Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden - Chinese proverb

Friday, 31 January 2014

Illuminating Lacock Abbey


Lacock Abbey has a fabulous event on at the moment to celebrate the photograph's 175th birthday.

It's called Illuminating Lacock Abbey and I liked how the lights were also placed outside the Abbey's grounds to greet and guide visitors. It's great to have a local event which helps to brighten up a gloomy winter's evening.

We're not that far away from the Abbey's forthcoming snowdrop weekends, so I was also on a recce to see how these were faring.


There are quite a few just beginning to peep through, with the promise of more to come. Eranthis were also brightening up the gloom and some of the trees on the drive up to the Abbey were helping to light the way.


Some of the deeper shades are reserved for the cloisters. Both inside...


... and out.


One side of the cloisters also gave a view towards a projection of a leaf image. I liked its juxtaposition with the tree forming an arch over the doorway. The original image was created by placing the leaf on top of a piece of light sensitive paper, which Fox Talbot had prepared previously. It was published in his famous book The Pencil of Nature.


And finally, a celebratory view of THE window used as the subject for the world's first photograph 175 years ago. The 1839 is Fox Talbot's handwriting, which refers to when he announced his discovery (actually made in 1835). Daguerre had announced his positive image process earlier that year, which hastened Fox Talbot to announce his. Unlike the Daguerreotype which produced a single image, Fox Talbot's calotype process allowed multiple positive images to be made from a single negative.

Thus the process we know today was born. In this age of digital photography, I wonder how much longer it'll last?

8 comments:

  1. Oooh, not sure what I like the most - the psychedelic cloisters or the subtle leaf motif! What fun.

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  2. I love the lighting, such a different perspective for such an old building.

    Laycock Abbey has a very personal resonance for me, as I wrote my thesis on Lady Grace Mildmay nee Sherrington, who lived at Laycock Abbey in the mid 1550's until she married and move to Apethorpe in Northamptonshire. So when I see the lights in your pictures I wonder, what would Lady Mildmay think? :)

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  3. I went to a 'do' there with a friend who used to work for Kodak, which may well have been the 150th anniversary. Terrific photos. Flighty. xx

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  4. That's a different way to encourage visitors, it all looks super, I think I like the leaf projected onto the building best. I'm sure you must have had a good time.

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  5. I love Lacock, you have reminded me I haven't visited for ages. I'd love to go again soon, it looks lovely in your photos. Very dramatic!

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  6. What a wonderful event to have seen! So pretty! There must have been a lot more to see but your photos have captured the essence of what seems a magical evening. Lovely!

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  7. I suspect film photography will follow the path of vinyl records. Declared dead, kept going by a few enthusiasts and then enjoy a resurgence as its finer points are appreciated.

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  8. Hi everyone - glad you enjoyed your visit to Lacock:-)

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