Autumn colours at Stourhead

I’ve just got round to reviewing and processing photographs I took at Stourhead Gardens in October. The gardens were planned and built over a 40 year period in the mid-late 18th century by the Hoare family and are arranged around an artificial lake. Neoclassical buildings a grotto and follies are carefully located in this fascinating landscape. As you walk around the lake the vista is constantly changing, as you see the landscape from new angles, and of course so is the light. For photographers, it is endlessly challenging to try and capture it. But the best time of year to visit is the autumn when the colours of the trees are at their best. My visit didn’t quite coincide with peak autumn, but it wasn’t far off.

I have photographed this stand of trees many times and they always appear different: in some light conditions they just glow.

I really liked the dappled light beneath this old tree, but I couldn’t quite capture that elusive soft quality of the light filtering through the leaves:

I liked the circular pattern in this bush, implied by its reflection in the water.

Temple of Apollo in the background next to some of the most stunning tree colours and framed by the dark trunks in the foreground.


The tree on the left in the picture is a Tulip tree that was planted in 1791 and is probably my favourite tree in the gardens. I am always amazed that the people who were responsible  for planting the tree never saw it in its full glory, but they did it anyway, almost as a gift for future generations to enjoy. What beautiful legacies are we leaving for future generations?

Close up of the trunk of the above Tulip tree:

Looking across towards the Pantheon through the branches of the Tulip tree:

And finally a semi-abstract shot looking through the branches at the lake:

Jacarandas in southern Spain

Visiting Seville and Cadiz in June we kept seeing trees with wonderful blue flowers. It took us a little while and a bit of Googling to work out they are jacarandas. Why have I never come across these beautiful trees before?

This lovely specimen in the gardens of the Alcazar in Seville;

Outside the Alcazar in Jerez de la Frontera:

Close up:

Mushrooms in Seville

The Metropol Parasol in Seville – called the ‘Mushrooms’ by the locals – is a surreal sight that dominates La Encarnacion Square. It was designed by a German artist and installed in 2011. I love its honeycomb structure and how it changes in light and shade as you walk underneath it


It does overpower the Encarnacion church on the corner of the square, but on the other hand it gives a wonderful viewing point for it.