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 Post subject: Leeds Castle
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:34 pm
Posts: 63
Leeds Castle

I always thought Leeds Castle would make a good photography place to visit. I noticed had rooms available on site at reasonable prices which included free entrance to the Castle (when open) and all the grounds whilst staying there.

I think the general public are allowed in the grounds after 10am.

It was our Golden Wedding anniversary (yes I followed Neil Armstrong, with one small step for me and one bigger one for Mrs Db accepting lol) and finding a suitable place for a long weekend was proving difficult.

So I rang Leeds Castle office as I wanted something special for accommodation on this occasion. They told me the popular Maiden's Tower which is on the castle island was fully booked but they suggested the Windsor room in the Stable Yard Block would be suitable as it had a four poster bed.

I was not sure whether Mrs Db would have to muck out each morning but decided to take the room anyway at the cost of a King's ransom.

In the past I had looked at various photographs taken of the grounds and there was one of Leeds Castle lit at night. So I had great discussions with my camera club friend as to what would be the best way to take such a shot.

The advice was I would need my tripod and the camera remotes all set up ready to take long exposures.

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And so the day came and arriving early we were told our room was ready for us and shown the Stable Court Yard and our room was metres from the shot taken above.

Stable Court Yard

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Mrs Db was delighted with the bedroom and after a cup of tea she started to unpack.

It started to rain and it was now around 3:30pm but we had free passes to go into the castle. So we decided go in as that would keep us dry, however, it closed at 4:30pm so it would only be a quick visit this time.

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Castle Entrance

So showing our passes in the rain we quickly went into the main door of the castle.

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Queen's Bedroom

This was the bedroom of Joan of Navarre, Queen of England to Henry 4th and she was later held prisoner here by her Step Son Henry 5th. I took this shot as she was given a bigger bedroom than us. :?

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So inside the castle rooms

Apart for the Delboy's many other famous celebrities have stayed here including Cliff Richard, Sir Winston Churchill.

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along with Henry the 8th and Catherine of Aragon who brought a large entourage of people which filled the area.

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The castle has undergone many changes throughout the centuries and the last owner Lady Ballie made sure that when she died the castle would be left in trust to avoid the death duties.

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Castle doors

As we were the only ones left in the castle the security were following around turning off the lights. "Why are you taking pictures of doors", one of them asked. "Well we have a photo competition later in the year with the theme of 'Door'" , I replied

"Oh, there are lots of doors in here", he said

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Out side door

So at 4:30pm the heavy doors closed behind us

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Mrs Db would run her bath whilst outside it was still partly raining so I just popped out with my small camera to see if I could get any reflections

Evening reflections

However, the rain cleared up and I was beginning to wish I had my brought better camera out with me

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Leeds Castle has black swans on their moat and are much photographed with the castle as the back drop. There was even a small sunset but I had picked the wrong side to photograph it.

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Stable yard lit up

So after washing and changing for dinner we were going to eat in their posh restaurant. "I hope your not going to start taking photographs of the meals in there" :shock: , said Mrs Db. "I'll just put my small camera in my pocket just in case", I said. I thought how can a blogger be without it :oops:

The Courtyard was lit up as we walked out

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Well here is my starter chicken satay, it's all art on a plate here

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steak for me

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followed by a fancy looking cheese cake

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Castle lit up

Mrs Db popped back to the room whilst I brought around my big camera and tripod but could not believe my remotes on the camera did not work properly and abandoned the shoot for the evening.

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our bedroom

Now I have for the last 50 years slept on the right hand side of the bed and pyjamas and nightie placed on the appropriate pillows, along with torches, watches and orange juice on each of the side tables.

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four posts

However, Mrs Db once in bed realised she could not see the TV because a post was in the way. "Well that did not seem to have bothered Catherine of Aragon", I said, "But I will swap sides with you". Then it revealed the TV remote would not work from in the bed as the room was so big lol.

It was a good job we brought torches, as once the lights went out the room was pitch black and I did not want Anne Boleyn walking in having picked the wrong room :o

Soon I fell asleep but in the middle of the night I partly woke up thirsty and reached over for my glass of orange. "What are you doing", asked a startled Mrs Db feeling my hand on her chest. "Oh, I forgot I am on the wrong side of the bed", I replied :oops:

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Early morning scenes

I decided to get up early that morning to see if I could get a red sky at dawn but that did not come about.

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So I walked around their golf course taking different part of the castle.

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Again it was art on a plate but help yourselves to yogurts and orange juice.

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I have never seen a sausage and egg presented this way :roll:

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A walk

After breakfast we decided to go for a walk around the grounds

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Bridge reflections

One of the camera club member's is very good at taking reflections so was looking at ways to compete lol

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There are peacocks around the grounds but this one kept going in and out of the shade making it difficult to shoot (with a camera) lol

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carving in tree

High up a tree there was this wood carving

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Weir with dog

I was pleased with this lady walking over the weir with a dog.

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red bridge

Once it is 10:00am I think the general public are let into the grounds

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I liked the look of this red tree but did not looks so impressive on the photograph

River and red tree

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back to castle

So we eventually arrived back at the castle, then back to our room for a coffee and suddenly there was a heavy rain shower.

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The rain packed up and we headed out again towards the maze. Now unbeknown to Mrs Db I thought I would be clever and google the way out of the maze. However, there is a member of staff high up in the middle for guidance. Now once inside, this 'google knowledge' fell apart and 15 minutes later the guy was asking if we needed help :D "Not yet", I replied, "are we near the exit". "No not really " he said.

10 minutes later I knew there would be a falconry display and said, "ok we give up" and were guided to the centre. After a small chat with the guide, he said we had to go out through a grotto to get out . :shock:

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And that seemed to go on for ever :D

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But interesting pictures

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However, thinking ahead, an owl in flight might be more to a judge's taste

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back of owl

But this owl was not going to play ball and could only get the back of it in flight ( never work with animal, birds and children) lol

after many goes and a long wait we went to the falconry area

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where perhaps these birds were waiting their turn

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This owl I kid you not was about a metre tall

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Evening reflections

So evening came and I got some better reflection shots

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using my better camera and tripod

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Castle lit

After dinner and on my best behaviour ( no dinner pictures) :oops:

I again tried the castle having corrected the remotes but this time I could not focus on anything as it was too dark. The security van putting white lines at the bottom of the picture and jet streaks from Gatwick in the sky :evil:

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Castle from distance

The next morning before breakfast I walked up higher on the hill to get some different shots

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Castle time

After breakfast it was a second visit to the castle

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And we found our way in by the official entrance via the cellar

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another door

another door and then we would be going up a spiral staircase that Mrs Db was not too keen on

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and this guy was lurking halfway up the stairs case

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I was looking for unusual things to photograph with another theme in mind of 'shiny'

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This was at the top of the spiral staircase and it's quite easy to miss whilst one is concentrating on getting one's self to safety on the even landing above

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so now outside we have had another tour around the castle

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and after a cup of tea, I wanted to go up higher to get a better picture of the castle whilst Mrs Db waited for me below

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I had heard from other guests about mushrooms up here but not sure what they were but most were like saucers in size. I did make one look like a spaceship on another photograph

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So in was evening I wanted to have a last chance to get the reflections but it was too windy. I had my camera sitting on a tripod when two German girls arrived and start to take pictures in what I would call highly sexy poses with the castle as a backdrop. I assume these were for boyfriends and not me.

After the poses each of them jumped up whilst the other tried to take a photo of the other in the air but were not successful.

Well having done shots like this before I took my camera off the tripod and set it to continuous shooting and got this shot (well judges always want something interesting , how about this lol ). I showed the girls how to do it and they set their camera in the same way and got their photos.

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playing with effects

The weather started to look miserable and they left, so I started to be creative with the effects on my camera

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last castle lit
so we had our anniversary meal and I watched the castle still alight. Mrs Db was watching 'Would I lie to you' on TV, as I said, I will just be 30 mins :oops: .

It started to rain I had my remotes, torch and phone in my hand, as my mate timed my photos for me over the phone. After the security van put white streaks across my photos twice, he then proceeded to drive into the castle grounds and turn on a security floodlight. My camera shutter speed was exposed to all lights for 3:30 mins and was picking up all the unwanted lighting along with jets coming out of Gatwick. :shock:

Finally after an hour I got my photo I wanted and in competition it got an 18. I got a few comments that parts of the sky was not necessary but could not let him know that it almost cost me a divorce in getting the blinking shot but there will always be a next time lol

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