Friday, July 31, 2015

The National Trust: now photography friendly

After some eight years living in the US, returning to the UK is like learning about a new country: things have changed. Some for the better, some for the worse.

One of the things that has really gone down hill is the size differential between a car and a car parking space! You now need skill and nerves of steel to park a car in, say, a supermarket car park!

On the other hand, one of the things that has got better is the National Trust’s attitude to photographers. You can now freely use a camera inside their houses: obviously without a flash and a tripod, but that is what modern high-ISO cameras are for.

Last weekend’s NT trip was to The Vyne near Basingstoke:,-1.08401,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x4874205421f7d14d:0x6e87664e4cfc464c

In addition to photography, it was a chance to renew our NT family membership; as well as using the NT’s iOS App: which is a great tool for photographers, as it helps prepare you for all the wonderful opportunities that the NT presents in each area of the UK:

Wiki tells us that The Vyne is a 16th-century country house outside Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and was built for Lord Sandys, King Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain.

The house retains its Tudor chapel, with stained glass. The classical portico on the north front was added in 1654 by Inigo Jones's pupil John Webb. In the mid-eighteenth century The Vyne belonged to Horace Walpole's close friend John Chaloner Chute, who designed the Palladian staircase, whose magnificent apparent scale belies its actual small size.

The Vyne was bequeathed by its final Chute owner, Sir Charles Chute, to the National Trust in 1958.

The grounds contain large woodland and a wetlands nesting site which is populated by swans and common redshanks. There are a number of woodland, wetland and parkland walking trails. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the weather was against us and we had to restrict ourselves to inside the house.

From a photography perspective I was interested in seeing how my 5D3 handled the dim interiors, albeit ‘boosted’ by Magic Lantern’s Dual-ISO feature, which gives nearly a 3Ev ‘lift’ to the dynamic range potential of a single 5D3 image, ie non-bracketed.

I must say, overall, I was pleased with the results and here are a few examples of non-flash, Dual-ISO captures from The Vyne.

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