One of the joys of the Beyond the Border storytelling festival is the setting for Britain’s premier oral tradition event – the beautiful grounds of St. Donat’s Castle and Art Centre, part of Atlantic College. The grounds are the perfect compliment to the weekend’s activities, and if you went to the festival but didn’t get to see much of the grounds, you’ve missed out on a big part of the magic.
Atop the Blue Garden stands what I’ve heard called The Animal Garden. That may not be it’s official name, but it’s as good a name as any, for the garden is home to twenty stone animals who mount a watch over the entire garden. It’s said that there is only one spot in the garden where you can stand without being seen by any of the animals, and if you stand there, you will be instantly transported away to another place. I didn’t see or hear of anyone disappearing over the weekend, so I presume the secret of where to stand remained undiscovered – although not for want of trying!
Thoughts On The Day
We’ve had a lot of wet weekends these last few weeks, and it was a real pleasure to be able to go out with my camera and actually do some photography for a change! And it’s always nice to come back from another Beyond The Border with new photographs to share 🙂
Sat here this morning, my arms smarting from sunburn, I wish I’d been more patient and more attentive during this shoot. Here’s a list of what I think I’d do different next time around:
- Ensure all the shots are consistently framed. The first two photos, and one towards the end, don’t match the style of all the other photos.
- Ensure all the animals are looking into frame. I deliberately chose to place all the animals on the right of each frame, but I didn’t make sure that I photographed each animal looking to his left. Why do I think that’s a problem? I think it makes the space on the left of the animals unused, disconnected from the portrait shot itself.
- Manage highlights much better. I didn’t take the time after each shot to check and make sure there were no blown highlights to spoil the shot. Quite a few of the photos have blown highlights that distract from the image.
- Manage the sky better. A few of the shots have beautiful deep blue sky, and a few of the shots have a badly blown-out sky. I should have picked angles to capture the blue sky on all the shots, and where that wasn’t possible, I should have come back later (or earlier?) in the day when the sky would have been blue behind those particular animals.
Still, that’s one of the joys of writing this photography blog. Sharing the images brings me to look at them with a critical eye, looking to see what works for me and what doesn’t, and hopefully learning lessons for the future 🙂
Found On Flickr
I was surprised to find that there wasn’t a Beyond The Border group on Flickr, so I’ve set one up. Hopefully other folks’ll come across it, and post their own photos from this weekend’s event for everyone to share.
Proceed to the Beyond the Border 2007 group on Flickr.