Photo Roadshow Bold and beautiful
The paths, temples and lakes of Stowe provide plenty of opportunities for striking imagery, says Justin Minns
the paths, temples and lakes of Stowe provide opportunities for striking imagery, says Justin Minns
An idyllic landscape filled with temples, the gardens at Stowe were created in the 18th century on a massive scale by the rich and powerful Lord Cobham and continued by his nephew Earl Temple. More than gardens, they hold hidden meanings based on Greek mythology: the paths and temples reveal Lord Cobham’s beliefs on vice, virtue and liberty.
This timeless rolling landscape of winding paths and tranquil lakes framed by belts of trees and dotted with temples and monuments was worked on by many notable 18th-century gardeners and architects, including John Vanbrugh, James Gibbs, William Kent and Capability Brown. Over the years they turned Stowe’s 250 acres of gardens into some of the finest views in England for which photographers today are eternally grateful.
Justin’s top tips
1 Go for cuteness overload and photograph bouncing lambs. Get down low and use a telephoto lens and a fast shutter speed. Try to predict their next move so you can catch them in full flight. 2 For a fresh take on familiar views, shoot in black & white. Mono is great for showing off the difference in textures in Stowe’s landscaped gardens. Set the camera to mono to visualise the effect in camera, but convert in post-processing for the best results. 3 Use either end of a zoom for bold compositions of statues and monuments in the landscape. Get up close with a wide focal length to exaggerate size, or zoom in tight with a telephoto lens for just a glimpse of the subject.