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It's July and the summer vacation draws closer. This year it's back to England, and that led me to browse today through images from our last trip in 2008.

One that caught my eye was this shot of Petworth House, a very large country mansion dating back to 1688. As is common with these mansions, there are enormously extensive grounds surrounding the house and one of the challenges in photographing the building is conveying its size both large, in terms of the building itself, and small in terms of the landscape surrounding it. Small, in this case, being a pretty relative term!

I was lucky on this particular afternoon. Towards the end of our visit, the sky, pretty cloudy as you can see, opened up enough to illuminate the back of the house with low sun. This set off the building against both the green of the field and the blue-gray of the sky. I enhanced this by increasing the contrast, marking the building out further still from the line of trees leading to it. I was fortunate too, in that a path across the field acted as another leading line, drawing the eye towards the building. I was happy too to see the shaping of the grass and that of the clouds mirroring each other nicely. Finally, the tiny figures on the landscape, the one in the lower right corner being my mother, gave scale to both the house and garden.

(Click on photo for larger image.)

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