Archive for August 29th, 2010

29
Aug
10

8/29/2010: Greetham Valley Country Club

Happy Sunday!

I visit the Oakham area of England once a year for the British Birding Fair, the largest gathering of birders in the known universe (for more on the BBF take a look at my post on the ZEISS blog). It is held at Rutland Water, a reservoir, which is home to the Anglian Water Reserve. Oakham, small sleepy one-pub town that it is, surrounded by small sleepy one-pub towns, is not exactly equipped for the annual inundation of birders. Those of us who have to stay there are for the three days fill every available hotel space. The local schools rent out space for sleeping bags on the gym floors. We used to stay at the Barnsdale Resort (not to be confused with the Barnsdale Lodge), on the hill overlooking Rutland Water on the other side from the Fair, but this year we moved to a golf club and convention center, a bit further away, near the village of Greetham.

And all that is to explain  why I have taken photos of a golf course…not something I am in the habit of doing…but during the BBF (which is work for me) I get only a few moments a day to consider photography…and it is my one visit a year to England, so I do, always, consider photography. I take what I can get, and within walking distance of the hotel this year, golf course was all you could get.

This is an HDR image from two exposures on the Canon SX20IS, combined in Photomatix Lite, and refined in Lightroom.

I actually like it, despite its obvious golf-courseishness, for the range of greens, and the variety of textures and shapes. No one can say the designer of the course was insensitive to the particular English beauty of the countryside. He (or she) preserved enough of the natural landscape and existing trees so that the native beauty comes through, and actually augmented it with the decorative pools and paths. Very English.

It is an idealized English landscape, under one of England’s typical skies, looking most like a well mannered 19th century painting on the drawing room wall.

I am tempted, being Sunday, to liken it to some folks vision of the Garden of Eden, but then all I would be left with saying is that, while I can appreciate its beauty and appeal, it is not mine. I’d like to think I could be at home in a much wilder Eden, without feeling the need to making it so homey…if you know what I mean.

But then, I am not a golfer, even of the Sunday variety.

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