One of my very favourite places to visit in Northamptonshire, Lyveden is a National Trust property situated between the historic town of Oundle and the village of Brigstock. The dream of Sir Thomas Tresham, and built between 1595 and his death in 1605, the lodge and adjoining gardens were designed to entertain and delight the guests of his nearby manor house, the site of which is part of the estate. The garden, which incorporated orchards, terraces, moats, and viewing mounts formed a journey from the manor house to the garden lodge (New Bield). Unfortunately, the lodge was never completed but the fact that so much of it remains in such good condition after 400 years is testament to the quality of the construction.
I visited Lyveden over the May bank holiday weekend in 2011. It was a sunny day but with a cold and blustery wind, so much so that my camera was being blown about even on my fairly heavy manfrotto tripod. I wanted to try some time-lapse photography to capture the fast-moving clouds for an audio-visual project I am working on. I tried the location above looking South to begin with but the clouds were moving sideways which was not quite what I was aiming for so later I moved round to the West side of the lodge looking straight into the wind coming from the East. This was much better with the clouds now coming up and over the lodge and disappearing off the side and top of the frame.
Finally, when I was happy that I had enough shots to complete my A/V sequence, I moved over to the garden to take a few shots looking across the moat. I am reasonably pleased with the pictures I took. It is a much photographed building and it is not easy to find a new way of shooting it. It was late afternoon when I arrived and the evening light really helped to light up the stonework of the lodge. Another time, I would like to stay a little later in the day, and also try some longer lens shots from across the water.
As you can see in this last shot, the wind was breaking up the surface of the water and spoiling the reflection of the lodge, as well as moving the branches and leaves on the trees. However, I do like the position of the shadow areas either side of the foreground grass with the brighter area in the middle. I’m hoping it gives your eye a natural starting point before following the sweep of the moat to the lodge beyond.