The National Trust owns the fabulous 18th Century Neo-Palladian house and the magnificent lake, surrounded by stunning gardens and inspiring artists, photographers and nature lovers at any time of the year. My parents were regular visitors to National Trust properties around the UK. Still, Stourhead, famed for its displays of Rhododendrons and its wide variety of trees, was their firm favourite.
When I moved back to Wiltshire 20 years ago, it became a firm favourite of our family, too, and we have enjoyed the walk around the grounds and lake many times. There are many different places to get fantastic images at Stourhead, from the lakeside edge with the ducks to the elevated hillside at the Temple of Apollo. My image was taken on a beautiful day at the beginning of November before the autumn storms had blown all the leaves from the trees. At the western edge of the lake is a small mound on which is built the Pantheon, and it is from here that the image was taken.
The most challenging part of the imaging process was to ensure my tripod stayed level on the uneven ground and avoid the mess left behind by the ducks who commonly used the grass bank. It is a favourite image of mine, and I am always gratified when I show it to others who are amazed at how the brilliant colours are, and they just jump off the screen. I have been during the autumnal show many times but have never seen the trees looking this good, and on such a glorious day, I was fortunate that day.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor