During Easter break, my other half took me to Nostell Priory, a beautiful piece of Yorkshire heritage. This was a great place for me to practice because you couldn’t use flash inside the house and the lighting was low to protect the furnishings from further colour fading. Here are some of my favourites.
While it’s not perfect because of the slight blur as you look towards the background, I love it for the angle I took it at. I probably looked strange to other visitors getting low to floor, but it was fun trying to get the shot.
I would have liked the exposure to be brighter, but like I said it was difficult in the dark rooms. What I do like is the clarity of the words and pictures on the page against the slightly blurred background. I had the widest aperture setting I could get on my Nikon D3000 (I’m behind with the times – kit’s expensive!) and got as close as I could. I really like where they’ve left the glasses and it magnifies the writing on the page too.
When we’d finished looking around the house, we had a walk through the beautiful gardens with an array of Spring flowers in bloom. Now we were outside, I had to continue to adapt the setting for the bright sunshine we had that day.
The vibrant pink littered this garden at the back of house; they are beautiful flowers (I forget the name of them). I know I would love some in my own garden next Spring. I wanted to work on macro shots in the garden. Easier said than done with basic a kit lens. I will invest in different lenses later – I know I need to get technique right first. I’m pleased with the way this came out though.
Not got the same background blur as the first one, but I think the bright orange against the green backdrop helps. Absolutely adore this flower (again, I have no clue what it is called, so if any of you know comment below; it would be much appreciated). The colour is stunning!
This won’t be my only visit while the flowers are in bloom. I will definitely be heading back some time in the near future to work on a few things. If anyone else is looking for a day out to appreciate some great Yorkshire heritage, a beautiful National Trust property and capture its beauty, this is the place to visit.
During The First World War, soldiers were given a therapeutic activity which would help their healing process. As the nurses tended to their physical injuries, sweetheart cushions gave the soldiers a way to heal the mental and emotional scars of war. Once complete, they would be sent home to their loved ones.
Last year, a colleague and friend of mine, Olivia Young, began a project that she holds dear to her heart – a project that expressed her passion for both embroidery and The First World War. At the start of the month, she opened this project up to the public at her first ever exhibition. I was lucky and honoured to be invited to this remarkable event to celebrate Liv’s journey and begin my own in photography.
Fifty unique replica sweetheart pincushions were crafted to commemorate fifty soldiers – members of the Leeds Pals of Yorkshire – who fought and died on 1st July 1916, the first day of The Battle of the Somme. Each heart, made with love and care, has been dedicated to an individual Leeds Pal who lost his life that day.
The exhibition was held at Rivers MEET in Methley where the sweetheart pincushions were on display for the public. It was beautifully simple and moving, carrying the theme of trench life and decorated with poppies. All hearts were carefully lined up along the burlap for everyone to enjoy. They were available for purchase after the event and a percentage of sales made have been donated to The Royal British Legion to help today’s veterans and families.
The exhibition truly showed Liv’s dedication to her craft and her passion for keeping the memories of the past alive. She is definitely one to watch with more commemorative sweetheart pincushions in the works as well as commission pieces requested by relatives of other soldiers who lost their lives in battle. This poignant event is the start of something truly special: the journey of a memorial textile artist.
You can follow Liv via her Facebook page ‘Liv & Sew: Memorial Textile Artist’ where you will find the full collection of sweetheart pincushions, along with previous work she has completed and future projects in the making.
*All photographs shown are my own and if edited will be stated in the captions below.
See my adventures come to life as I learn to capture those moments…