Photography News
Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire, autumn 2015

Stourhead Autumn 2015

That gorgeous gilded foliage

At this time of year, Stourhead is at its most photogenic. The landscape has clearly been carefully contrived so that, in autumn, trees of every colour variation, from bright crimson, to pale yellow, via deep antique gold, are juxtaposed with each other and areas of residual green. From the middle-distance, the leaves are like brush marks on an impressionist painting; standing further back, each tree forms part of a considered overall composition. As one walks though the landscape, Henry Hoare’s famous architectural follies – not visible in this shot – break up the scene and give the garden as a whole - or one's journey through it - a kind of abstract narrative; one in which romantic references to nature and fairly tales meet a celebration of classical antiquity.

Naturally, it is a favourite with photographers, and on the day I took this shot, it was difficult to get a good photograph that wasn’t punctuated by people. I think I just about achieved it, however, and I think this works quite well in terms of colour and composition.

Stephen Riley: Photographer in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.