- Solitude
@ The West Gate On my own
Simply Photos Standing Out in Solitude
Indira’s Blog Solitude- Weekly Photo Challenge
Solitude Found At Penmon Point – Tish Farrell
Instant Human…just add coffee. The Art of Solitude
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitutde