Sudeley Castle is a stunning venue, and is still in private ownership. At one point it was owned by Richard III. It was once home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last and only surviving wife of Henry VIII, who is buried in the chapel. Henry, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Queen Elizabeth I have all lived at or visited Sudeley Castle. More recent royalty like Elton John, and the Beckhams have attended weddings in the chapel, and Liz Hurley was married there in 2007.
It is a fantastic photography location – Sudeley’s gardens are among the very best in England. Peacocks strut in the gardens, stopping only to show off and be photographed. The chapel gives ample opportunities to for church interior photography in the tricky light. The gardens are divided into various “rooms,” with different planting schemes. Four English queens praised the roses here, and they are still spectacular. We like Sudeley as it has such a fantastic variety of photography subjects. The peacocks and pheasants make good portrait photography subjects, the flowers are always striking, parts of the building are intact and functional, others are ruins. There is always something to photograph at Sudeley.
In terms of photography tips and photography technique, Sudeley Castle can be tricky. Like many other buildings in the Cotswolds, it is built from honey coloured stone, which can fool the camera’s white balance system into toning the yellow down, as it is confused for tungsten lighting. As usual, the lighting within ancient churches is tricky, and we can help with specific photography tips about metering and exposure compensation. As usual, your landscape photography should be giving the viewer the sense of being present at the property, and have some sense of how you feel about it. In a way, your photography is presenting your point of view about the place – how does it make you feel? If you get it right, people should feel transported and that they understand a location even if they have not been there. This is not easy to achieve!
The intricate nature of the gardens is something that is hard to explain to someone who has not been to the property – but this is the function of your landscape photography, so it’s a tricky and intricate location to work in to get good results. We have lots of ideas, as you might expect!
Even the architectural photography can have a unique personality at Sudeley Castle – there are bullet holes in the walls, and much of the castle was destroyed during the English Civil War. There is a path frequented by Katherine Parr on her frequent visits to church. There are stories to be told – can your pictures tell them?
In the past, families have come and amused themselves in the garden while one of their number takes a photography course – we can even arrange to meet them for lunch in the lovely castle cafe. It also makes a great excuse to spend a weekend in the Cotswolds – what’s not to like?