Doddington Hall plays host to it's bi-ennial sculpture exhibition until 9th September and we'll show you why you need to visit.
We loved the exhibition in 2016 (see the gallery here) and have been really excited to see what 2018 would bring. The Exhibition opened on Saturday 28th July and we left it a couple of days to settle in - in truth the weather over the weekend had been poor and I remembered how the light had a big effect on the sculptures in 2016 so was keen to visit on a bright & sunny day, the right decision.
Join us for an exclusive Photography Workshop during the Sculpture Exhibition with private access to the Exhibition & Gardens with expert advice & tuition, click here for details
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For a photographer, capturing images of sculptures should be a dream, interesting shapes, subjects, stories, colours, patterns, textures and materials. Photographing beautiful sculptures within a stunning formal garden of a stately home however ramps things up to a whole new level.
I often try to avoid strong direct sunlight (that's been a challenge this summer!) but knew that I could utilise the light to accentuate the shape & form of these subjects as well as emphasising the quality of the materials used. Of course, as photographers we need to be flexible and there is plenty to photograph here on overcast days too. The gardens and the house provide fantastic opportunities for backgrounds and it may be that choosing a background (context) is the most creative part of shooting the Doddington Hall Sculptures.
So many of the visitors photos I've already seen from the exhibition have the sculptures too small & distant in the composition, in this case the subject is lost and fails to create an impact. My advice is always to find a subject of interest, explore the possibilities for capturing it's image (work the scene) and then try and fill your frame with what interested you originally. Too often people 'play safe' and include far too much of the background, distracting the viewer with detail which is irrelevant to the initial subject.
See how the wooden horse & flamingos in the animal collection below risk 'blending into' their surroundings. The challenge is often to discover a viewpoint or method of isolating the subject or making it 'pop' out from the background to create impact.
Join us for an exclusive Photography Workshop at the Sculpture Exhibition with private access to the gardens & sculptures, see details and link below.
Again, by using a wide angle lens and shooting close to the subject we create drama and impact. Choosing the background carefully, whether that's the blue sky or the adjacent house adds context and can soften the overall image but you want to avoid distractions. These sculptures also demonstrate the benefit of strong directional light, the shadows accentuate the shapes & features of the face whilst the fine details of the female's body are illuminated.
The human figure is also a dominant theme particularly in motion and this has the benefit of creating a feeling of movement within our photos.