Friday, January 29, 2016

Belton Boathouse Pond

click photo to enlarge
Sometimes what you see isn't what you get. What could be called "inverse WYSIWYG" is a feature of most English country houses and comes about through the art and artifice involved in their planning and construction. Belton House in Lincolnshire is no exception. Here the main house illustrates it most obviously in the eighteenth century veneer of stone (and extensions) that overlay a seventeenth century structure. The landscaping of the park that surrounds the house is also subject to changes made in the interests of "improving on nature", that can be misleading to the casual observer.

Take Boathouse Pond, the subject of today's photographs. It looks like a perfectly natural feature among the trees, one that has been retrospectively adapted to leisure purposes. However, a walk up the slope to it, past the large earth dam that holds the water in place, shows it to have been constructed to beautify the area and provide somewhere for the wealthy owners and their guests to sail, row and perhaps fish or shoot. The boathouse itself also has its share of deceptive features, most notable the faux wood grain applied to the door and window frames using wood-coloured paint and a graining comb.

I took my photographs on a walk through the grounds of the house, a property now in the care of the National Trust and open to the public. The yellow light of a January morning gave a visual warmth that wasn't matched by the temperature, and the angle of the sun created dark shadows that, I think, made for a more interesting landscape view.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Boathouse Pond, Belton House, Lincolnshire
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (32mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/800 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On