Im not really a morning person so the act of setting my alarm for 3:30 seemed quite alien, normally if I do something as silly as this there is at least a plane ride and some sunshine at the end of it, not a damp grey morning in a sleepy villiage in the middle of nowhere.
Arriving at the destination, after driving past several closed petrol stations which mocked us with their lit up Costa signs – the rain had been constant on the way there and showed no sign of lifting. The one time that im up before sunrise and there is none of this “golden light” which photographers go on about – you can see how many times ive been out with a camera at this time of the morning.
The manor house was within a group of lived in houses so we had to run in between bushes and trees to avoid being seen, although it was soon apparent that we were the only ones stupid enough to be out at this hour of the morning.
Inside was silent with the rain providing a constant backing soundtrack, some of the building had residents so we had to try and be as quiet, something thats not as easy as it sounds when the floorboards are that creaky and the usual glass and other debris are litered everywhere.
The house itself would have been grand in its time, luckily because of where it is and the restoration that has been started, the place is in pretty good condition although quite empty in places – some of the details were stunning.
The first room of note looked as though it would have been some type of reception room, a big circular opening with a domed roof and several windows around a grand fireplace. The light although muted was still not great – HDR was needed to try and normalise it.
This was the second outing for the 8-15mmL Fisheye and for rooms like this one it worked a treat.
I had seen photos of this grand dining room, glorious green wallpaper underneath an amazing wooden ceiling, the grey light was streaming through the shutters which made things tricky. The moldings and woodwork in this room was stunning, even in its abandoned state. The shutters on the windows were big heavy and wooden with intricate moldings around them, closing them stopped some of the glare but also darkened one half of the room.
The corridors were muted in the grey light, rain still bouncing off the broken windows and pavements outside.
The staircase too was really photogenic, twisting around an intricate banister, here the fisheye really came into its own with the distortion capturing 3 floors.
After a while in the manor house, it was time to go back out into the drizzle, coffee had gone from a nicety to a necessity, I should have at least packed some water and breakfast bars but as normal had come very unprepared.
Despite the weather and the shock of the alarm clock, it was a great outing, some decent photos and some good company. This manor house will definitely be on my list of places to revisit!