Chatsworth House is regarded as the most popular stately home in the whole of the UK. I’m fortunate to live within 15 minutes of its front doors. Of course (with permission from the house) it would have been rude to not include Chatsworth House in my forthcoming book, A Guide to Photographing the Peak District. Over the last year I have been visiting Chatsworth House to capture it through the seasons and the ones featured here are from this summer.
The first images come from Visit Peak District’s Garden Party at Chatsworth House. The gardens were opened up for the evening to have a picnic, listen to some music and have a firework display. It was a great opportunity to capture something different. The gardens are usually shut early. In summer they are shut before the sun even sets. One thing that was apparent though, was that the fireworks would be launched during the sunset which made for interesting shooting as I had never done it before. I chose to shoot from “The Cascade” to capture some reflections of that setting sun as well as capturing the fireworks. It was a great opportunity to capture two different shots.
One of the most romantic shots of Chatsworth House I guess is the front of the house being illuminated by the evening light with the golden lined windows lighting up. A calm summers evening is the perfect day to do this, not that we seem to get many. I headed down and was delighted to see that the River Derwent that runs through the park was also calm, providing mirror like reflections of the house
Lastly, where would Chatsworth House be without a photograph of the Emperor Fountain within the gardens? Unfortunately, the gardens are never open at sunrise all year round to capture this how I envisioned it (although this may now be possible, watch this space!). So I headed in one summers day, amongst the hoards of people and bid my time at the end of the lake to capture this classic scene. I had to wait for a lot of things to come together, like the light, people moving out the way and the wind to drop to allow some reflections, even if not perfect. I took a variety of shots, but in the end for me my personal favourite was this long exposure shot taken with a Big Stopper. For those that don’t know, it essentially records time 10 times what we would normally take a photo. This meant a really long exposure to help smooth out the water and give movement to the clouds.
You can find out more about Chatsworth House by clicking here. Please support this stately home by paying them a visit.