Opening the past

All of the photographs this week were shot at the National Trust property of Calke Abbey. It’s a favourite place of mine to get atmospheric shots of buildings, interiors and close-ups.

The property was once the home of the reclusive, eccentric and private Harpur Crewe family, who kept Calke hidden away until the estate and its collections were taken over by the National Trust in 1985. When the trust opened the long-closed rooms in the house, they found them bursting at the seams with historical treasures and artefacts that had remained untouched for years.

All of the shots were taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 and rather excellent “kit” lens of 18-55mm F/2.8-4, hand-held and no flash. The maximum aperture of F/2.8 helped with this as did the optical image stabilization (OIS) on the lens.

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon 18-55MM f2.8-4 R LM OIS

This first photograph is an example of the strange things that you can find and see at Calke. The rooms are littered with ornaments and strange objects especially stuffed animals and birds exactly as Harpur-Crewe left them when he died.

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon 18-55MM f2.8-4 R LM OIS

The second shot was taken in the tunnels that lead from the house to the brewery on the estate. In the roof of the tunnel are light holes and so I took this as my brother walked underneath one of them.

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon 18-55MM f2.8-4 R LM OIS

This is the lovely dome above the orangery. I really liked the symmetry of the top of the roof and didn’t feel that I needed to include anything else of the building in this instance. The contrast on the clouds was increase to add a little drama to the picture.

Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon 18-55MM f2.8-4 R LM OIS

The final image is of an old lantern and bottles in the servants’ quarters. Rusted and covered in a patina of age the old lantern had a simple charm about it despite its sorry state.



One thought on “Opening the past

  1. You have such an eye for the potential. I recently went to Calke and was simply overwhelmed by the strange collection and spent my time reflecting on the atmosphere and wondering about the people! These are great shots. I was in the tunnel and didn’t see a thing! I should return with a different eye!


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