18.03.12, Week 31: The Gatehouse

by pbnb

After I’d got all excited about my operation last week, it turns out it was cancelled the following day. If it wasn’t for the fact that the operation is so expensive, I would have had a lot more rage directed towards the NHS. In the end, the whole event was swallowed up in my preparation for leaving a week early. My girlfriend flew back from America on the Saturday, so I missed the last week of term in order to spend as much time as a I possibly could with her. Due to this, I didn’t take any pictures in the week leading up to it, so I’m cheating a bit this week and using a picture from the Monday after this post.

This picture is special for a couple of reasons: firstly, it was taken on my twenty-first birthday, and secondly it was one of the first pictures I took with my new lens. The outing on which it was taken was a trip that my girlfriend and I took to visit the Westonbirt Aboretum, situated in between Bristol and Chippenham. However, we left a bit late and the arboretum was closing by the time we arrived. On the way there, we passed this gatehouse, which I had wanted to take a picture of. Instead of going home after realising the arboretum was closing, we returned to the building and parked the car in its turning.

The body of water in the foreground was just a relatively large puddle, which I exploited by lying on a rug and getting as close to ground level as I could manage. After I had achieved that, not an easy task with a gammy knee, it was simply a case of lining up the various components of the picture in order to make it symmetrical from the middle of the frame. Unfortunately, the bollards at the front of the picture were not spaced in a way that made them align with the rest of the image. It wrecks the symmetry, but probably isn’t that noticeable unless you’re as pedantic as I am.

The sun was setting to the right of the frame which provided the cold glow to the picture. I’m pleased with the colour of the sky because I often struggle to represent it correctly. I’m also very pleased with the slight ripples in the water, I think they add to the picture more than a flat reflection would.


I’ve never been a huge fan of the Arctic Monkeys, I did really enjoy their early singles ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ and ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor’, but I never continued to listen to them afterwards. One of my close friends from home shared their relatively recent track ‘R U Mine?’, with another one of our close friends. It is excellent, the riff, drumming and vocals are so good. It prompted me to reevaluate their recent music and I have since taken a great liking to ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ and  ‘You and I’. I think you can really tell that they’ve spent quite a lot of time with the Queens of the Stone Age as the riffs and structure are similar.

      • Date taken: 19.03.12
      • Aperture: f/6.3
      • Speed: 1/400 sec
      • ISO: 320
      • Focal length: 45mm