After an incredibly busy year we made sure that we had a few days off over Christmas and the New Year.
We had planned to hole ourselves up and just eat and drink / hibernate, but because of the mild weather the urge to get out and do something overtook us.
On our doorstep is an amazing stately home and park. Elvaston Castle is an imposing Gothic masterpiece, and the grounds are beautiful – ranging from ornamental to semi-wild. It’s exactly these contrasts that compel us to visit Elvaston all year round.
We decided to make a short film that captured what the park was about.
This presented a challenge because photos alone didn’t show it properly, nor did video.
We finally decided on a combination of High Dynamic Range(HDR) photography, timelapse on a motorised track, and video – albeit with an extreme wide angle lens.
The reasons for each:
High Dynamic Range Photography:
HDR because when you walk through the archways, or trees, your eyes do a brilliant job of averaging out the exposure, so you see the highs and lows and detail within. With normal photographs you lose the extremes, so we decided to combine multiple exposures to make sure all detail was caught. Finally we wanted to give almost a fairy tale look to some of the photos. At twilight Elvaston has a dreamlike quality, and this seemed to be a good way to get that look.
Timelapse on a track:
We wanted to give the impression of Elvaston’s strength and solidity in the face of the changing seasons. Having long slow tracks with fast weather/human motion gives the impression that Elvaston almost occupies a different time zone!
Wide angle videography:
The Elvaston landscape unfolds around you. We wanted to give that impression via the film, and also to play with the proportions of the castle to make you look at it in different ways.
Finally we realised it needed a complimentary piece of music. Needless to say Dubstep was not appropriate(!), so we had a piece of orchestral music we had already composed which seemed to fit well with the slow tracks and camera pans.
Did we get the spirit of Elvaston? You be the judge…