Return to York House Gardens

It’s been a little while since I’ve been out with my DSLR. I’ve snapped quite a few images recently with my iPhone – sunsets and sunrises mainly – but the last time I went out with my ‘real’ camera was my trip to Box Hill about three weeks ago.

In order to rectify this, I headed out for a walk into Twickenham this lunchtime to give my shutter finger a bit of a workout.

As is almost inevitable, I ended up strolling around York House Gardens again, a picturesque corner of Twickenham on the banks of the Thames. I’ve been there a few times before with my camera; it was where I snapped an amazing array of squirrels, and where I went to give my 60D its first workout. I’ve also managed to snap quite a bit of wildlife there.

Having been there a few times before, I had the freedom (and, I guess, the motivation – or maybe I should say obligation) to try some new things. Having already snapped a lot of wildlife and flowers around the Gardens, I tried more landscape style shots and more interesting angles.

The first thing I noticed on my walk is an old boat, aground in the low tide.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/10, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

Yesterday I read a post on gointothelight about colour. It must’ve been fresh in my mind when I was processing these photos. The old world look of the content of the image made me think – and I admit this is almost clichéd – that it would look interesting in sepia.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/10, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

The result looks pretty good but, like I said, a bit clichéd. With that in mind, I tried a slightly more subtle adjustment, and turned it black and white.

Exposure 1/320sec, f/10, ISO 100, exposure bias -1.0

As we continued along the river towards the Gardens, I came across a shot I’d tried before. This time, I just couldn’t escape it; the shot looked better in black and white.

Exposure 1/400sec, f/3.5, ISO 100

After that, we got to the York House Gardens. The old look of the gardens meant that, once again, black and white seemed to fit the image.

Exposure 1/50sec, f/11, ISO 100

And before long, we got to a familiar sight.

Exposure 1/50sec, f/11, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I like the perspective in the last shot, from almost as far away from the statues as you can get in a straight line. Move forward one row of hedges and you reach a pond.

Exposure 1/800sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

Now, any regular readers (or one-time readers who happened to read the right post and who have good memories, who I suppose must exist as well) will know I’m rather partial to experimenting with reflections and water, so we hung around the pond for a while whilst I tried a few angles.

Exposure 1/640sec, f/4, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I also tried a closer shot of the lilies (if that’s what they are – regular readers or those possibly mythical part-time readers will know my ineffectiveness at naming flora, faunae, or avian life). I like the droplets of water in the following image but in hindsight I wish I’d have grabbed my telephoto and gotten a little closer.

Exposure 1/400sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

As ever, my poor, suffering wife was left standing around waiting for me. I guess this does at least give me the opportunity to try new ways to photograph her boredom.

Exposure 1/160sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

My wife isn’t the only thing that has a reflection (let’s just gloss over this terrible attempt at segueing and point out there was a decent mother-in-law joke I could’ve made there but respectfully didn’t).

Exposure 1/640sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

Unfortunately when trying to shoot water reflections you ideally need a nice day; it was quite a grey overcast day which has taken a bit of the gloss out of the images. This next one certainly suffers in that respect.

Exposure 1/1250sec, f/4.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

After shooting at the pond, we made our way to the Statues.

Exposure 1/500sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

The last time I spent an amount of time photographing around the statues, I managed to produce one of my favourite images. Inevitably that image was in my mind as I started shooting, especially since I initially tried snapping at a high shutter speed.

Exposure 1/8000sec, f/5.6, ISO 4000

The lower light however did allow me to experiment a little more with slower shutter speeds. There was still a little too much light to achieve the incredibly misty look that can be achieved at dawn or dusk, but I certainly got more impressive results than the last time.

Exposure 1/5sec, f/32, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I also tried the same shot in a portrait orientation.

Exposure 1/5sec, f/36, ISO 100, exposure bias -3.0

Of course, one of the side effects of me experimenting different settings for the same sort of shot is a bored wife.

Exposure 1/100sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I also had another go at shooting the flowers that reside in the water in front of the statues. Once again, the greyness of the day sapped something from the image. Hopefully we’ll get some winter sun next time I’m down there.

Exposure 1/200sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

As we headed out, I caught sight of another angle that I don’t usually find.

Exposure 1/3200sec, f/3.5, ISO 100, exposure bias -0.67

I’ve now spent nine months curating this site, spending more time going out and taking more photographs – I think I’ve snapped, although not necessarily kept, over 10,000 photos since January when I started this. I’m reaching the point where I’ve done quite a few of the obvious local photo trips and so I need to either get creative when I revisit places I’ve been to before, or work harder to find some more opportunities, or start moving further afield for to chase some photography. I have a shortlist of things to try in the future so I should have plenty of images to come.

2 thoughts on “Return to York House Gardens

  1. Glad my post was of interest to you. I posted this one before you started reading me, I think: I actually like shooting in the flatter light, it reduces contrast. I know you have mad post-processing skills, but I don’t (at least in digital), so I’ve found that for pictures where I’m going direct-to-web that underexposing by 1 stop gives a much more saturated color – just like we used to do with slides. Give it a try.


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