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.
Month: July 2012
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.