Inside Fonthill

In May I had the opportunity to shoot inside Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. Photography inside is not normally allowed however photographer and workshop leader, John Barclay graciously invited me when he had an opening in a shoot he had planned with Tony Sweet and a few friends. I had been there a little over a year ago and took the tour but could only shoot outside. The castle and its history are fascinating. It was built by Henry Chapman Mercer who began construction in 1908 at the age of 52 during the American Arts & Crafts Movement. He completed the reinforced concrete building in 1912, and used it as his residence. This was not a workshop but both John and Tony were helpful in pointing out some good shots. The rooms were small and I approached the session the same way that I shoot at Eastern State Prison … a wide angle lens, and bracketed exposures on a tripod. I had no trouble finding things to shoot. For me, the hard part came when processing the images. The textured walls are on strange angles, crooked and curved and the castle is busy with detail; tile patterns and framed prints everywhere. Many of the  images were just too busy for my liking. Below I’ve posted a small collection of images that I am pleased with from what was both a fun day and good learning experience.

‘The Main Room’ © Denise Bush
‘Family Skeleton’ © Denise Bush
‘Ready For Supper’ © Denise Bush
‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ © Denise Bush
‘Little Lamp’ © Denise Bush
‘Thru The Closed Door’ © Denise Bush
‘Tonics & Such’ © Denise Bush
‘Traveling Cases’ © Denise Bush
‘To The Balcony’ © Denise Bush
‘Two Jugs & A Crock’ © Denise Bush

Flower Power

Flowers are a popular photography subject and understandably so. I know I can’t resist the temptation to shoot them no matter how common. For the most part I like to use a shallow depth of field to create a more abstract composition rather than an image that’s purpose is to record the structure of the flower. The blurrier the (bokeh) background the better. Getting in nice and close with my 100mm macro lens I often choose to highlight a particular aspect of the specimen while allowing the rest to blend into fields of color. I’ve shot flowers in several locations this spring, both in the wild and cultivated gardens. Below each image I have indicated the locations as well as the apertures used.

‘Happy Pitcher Plant Flower’ © Denise Bush (NJ Pine Barrens, f/6.3)
‘Twig Rush’ © Denise Bush (NJ Pine Barrens, f/9.0)
‘Lanced Leaf Sabatia’ © Denise Bush (NJ Pine Barrens, f/9.0)
‘Unidentified’ © Denise Bush (Smoky Mountains, f/5.0)
‘Solomon’s Seal’ © Denise Bush (Smoky Mountains, f/5.0)
‘Violet Detail’ © Denise Bush (Chanticleer Garden, f/2.8)
‘Iris No. 1’ © Denise Bush (Catskills, f/5.6)
‘Iris No. 2’ © Denise Bush (Catskills, f/4.0)
‘Lupine Layers’ © Denise Bush (Chanticleer Garden, f/2.8)
‘Dogwood Blossoms’ © Denise Bush (Batsto State Park – NJ, f/4.5)
‘Clematis Close-up’ © Denise Bush (Chanticleer Garden, f/5.0)
‘Columbine’ © Denise Bush (Smoky Mountains, f/4.5)
‘Poppy Center’ © Denise Bush (Chanticleer Garden, f/4.5)
‘Yellow Trillium’ © Denise Bush (Smoky Mountains, f/4.5)