Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott's residence, was visited by a group of TE members this weekend. As you can see, the weather was... Scottish.
I chose to focus on the flowers in the foreground and allow the house to fall off, partly because the flowers were a welcome touch of colour, partly because it reflects what I felt about the place. I couldn't quite "get" it. Scottish Baronial is a variant of 19th century Gothic, and the towers and turrets seem to me to be a bit over the top for a house. But an Englishman's home is his castle, so why not a Scotsman's?
It was the wealth that Scott made, principally from the Waverley novels, that enabled him to set about creating his ideal house. Raised in the Scottish Borders he had a close affinity for the natural landscape and so the Picturesque style (the Picturesque movement sought to reject the rigid formality of the Georgians and create a more organic architecture) would have appealed. However, Scott ensured the existing designs for Abbotsford House had a distinctly Scottish twist, creating what is known today as the ‘Scots Baronial’ style so closely associated with our romantic notions of Scotland today.
Scott bought a small farmhouse in 1811 and engaged William Atkinson (b.c1774 – d.1839) who, between 1814-24, created the Abbotsford House. Atkinson was not considered one of the best ‘Gothick’ architects, with Howard Colvin thinking that his designs lacked the elegant charm of the 18th-century work and the scholarly accuracy of the 19th-century. However at Abbotsford, the architectural vocabulary he employed – steeply pitched slate roofs, turrets, bartizans, and crowstepped gables – became the standard language of Scots country houses.
But it still looks faintly pretentious to me. I like the flowers.
Critiques | Translate
Mics (186) 2013-10-28 21:56
It's a lovely shot! The flowers gave a feeling of warmth and "sunshine" in contrast to the gloomy clouds as if there is a looming storm.
Nice day to you!
emka (64124) 2013-10-28 23:30
Hi Will, I have read already about this meeting, and being Meeting-Terror I am so envious :). I like the castle looking like medieval one but I love also these flowers. Are they chrysanthemums? splendid composition. I am looking forward to seeing more pics rom this meeting.
mkamionka (27051) 2013-10-29 1:01
It was a pleasure to meet you. You had so much patience for my lack of voice :) I really appreciate it.
Great composition here after looking at my photos yesterday I thought exactly that this would be the best POV but I just took a one shot there which was not good. It is very interesting to see now what other people have taken under these difficult conditions.
I am a postcard type of person so I would prefer to have a good depth of field but I know my taste is not artistic enough for most people. This shallow DOF makes indeed a nice effect.
Noel_Byrne (13234) 2013-10-29 1:17
I know what you mean about Scottish Baronial, but I have to admit I love the design. Even though it is a little over the top, I dont think there are many things that cannot be improved by the addition of a few turrets! Being a big fan of castles, I find the style makes a building so properly castley (not a word I know) and this is a benefit for me. The way you have shot this creates a fine mysterious air to the house, making it look almost like Draculas castle. This contrasts nicely with the life and color afforded by the flowers. Love that sky too, lots of life and drama!
All the best
lousat (64069) 2013-10-29 2:29
Hi Will,very original idea to use the the fantastic architechture of this big house to create this blurred background to the flowers,magnificent composition and great atmosphere,it's nice to see something of different,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
mjw364 (6142) 2013-10-29 2:35
you did a great job to inject some colour into this place given the time of day you arrived and the very distinct lack of light and sunshine. Well composed - in many ways a classic composition technique and a testament to your Canon's ability to render colour so well in low light.
I'm with you on the pretentious... I always feel a little ill at ease parting with my hard earned when entering one of these places. The secret history, when revealed, usually paints a very different picture of narcissistic, tyrannical people who go out of their way to ensure their minions suffer.
Given that the best their ego's can do is to build something that may be regarded as a folly, it lacks imagination in many ways - "I have a few quid, let me build a baronial castle/home... just like that other one I saw down the road" Organic, yet derivative too. Still... he wrote a few books... so what?
In the museum it described how he spent money on the promise of novels not yet written and wound up in financial trouble - a result of his over -confidence and ego... ironic then in order for the house to survive today it is dependent on public finance via the entrance fee... still making sure us peasants (largely pensioners too from what I could see!) pay for the upkeep of his fantasy home.
Royaldevon (21379) 2013-10-29 2:45
I like the way you have given this such colour, by using the flowers for f/g interest. The house, by contrast, has an ethereal quality, like something from a fairy story.
It is beautifully balanced.
I like the irony of these places; built by the rich but now supported by the very less-rich! But, they are important in our history, to demonstrate a way of life and to show change. This one has certainly engendered thoughts from us!
Was your train on time?
Did the boat survive undamaged? I hope so.
timecapturer (36978) 2013-10-29 6:04
like this! So glad you enjoyed the TE meeting and I am looking forward to seeing the images everyone took. This is a compelling and clever study that leaves you wanting more. Execution and intrigue here perfect.
Regards - Brian
dale54 (5733) 2013-10-29 7:38
will hello..nice work here.the closer i look,this are some interesting flowers out..never seen em before!great capture,and i do like your use of these flowers in FG! have a great day! dale
dekanski (1065) 2013-10-29 11:33
mesutilgim (72900) 2013-10-30 12:44
Nice capture with good pov and layout.
Good idea to focus to the flowers.
TFS and best regards
cornejo (22452) 2013-11-01 10:39
Hi Will, I like this pretty picture of this interesting composition with the beautiful flowers in the foreground and in the background the interesting castle, beautifully captured in this beautiful and interesting picture, with good sharpness, light and color. Great and interesting job perfectly done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good night and happy weekend.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
Silvio1953 (105381) 2013-11-01 10:57
Ciao Will, fascinating view of fantastic castle, lovely composition with beautiful flowers in FG, wonderful warm colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
josepmarin (56471) 2013-11-03 5:20
I admire your good idea about this composition, where you have focused sharply the flowers in foreground, with a blurred castle in background, providing a good 3D effect in the ensemble.
The architecture of the castle is fantastic, and the autumnal colours on the flowers créate a nice atmosphere.
It's a superb work.
COSTANTINO (44087) 2013-11-04 11:02
amazing shot like a scenery from a fairy tale
its a miracle with all those beautiful
flowers createing this excellent foreground'
but the castle is important too adding
interesting architectural details
all those flowers give a feeling
have a nice new day
dta (56542) 2013-11-06 6:15
Hello Will ,
Usually ,I like when all is sharp in this kind of picture . But here , the focus on the flowers in the Fg works very well , and you explain why you've chosen it . The composition is excellent .
- Copyright: Will Perrett (willperrett) (4065)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-10-26
- Categories: Castles, Architecture
- Camera: Canon EOS5D, Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/500 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): TE Meeting Peebles 2013 [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-10-28 15:04