24.06.12, Week 45: Chatsworth Skylight

by pbnb

I stayed with a friend who lives on the outskirts of Sheffield for a few days this week. She’s in a lovely position: five or ten minutes’ drive to the East of the Peak District and fifteen minutes’ drive to the West of the centre of Sheffield. This position also puts her house less than half an hour away from the beautiful Chatsworth House; the location for filming from Pride and Prejudice, in which it is Mr Darcy’s Home, and The Duchess, amongst other films and television episodes. You only have to drive up to the house to see why it’s the location of choice for such things. However, despite this, I didn’t end up choosing a shot of the building’s exterior but rather one taken from inside.

The skylight lets light into one of the house’s many stairwells, and the space beneath it is three stories high. No matter how many stately homes I visit, I can never get over how ornate the craftsmanship is throughout them. From the rose in the centre to the ridge in the top and bottom of the frame, the detailing in this skylight is unbelievable. I think the fact that it is entirely white actually serves to enhance this effect; somehow, the contrast being created purely through changes in light and shade makes the detailing of the carvings all the more impressive.

From a technical point of view, I’m really pleased with this image due to its framing. I spent a long time trying to get the windows centred so that they aren’t out of place in the frame. The consistency of the sky’s colour throughout the five windows is very pleasing as it gives them a uniform appearance. The symmetry of the building itself made the image simple to compose because I didn’t have to move myself to make things appear symmetrical; they’re that way because of the quality of the building. I decided to pick this shot because I liked the way the portrait orientation didn’t show the full circle. I have a few shots in landscape that do so, but the way this one cuts out some of the skylight makes it more interesting.


I’m currently listening to How to Destroy Angels’ self-titled EP whilst writing this post. I’ve mentioned them in two posts before in relation to other bands, but I haven’t discussed listening to their own music. The EP is all that they’ve released so far, with an album supposedly coming out at some point this summer. I’ve really enjoyed the EP, which was released as a free download in 2010, and is still available as such here. The music manages to balance between being able to blend into the background and maintaining your attention. It’s something which is very useful when sorting photos, as it lets you concentrate on the images without ignoring the music that’s playing around you; particularly useful if you’re male and therefore bad at multi-tasking.

      • Date taken: 20.06.12
      • Aperture: f/16
      • Speed: 1/60 sec
      • ISO: 400
      • Focal length: 24mm