Our Photography Courses Blog

National Trust Photography Courses at Stourhead

Phil taught six people at the “New Shoots” photography course at Stourhead, arranged by the National Trust. A great day, beginning with a really informative talk by Anne Butler, Education Officer at Stourhead. We often say in courses that landscape photography is like walking around with a picture frame under your arm. It appears at Stourhead they actually did, “taking views” of the landscape using something called Claude Glasses, a portable tinted mirror that would frame your view. Here’s some from the V&A museum:

The poet Thomas Gray (1716-1771), was so fond of the glasses he is quoted as saying the view could sell for 1000 pounds…if only one could fix the image! What would Gray make of cameras now, where an image can be captured, sent across the world and reviewed within seconds. Witchcraft!

Stourhead is a remarkable place to photograph (whether you’re on a course or not), because the gardens are designed as a series of vistas that are effectively copies of paintings of the time. So the composition is largely arranged for you, with foreground interest, variations in colours and tones all thought up hundreds of years ago. We are thrilled to be teaching photography courses for the National Trust at Stourhead. There are more courses later this year, though sadly the children’s courses sold out within days.

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