Fly By Night

I very rarely combine two images to make a composite, but the one above was one of those exceptions.

In 2018 Mrs M and I visited Barrington Court, a Tudor period National Trust manor house in Somerset. I don’t normally take that many pictures inside these properties at all, but on this visit, there were opportunities to take some, what I hoped would be interesting photographs, for conversion to monochrome.

After taking some shots in the various empty rooms and making our way up to the long gallery upstairs, I got some nice shots through the room with the windows at the far end. Walking into another alcove we found that there was a 3D projection of an owl being shown. As you walked in, the owl flew towards you. Very clever. I took some shots of the projection just because I thought I may get one decent shot of it – the lighting was quite dark.

Once home, I was looking through the images, both the room shots and the owl and I suddenly had an inspiration. One of my favourite bands was Rush (now retired because of drummer Neil Peart’s sad death), their second album was called “Fly by Night” and featured a painting of a snowy owl flying towards the viewer. The picture was painted using a predominantly blue palette to emphasise the winter scene.

Looking at my images taken at Barrington Court I saw that I may be able to make a composite image using one of the few decent shots of the projected owl and an image of the long gallery for an image inspired by the Rush album cover.

After some work in Photoshop extracting the owl and working on the wings I then started to work on the gallery picture as the background, dodging and burning where I thought necessary. Finally, I added the owl into the background and tinted the image blue.

It’s certainly not the type of processing I do very often, but I enjoyed it and I am satisfied with the outcome.


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