Diana Magor, MPSA, APSA  

Old Wardour castle by Diana Magor, MPSA, APSA

August 2019 - Old Wardour castle

August 2019 - Diana Magor, MPSA, APSA


About the Image(s)

This is called Old Wardour castle and it is in Wiltshire in Southern England west of Salisbury. The castle was built in the 1390s and partially destroyed in 1643 and 1644 during the English Civil War. This was between the Royalists and the Parliamentarian Army. There is actually a new Wardour castle which has been used for several films and this one-the Old castle has been used in the 1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. I had to look all that up on Wikipedia! We went there five years ago when we were on holiday in the South and eventually found it at the end of a long, narrow, winding country lane. As you can see it was a lovely sunny evening, but I thought the history of most of our castles has always been a seesaw between one faction and another until finally one side won and demolished the building to stop any more rebellions. So I thought it ought to be monochrome and dramatic and that’s what I’ve tried to produce. There wasn’t much I could do about the tree on the left-moving round the castle didn’t improve it. I converted to mono and used Nik, going for texture and underexposure, but I also increased the contrast several times to bring out the lighter areas. I really like the sky dark because it emphasises the threat of possible attack. Do you like it?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
10 comments posted

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Yes, the sky is a great success. It is a wow! How about a tiny tiny bit more detail in the lawn and trees???   Posted: 08/07/2019 20:02:14
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
OK, I did wonder whether I'd actually gone over the top with the black, but I liked the castle as it was. I actually spent quite a long time with control points in Nik, changing areas, like the trees so there was some hint of detail there. I've been judging a mono section of an International this week and really the ones which stand out are often the very dramatic OTT images or the high key, subtle one. Just ordinary doesn't ever do well.   Posted: 08/08/2019 03:54:52

Gloria Fine
Diana -- I did not view this picture before I replied to your email about my photo. Wow -- what a dramatic difference between the two photographs -- love it!   Posted: 08/09/2019 15:45:26

Michael Duke   Michael Duke
First of all, I agree with a word Gloria used - dramatic. I have always found such an image difficult when converting to monochrome, but you have succeeded to brilliant dramatic effect both in terms of the sky (I agree with Stephen) and the image as a whole.   Posted: 08/09/2019 19:30:33
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Thank you! It was surprisingly easy to get there -just using control points in Nik to reduce or enhance different bits of the scene after the initial mono conversion. I do quite like 'playing' with photos!   Posted: 08/10/2019 03:59:04

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
This image looks way to dark for me and too much contrast. I like the color image and think that you should have brought out the texture in the stonework of the castle and you would have a better image. You lost the wispy clouds at the top.   Posted: 08/10/2019 15:21:30
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
OK, it's all a question of what the photographer thought of! I think the colour one is too ordinary and wouldn't get anywhere in competitions even if I brought out the structure more. Blue sky and wispy clouds are just too nice! They look like a holiday snap rather than a good photo. I've been looking at other peoples' photos and seeing just how much an ordinary picture can be transformed into a higher level image. maybe I'm just not very good at it yet.   Posted: 08/11/2019 04:36:06

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
I'm thinking the sky might be a bit too dark, but it does bring out the darkness thought of when one thinks of a castle. Amazing to think of the lives that once lived here over 600 years ago.   Posted: 08/10/2019 17:36:54

Ian Chantler   Ian Chantler
(Groups 4 & 31)
Hi Diana
I love the moody atmosphere you have created in this image it really sits well with the subject and the history of the castle my only nit pick I find the cloud above the trees overly bright compared to the rest of the image and would just tone it down a touch.   Posted: 08/22/2019 15:57:01
Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Yes I think I agree that the clouds are too bright. Thanks Ian.   Posted: 08/30/2019 11:52:06