Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is one of the jewels of the county with attractions in the garden and attractions in the house. You can use photographs taken at this venue for your own private use or in situations such as this but there are strict limits on what you do with the photographs as far as sales are concerned. You cannot for example submit images to stock libraries for sale. This is one of the conditions of entry to a number of sites that you need to take into account when you are visiting the United Kingdom. Having said this, it is a great place to take photographs and you will find tens of thousands of images on websites and social media sites which highlight the attractions of a day’s visit.
When we visited Chatsworth House we were trying out to different pieces of technology. One was the A99 from Sony which was equipped with the ability to combine three images quickly in order to capture excellent high dynamic range images. This allowed us to achieve images with reduced noise inside the building. We were also taking photographs with a 50 megapixel Canon camera the 5DS which, despite having a limited upper ISO limit is still one of the better higher megapixel cameras available and in fact provided some of the most detailed images that we have ever recorded being far in excess of what we could record with medium format digital cameras.
The real reason that we were visiting the area however as far as photography was concerned was not simply to try out equipment. On this particular visit we had especially coincided our visit with autumn. When you travel around the world and you see photographs taken in autumn at different locations you can see that there is quite a variation as far as scenery and lighting is concerned. For example we live in Australia and a lot of the trees in Australia do not have leaves that turn brown and golden and fall to the ground. In fact a number of these trees have been planted in recent times but you don’t get quite the degree of this sort of thing happening that you have in the northern hemisphere. For example I was once in the United States during autumn and I saw vast sections of trees with autumn leaves and golds and it was somewhat amazing. The eucalypt trees in Australia do not have this feature. But when you see some oak trees or other similar trees that have been planted and their leaves are falling against a backdrop of the deep olive greens that you often find in the Australian outback and among the Australian trees it does provide a remarkable contrast that is well worth taking.
In the United Kingdom of course you have a lot of trees whose leaves change colour and the leaves fall. This is a more common tree in that part of the world. Sometimes they fall like snow!
And the light is different. Instead of the harsher light of the Australian continent or the different bright light that you find in other parts of the world, in Yorkshire and Derbyshire you have a very definite softness in the light in that part of the year. So we had the chance to combine the magnificent gardens of Chatsworth, to try out some equipment that we wanted to put through its paces, and the opportunity to shoot the gardens during autumn when we really want to see the diverse range of colour. You have to bear in mind that the gardens of Chatsworth were developed over hundreds of years. These are not something that was planted just a couple of decades ago. This is one of the jewels in the crown of Derbyshire.
You get to see a mixture of colours in plants and plantings that you will not find anywhere else in the world. You also get the benefit of a magnificent house as well as magnificent use of water. The whole thing combines to make it a most interesting outing. For us it began with a drive to the grounds that took us to some awesome areas of countryside. When we arrived at Chatsworth we were not disappointed in the slightest. The grounds were in blazing colour and the autumn leaves were really showing off what they could do. So here are some of the photographs that we took.
A couple of conclusions that are well worth mentioning. The high dynamic range feature in the Sony camera is a perfect tool for this sort of photography. We were able to capture details and colours inside the house that were not able to be captured with cameras that were not similarly equipped. I would highly recommend this feature to anyone interested in shooting this sort of setting.
As far as the Canon 5DS is concerned / Some reviewers have suggested that having an upper ISO limit so low on this camera is a serious deficiency. All I can say to you is that most professional photographers limit the upper limit of the ISO that they use with their camera to below 1000 ISO with a camera of this kind and that most of us try to work with the lowest ISO we can use as we are trying to avoid noise. I found working below ISO2000 was no limitation whatsoever and even in lowlight situations it was easy to get the images that I wanted working within this limit. I’d much rather be a little bit more thoughtful about the photograph that I take than introduce noise. I’m not a fan of winding the ISO up to really high limits and even on cameras where the ISO can comfortably be shot at 12,000 ISO I will generally limit the usable auto ISO range that I will let the camera use to approximately one quarter of the range. Thus for example the Nikon D850 is limited in my case to 6400 ISO whereas it will comfortably shoot very nice and usable images much higher. They’re just not good enough for me. The advantage of the Canon 5DSR is the ability to choose formats so that you can in fact shoot a square image or a small image that simply records to part of the sensor or at least acknowledges just part of the sensor in the way that the images recorded. This was interesting because it gave you the view through the viewfinder there was somewhat similar to a rangefinder where you could see outside the area that you were shooting. This is always interesting for action because you can see people moving in or out of the shot but know that you are shooting just within a designated area in the viewfinder. I think it’s fantastic personally. It’s a really good idea and very effective.
This camera performed flawlessly. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you are looking at a higher megapixel camera and you are interested in using Canon. Having said that, I think that the Nikon higher megapixel cameras have greater versatility and I would encourage you to compare the two before making your decision. Canon glass appears to be a little brighter and sharper to my eyes and that’s also a consideration. In any event, these are images of Autumn and Chatsworth. Enjoy.