Chatsworth in black and white

September 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last week (it already feels much longer ago) I went to Chatsworth. I’d long wanted to visit the house (which is familiar to many of you, even if you don’t know it, as Pemberley in three adaptations of Pride and Prejudice* – appropriately so, as Jane Austen is said to have used Chatsworth as her model), but it was the gardens that, as is usually the case when I visit a stately home, really blew me away. Fortunately I had my Diana with me, this time with a roll of black and white film. I still have much to learn, no doubt about it, but I was happier with the results this time.

Chatsworth is unusually generous in its indoor photography policy, but I wasn’t really tempted to turn my camera on the sometimes oppressively palatial splendour of the rooms. This is the only interior shot I took, of a pack of bronze hounds in one of the inner courtyards. In real life they’re weathered green; I like how they’ve been transformed into a troupe of grey ghosts.

The cascade. Somehow I doubt this is what the Dukes of Devonshire had in mind when they commissioned it…

Chatsworth trivia – every single step in the cascade is a different shape and height so that the sound and form of the fall of water varies constantly.

An homage to Eugène Atget, one of my photographic idols – not that I for one instant am under the illusion that I can compete with him. I had his images of the gardens at Sceaux and Versailles in mind when I took these. Someday…


*If you’re hoping to spot Colin Firth wandering around the grounds looking moody, I fear you will be sorely disappointed. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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